THIS WEEK’S GAMES TO WATCH FOR: A battle between the last two Conference USA West Division champions starts our week off Friday night. Louisiana Tech looks for the victory, which will make the program bowl eligible for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Rice will be tough to beat at home as the Owls are 3-0 in Rice Stadium against the Bulldogs, including a 38 point thrashing in 2013. Also on Friday night, Utah State will be featured on an ESPN channel for the third straight week. The Aggies, who have won nine straight Mountain West conference games at home, host Wyoming.
There are just eight games between the two leagues on Saturday as C-USA’s Middle Tenneesee and the MW’s Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico and San Jose State all have byes. Keep an eye out for Southern Miss early Saturday afternoon as the Golden Eagles look for their sixth win of the season and would put them one win away from assuring they snap their three-season long losing streak. Also for C-USA, FIU needs a win to keep its hopes for a bowl bid alive. The Panthers have won three of their last four against Florida Atlantic but the Owls are 6-1 at home against FIU. San Diego State aims to become the first bowl-eligible team out of the MW West Division, visiting Colorado State. The Aztecs are 6-1 against the Mountain Division since the league went to the two division format. They have also won four straight in the series with the Rams. For a complete schedule with series notes, see page 1 in the attached PDF.
RECAPPING WEEK 8: Every Mountain West game was decided by at least 10 points, starting out with San Diego State’s 34-point win to stun Utah State Friday night. The Aztecs scored on six straight drives in the first half en route to their fourth straight conference win. Nevada rallied from a 17 point deficit in the second with a 17-point fourth quarter to garner its fourth win of the season.
The Conference USA league games were all blowouts by an average 24 points per game. In non-conference action, WKU held tight with No. 5 LSU in the first half, never trailing by more than a touchdown but a strong third-quarter performance by the Tigers pushed LSU to a comfy victory. Rice squeaked past Army for its 14th win in its last 16 tries at home. Complete C-USA and MW results for week 8 are available in the attached PDF.