Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 4 PASS/FAIL Report: Conference USA


PASS: Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, UTSA

Southern Miss may have fallen at Nebraska this week, but this program has come a long way this season in playing gutsy football. They hung on in a tough dogfight with Texas State last week to win, and they hung with Nebraska all day in a 36-28 loss.

Louisiana Tech got a solid pass by hanging on for a 27-17 win over FIU to help establish the Bulldogs back near the top of the CUSA West as a true contender. Faith has been shaken this fall, but not lost just yet.

Western Kentucky is back to establishing themselves as one of the premier G5 members in FBS football after a 56-14 destruction of Miami (Ohio). Brandon Doughty has returned to his top QB perch after 4 straight 400 yard games, and all is right for the Toppers.

Middle Tennessee earns a pass for nearly knocking off Illinois on the road this week, showing that the strength of the league is on the upswing. The Raiders could be a dark horse in the league race right now.

UTSA may still be winless, but they sure have shown some fight in some of those losses, which includes this last weekend in a 33-31 loss to Colorado State. The Roadrunners just need a little bit more defense, and they could have had 3 wins at this point. That’s a young team for you.

FAIL: Rice, FIU, Marshall, Old Dominion, North Texas, FAU, Charlotte, UTEP

Rice gave up 70 points in their loss to Baylor, so obviously, the Owls are good enough on their own level, but not good enough to play on the upper level. Rice could still push forward in CUSA play, but they are a mess outside of it.

FIU got a good start to the season, but now things are getting real, and it is time to see if the Panthers are up to the task to show real improvements. They didn’t get blasted by Louisiana Tech, but they need to pick up the pieces and move forward.

Marshall beat Kent State, but why did it take OT to do it? Since beating Purdue in the opener, the Herd has not been the same, and they are falling apart quickly.

Old Dominion got roasted by Appalachian State at home. The Monarchs got shut out, and really looked young and out of place. ODU has some work to do moving forward, but this is going to be a season of rebuilding and picking up any experience moving forward.

North Texas was out of their league heading to Iowa, and they got roasted as well, 62-16. The Eagles are moving backwards over the last two seasons, and a change may be necessary.

FAU defeated Charlotte in conference play, but neither team gets a PASS. The Owls were completely uninspired in their 17-7 win, and the 49ers never scored until the 4th quarter.

UTEP has been awful all season, and barely getting by FCS Incarnate Word 27-17, does not exactly inspire us to think that they will turn it around.  

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