Haikus always make life more interesting. This is why each week, Conference USA coverage will dissect the major story lines via the five-seven-five syllable format.
PSA: It wasn’t a good weekend for the defenses.
Arizona State 32 UTSA 28
It’s always nice to have a helping hand.
'Twas not meant to be
When rubber met Road-runner
Devil has his day
— Matt Thompson (@MattThompson87) September 17, 2016
The Roadrunners held a Sun Devil offense that whipped up 68 points versus Texas Tech the week prior to only 12 in the first half. Still, UTSA couldn’t stave off Sparky despite heading into the fourth quarter with the lead. It’ll be interesting to see how Meep Meep responds at Old Dominion following a near upset last Friday.
Baylor 38 Rice 10
Stehling can’t find groove
KD shot out of cannon
Not the same Rice ‘O’
Baylor quarterback Seth Russell hooked up with wide receiver K.D. Cannon nine times on Friday — more completions than Rice’s Tyler Stehling had all evening — to the tune of 213 yards. For Rice, the Conference USA era back in the mid-2000s was a lot more fun; the days of scoring 50-plus (and sometimes still losing) appear all but over for the Owls.
Akron 65 Marshall 38
Herd offense starts quick
There’s a second quarter, too
This doesn’t make sense
Hooray for Marshall, which shot out of the floodgates with 21 first-quarter points. Hooray for the other team, which used 34 (!) second-quarter points to oust the Herd at home by double-digits. In that second frame alone, the Zips scored courtesy of a pass, rush, blocked punt, and fumble recovery.
The Thundering Herd allowed 65 points at home. To Akron. What?
Western Kentucky 31 Miami (OH) 24
Extremely slow start
The Hilltoppers nearly slip
Taylor seals the deal
It took the sixth team drive of the game for Western Kentucky to light the scoreboard, half of those series resulting in Hilltopper turnovers. Once the engine got going, the offense was back to its old ways. Taywan Taylor’s touchdown grab late in the fourth widened the lead to avoid near disaster in Ohio.
North Texas 0 Florida 32
Mean Green get buried
Littrell hangs Fine out to dry
Could have been much worse
Some unsung heroes have recently come into The Swamp to test the Florida Gators, but the North Texas Mean Green failed miserably, most notably on offense.
Lowkey unfair to trot Fine out in this game. He's not ready for this moment, don't kill his confidence. https://t.co/4VS6sF2v8K
— Jared (@JaredUTSA) September 18, 2016
Head coach Seth Littrell is experimenting with freshman quarterback Mason Fine. The so-called experiment went up in flames on Saturday. Fine registered a cool 2.1 QBR versus the SEC defense — 6-of-22 passing — and had it not been for the Gators turning the ball over on downs a few times, the margin of defeat last weekend would have been uglier.
Troy 37 Southern Mississippi 31
Troy takes confidence
From last weekend’s Clemson game
Troy pulled off a pretty big upset on Saturday.
Seven days after giving Clemson a run for its money in Death Valley, the Trojans made the Golden Eagles defense look silly in Hattiesburg. It wasn’t the gaudiest of stat lines for quarterback Brandon Silvers, but he beat Southern Miss deep for scores a couple of times in the first quarter to plunge the Trojan sword into the Golden Eagles’ defense.
Florida Atlantic 7 Kansas State 63
Garbage time touchdown
Worst loss in team history
“Greg Howell Jr. with a 1-yard touchdown!” said the broadcast team with 14:57 remaining in the game. Unfortunately for the Florida Atlantic Owls, they only cut the score to 49-oh, and K-State tacked on another tuddy to dish FAU its largest defeat in program history.
Check out the Owls’ national rankings following Saturday’s performance.
There are 128 FBS teams. This is #FAU.
Total off: 292.3 (121st)
Scoring off: 18.3 (114th)
Total def: 498.3 (117th)
Scoring def: 43.7 (122nd)
— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) September 19, 2016
Middle Tennessee State 41 Bowling Green 21
Brent on point once more
I’Tavius Mathers show
A bit deceptive
Brent Stockstill did what any quarterback versus Bowling Green would do: pick the Falcons apart. The sophomore southpaw compiled 278 yards and tossed three touchdowns in the double-digit road win.
Running back and former Ole Miss Rebel I’Tavius Mathers had a banner day with 157 yards on the ground, 103 more from Stockstill, and four total touchdowns. Ceding only 21 points to Bowling Green looks great on paper, but the Falcons look lost this season — be easy with the credit.
Army 66 UTEP 14
Great marketing plan
Aside from the 66
Thanks for coming out
UTEP athletics director Bob Stull developed the slogan “One City. One Team.” He repeated it all summer long for the Miners’ inaugural matchup with the Army Black Knights.
One team showed up; the other should have stayed on the bus playing Angry Birds.
Old Dominion 22 North Carolina State 49
Not much of a chance
Finley ends nearly perfect
Let’s score when it counts
North Carolina State is one of those clubs that we’re still unsure of in terms of ACC positioning. It didn’t matter on Saturday, because a win over lowly Old Dominion was virtually automatic. Quarterback Ryan Finley completed 24 of his 28 attempts and the 22 points on the board for the Monarchs are a huge plus, right?
Wrong. Just more garbage time points to mask just how dismal Old Dominion’s offense will be in 2016 (not you though, Ray Lawry, you can stay).
Florida International 13 UMass 21
Go grab your pillows
FIU is hard to watch
Is oh-and-3 good?
UMass played a game on Saturday and it wasn’t even the more boring team on the field.
Step on up, Florida International!
Aside from the Golden Panther faithful, it is highly recommended to keep FIU far away from the television screen on Saturdays. Oh, and that counts Thursdays (what’s up Indiana?) and Fridays (Maryland is still taking interceptions to the house).
Eastern Michigan 37 Charlotte 19
Still, wasn’t that close
Are your eyes spewing blood yet?
Take a lap, Charlotte
Did anyone actually watch this game? Seriously, I’m convinced that the game never took place and someone made up a counterfeit boxscore.
Wait, it did happen, and Charlotte, thanks for showing up. It was only a 15-point loss to a team that you begin an NCAA 09 dynasty with because you want to start at the bottom. Nobody needs Wikipedia to get a fix on the 49ers’ football program — one peek at this game is all one needs.
Louisiana Tech 45 Texas Tech 59
Contest follows script
Not much you can take away
Offense still a threat
Another Texas Tech game, another 100-point affair combined. That’s the mantra, and the Red Raiders were on the right side of this one. The Texas Tech intramural football winners could hang 30 on the program’s secondary, so the 45 the Bulldogs racked up isn’t surprising. The offense still appears in sync, though, and should be ready for conference play.