Our Group of Five game of the week featuring SMU at Houston did not quite live up to the billing as the Cougars held serve in winning rather easily over the Mustangs.
There were also two other CSJ Sagarin Top 25 match-ups that were a mixed bag in terms of competitive games and there were other close contests.
With UCF winning easily over Cincinnati, the Golden Knights stay at the top spot in this week’s rankings. However, three other still undefeated teams in San Diego State, Navy, and USF are the top contenders for the New Year’s Six Bowl game.
Below are these game highlights along with some other key game highlights this week. Click on the scores for a detailed game review and the video link to see highlights.
CSJ Sagarin Top 25 Match-ups
Houston 35 SMU 25 (HOUSTON, Tex.)
Duke Catalon had 22 carries for 177 yards and two touchdowns and Kyle Postma accounted for three scores to help Houston earn a 35-22 win over SMU on Saturday inside TDECU Stadium.
With the win, the Cougars moved to 4-1 on the year and 2-0 in American Athletic Conference play.
Postma was 19-of-27 passing for 172 with two touchdowns and had a 22-yard scoring reception.
SMU (4-2, 1-1 American) took a 12-7 lead on a 37-yard field goal by Josh Williams early in the second quarter, but the Cougars answered with a nine-play, 76-yard drive that gave them the lead for good when D’Eriq King hit Postma on a reverse pass to regain the lead.
Navy 48 Air Force 45 (ANNAPOLIS, Md.)
Zach Abey threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Carmona with 15 seconds left, and unbeaten Navy defeated Air Force 48-45 Saturday after blowing a 21-point lead in the second half.
Despite allowing five touchdowns after halftime, Navy (5-0) took a huge step toward regaining possession of the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, awarded annually to the team with the most wins in games between Army, Navy and Air Force.
The winner of the Navy-Air Force matchup has captured the trophy every year since 1997. Air Force won it last season after beating Navy 28-14.
In this one, after Arion Worthman threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Bennett with 1:53 remaining to put the Falcons up 45-41, Abey took the Midshipmen 75 yards in 11 plays for the go-ahead score.
That turned out to be the final salvo in a wild game in which Air Force (1-4) amassed 621 yards and Navy accumulated 557, including 471 on the ground.
Abey ran for 214 yards and two touchdowns, and Malcolm Perry contributed two long scores.
Colorado State 27 Utah State 14 (LOGAN, Utah)
Colorado State improved to 4-2 (2-0 MW) on the season with a resounding 27-14 win over MW Mountain Division foe Utah State on Saturday in Logan, Utah. The game marked the fourth time this season that the Rams have eclipsed 500 yards of total offense, and the 212 yards allowed were their fewest surrendered to an FBS opponent since 2013.
Senior quarterback Nick Stevens threw for 293 yards on 22-of-31 passing, with two touchdowns. He was able to connect with eight different Rams, including senior wideout Michael Gallup who led the team with 88 yards receiving.
CSU’s rushing attack was led by the dynamic duo Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews who rushed for 121 yards and 84 yards, respectively, with Matthews finding the end zone near the end of the first quarter.
Despite being ranked first nationally in turnovers gained, Utah State’s defense failed to produce a turnover against the Rams.
Other Top 10 Match-ups
UCF 51 Cincinnati 23 (CINCINNATI, Ohio)
The UCF offense did not miss a beat in Saturday’s 51-23 win over Cincinnati. The No. 25 Knights (4-0, 2-0) scored on all eight of their drives with seven touchdowns and one field goal to improve to 4-0 for the first time since moving to Division I.
Quarterback McKenzie Milton was unstoppable in the pocket, throwing for 374 yards and a career-best five touchdowns. Redshirt junior receiver Tre’Quan Smith also had a career night with five receptions for three touchdowns and 162 yards. Tight end Michael Colubiale notched his first career touchdown reception on a 21-yard grab from Milton in the second quarter. All four of the Knights’ scoring passes were longer than 20 yards, including a 54-yard strike to Dredrick Snelson to open the game.
The only thing that could stop the UCF aerial attack was Mother Nature. With four seconds remaining in the third quarter, the game was delayed due to weather in the area, but after waiting one hour and seven minutes, the American Athletic Conference cancelled the remainder of the contest. In a little under three quarters of action, the Knights totaled 511 yards of total offense, their first time with back-to-back games of 500 yards since 2002.
San Diego State 41 UNLV 10 (LAS VEGAS, Nev.)
Rashaad Penny ran for 170 yards and two touchdowns to lift No. 19 San Diego State over UNLV 41-10 on Saturday night.
It was the Rebels’ first game since the mass shooting that killed 58 people on the Las Vegas Strip this week. First responders released balloons from the field during a moment of silence before the game.
Penny recorded his sixth straight 100-yard game to open the season, and the Aztecs (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West) defeated UNLV (2-3, 1-1) for the 13th time in their last 16 meetings.
Juwan Washington added 95 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown for the Aztecs, who have won 27 of their last 30 games.
SDSU’s Christian Chapman threw for 172 yards and had a 14-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The Aztecs out gained UNLV 302-106 on the ground.
One week after accounting for 287 total yards and four touchdowns against San Jose State, UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers completed 12 of 27 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown.
Boise State 41 BYU 10 (PROVO, Utah) (Fri.)
Alexander Mattison ran for a career-high 118 yards and two touchdowns, Brett Rypien threw his first TD pass of the season and Boise State beat BYU 24-7 on Friday night.
Boise State scored 17 straight points in the second quarter to take a 10-point lead into halftime.
Mattison took a direct snap in a wildcat formation and ran it in from the 12 to tie it at 7 in the second quarter. After Kekoa Nawahine intercepted BYU’s pass and returned it 51 yards to the Cougars 22, Boise State settled for a short field goal and a 10-7 lead.
Boise State took a two-score lead with 36 seconds left in the half on Sean Modster’s first career touchdown catch. Mattison scored the only points of the second half on a 2-yard run early in the fourth to cap an 82-yard drive.
Memphis 70 Connecticut 31(EAST HARTFORD, Conn.) (Fri.)
After a suffering its first loss of 2017 less than a week ago, the University of Memphis football squad hit on all cylinders in its 70-31 American Athletic Conference win over Connecticut Friday night. The contest was played before a crowd of 19,230 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium.
Those in attendance at the contest saw school record-tying efforts from Tigers quarterback Riley Ferguson and wide receiver Anthony Miller. Ferguson tied a program single-game record with seven touchdown tosses, and Miller tied his own single-game receptions mark with 15 catches. Miller also set a school single-game record with four touchdown receptions.
Ferguson tied Paxton Lynch’s record of seven scoring passes. Lynch had seven touchdown strikes in the 2015 regular-season finale win over SMU. Miller first set his own single-game receptions record with 15 catches in the 2016 regular-season finale victory over No. 18/21 Houston.
In fact, the entire Memphis offense got into the “setting-record” act. The Tigers racked up a school-record 711 yards of total offense. It is the second 700-yard total offense game in program history and the second in the last three seasons (704 yards at Tulsa in 2015).
Memphis also snapped 100 plays, which is only the second time in program history that the Tigers had 100 plays in a game. The Tigers ran 108 plays in a 2007 contest against SMU.
Toledo 20 Eastern Michigan 15 (TOLEDO, Ohio)
Senior quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 289 yards and sophomore safety Kahlil Robinson intercepted two passes to lead Toledo (4-1, 1-0 MAC) to a hard-fought 20-15 victory over Eastern Michigan (2-3, 0-2 MAC) in UT’s Homecoming game at the Glass Bowl on Saturday.
Robinson, starting in his first game as a collegian, picked off his second pass at the UT 31-yard line with 55 seconds left in the game to snuff out a last-minute Eagle rally and clinch the Rocket victory.
Woodside completed 23-of-34 passes on the day. His top target was sophomore Diontae Johnson, who caught eight passes for 97 yards. Sophomore Art Thompkins, starting in place of the injured Terry Swanson, led the rushing attack with 94 yards on 15 carries. The Rockets out-gained Eastern Michigan, 419-326, holding the Eagles to just 73 yards rushing on 23 attempts.
Toledo’s leading receiver, senior Cody Thompson, was injured early in the game and never returned. Head coach Jason Candle said after the game that Thompson suffered a leg injury and likely is lost for the season.
Western Michigan 71 Buffalo 68 (7OT) (TOLEDO, Ohio)
Senior running back Jarvion Franklin ran in from the 12 to give defending Mid-American Conference champion Western Michigan (4-2, 2-0 MAC) a 71-68 victory over Buffalo Saturday in an FBS record-tying seven overtimes with a record-breaking 139 total points.
Buffalo (3-3, 1-1 MAC) had just converted on a 25-yard field goal to open the door for the Broncos who scored in just four plays. It was the fourth game in FBS history to go into seven overtimes. The Syracuse-Pittsburgh game (Nov. 26, 2016) had a total of 137 points. Western Michigan scored 10 touchdowns overall on the night.
Missed, made and blocked field goals made the difference in the game, as both offenses grew stronger as the contest wore on. Buffalo’s Adam Mitcheson nailed a 34-yarder to tie the score at 31 with 34 seconds left in regulation. Western Michigan freshman kicker Josh Grant attempted a 52-yarder as time expired but UB’s Jarrett Franklin tipped the kick to deny a chance at a regulation win.
Each side also had missed opportunities over the seven overtime periods, as each converted just one two-point conversion.