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Conference USA Week 3 haiku: defenses exposed

Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire

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.

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.

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

Dethrones USM

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

Terrible rankings

“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.

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.

Rant over.

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.

Conference USA Week 3 haiku: defenses exposed

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