Sunday, September 6, 2015

Week One Pass/Fail Report: Conference USA

It was a huge week for CUSA in week one, with some stellar wins, and even in the case of one loss, a pass can be given for the effort that went against all expectations. Here's a look at who passed, and who failed in week one for CUSA...


PASS: FIU, Western Kentucky, UTSA, Charlotte, Rice, Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Marshall
FIU pulled a stunner this week with a 15-14 win over UCF. It was ugly, and largely a slugfest, but the Panthers got a huge confidence building win, and a nice pass for this week.
There was nothing pretty about Western Kentucky's 14-12 win over Vanderbilt this week, but it was a win against an SEC team for WKU and CUSA, even if it was the worst team in the SEC. Brandon Doughty didn't get going until late in this win.
Charlotte won their first game as a member of CUSA and FBS football, beating Georgia State in Atlanta 23-20. The 49ers pounded the football early, and it's a nice road win, even if it comes against most likely the worst FBS team in America.
Rice, Middle Tennessee, and Louisiana Tech all cruised against inferior FCS programs, but the wins over Wagner, Jackson State, and Southern still give the conference wins in week one in the overall conference rankings.
Old Dominion largely struggled to beat Eastern Michigan on the road, but a young team that is in rebuilding mode usually will not pass a test like this. The Monarchs still may have an up and down year, but this was a good start to a rebuilding process.
Marshall started a new era at QB, and it went very well with Michael Birdsong moving the football for 234 yards passing and a pair of scores to go along with some very nice runs. Devon Johnson averaged 8.1 yards per carry in the win.
UTSA lost to Arizona 42-32, but still gets a passing grade this week, as they were a five TD dog on the road in Tucson, and they more than crushed that spread, and made a very good Arizona club sweat in buckets for 4 quarters.

There weren't many losers this week, but UTEP was a disaster against Arkansas on Saturday in a 48-13 loss. The Hogs largely did whatever they wanted to the Miners, but this was largely the expected result.
FAU had Tulsa on the ropes, gave up a late score, and then went on to get beaten by a FG. The Owls showed some life, but they should have won this football game. You can't let these games get away.

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