Highlights: CSJ FBS Group of Five Top Five Games and Recap of Week 4

Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill, right, hugs QB Chase Cunningham (16) after they beat Miami 45-31. (Courtesy of AP)

Week Four had one of the biggest upsets yet in this college football season.  Middle Tennessee knocked off Top 25 ranked Miami (FL) 45-31 in Miami.  Blue Raider QB Chase Cunningham threw touchdown passes of 71, 69 and 98 yards while just completing 16 passes but those completions went for a whopping 408 yards.

The MTSU lead was 17-3 after one quarter and 24-10 at halftime. In the third quarter, hyped Hurricane QB Tyler Van Dyke was benched and backup Jake Garcia seemed to give the Hurricanes some life.

With the score 31-17, Garcia drove Miami all the way to the goal line but was unable to get the Hurricanes into the end zone to cut the deficit to just seven points. Miami was stuffed on two runs from the 1-yard line and then Garcia’s pass for Will Mallory on fourth down fell incomplete.

Backed up in its own end zone after the goal line stand, Middle Tennessee wasn’t content to simply get some breathing room and run some clock. Cunningham went back to the air and bombed one down the left sideline to WR DJ England-Chisolm for a 98-yard touchdown.

That highlight-reel touchdown gave the Blue Raiders a 38-17 lead with 14:45 to play. Miami would twice get the deficit to 14 points, but just could not get the stops it needed to make the comeback as MTSU would complete a monstrous upset.

Here are full highlights of this game:

Other P5 Wins

Three other Group of Five squads defeated their P5 foes this week.  Cincinnati won at home over Indiana, while UCF also won at home over Georgia Tech.  Miami of Ohio won on the road over Northwestern. 

Cincinnati WR Tyler Scott became the first Bearcat player to record three touchdown receptions in a half, and Cincinnati used 21 second quarter points over a four-minute span to turn a one-score game into a 45-24 victory over the Hoosiers. 

Headlined by 284 yards rushing, the UCF defeated Georgia Tech.  QB Rhys Plumlee completed just eight passes, the Knights scored on a blocked punt and rode four Colton Boomer field goals to a 27-10 win.

Miami shocked Northwestern as K Graham Nicholson a nailed a tiebreaking 36-yard field goal with 21 seconds left to give the Redhawks the 17-14 victory. It was Miami’s first Big Ten win since they also beat Northwestern in 2003. 

See highlights of these games below:

Sun Belt Shockers

Last season’s two championship game participants in Appalachian State and Louisiana both fell this week.  App State lost at home to SBC newcomer and transitioning FBS James Madison.  Louisiana fell at in-state rival Louisiana-Monroe. 

App State, who two weeks ago shocked the college football landscape with its win at Texas A&M, looked like they would cruise to a rather easy win as the Mountaineers built a 28-3 lead well into the second quarter. But the Dukes, who were playing in their first SBC game, mounted scored the games last 29 points for the 32-28 victory. The win kept JMU undefeated and are just one of two G5 teams still unscathed in joining fellow SBC East member Coastal Carolina as the lone undefeated squads.

ULM also rallied from being down early in the game. The Warhawks were down 17-7 in the fourth quarter. Chandler Roger and Malik Jackson had touchdown runs as ULM scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Ragin’ Cajuns 21-17. The Warhawks w0n the Battle on the Bayou for the first time since 2017.

UTEP rise

UTEP was for the last few years one of the games that teams thought as an easy victory on their schedules.  Well, that is no longer the case.  The Miners showed on Friday that they are a team on the rise.  UTEP defeated one of the G5’s top recent schools in Boise State this week that they are a team on the rise. 

The Miners not only defeated the Broncos but beat them rather soundly. UTEP had a touchdown throw by QB Gavin Hardison and PR Marcus Bellon returned a punt for another score as the Miners defeated Boise State 27-10.

This win puts the Miners now at 2-2 with losses to Oklahoma and New Mexico. Boise State also drops to 2-2 with the loss. The Broncos fired offensive coordinator Tim Plough on Saturday and replaced him with former college and NFL head coach Dirk Koetter for the rest of the season. Boise State head coach Andy Avalos announced the change a day after this stunning loss for the Broncos.

Undefeated Team goes down

As mentioned above, there are just two undefeated teams in the G5 ranks right now with James Madison and Coastal Carolina.  Tulane though was the third undefeated team and the Green Wave were just coming off an upset win a week ago at Big 12 Kansas State. 

This week, Tulane hosted Battle for the Bell rival Southern Miss this week.  USM had not won a game yet this season so it looked like Tulane might get to 4-0. 

But the Golden Eagles had other plans in this game. 

Southern Miss QB Zach Wilcke threw a pair of touchdown passes, Eric Scott returned an interception for a score and Southern Miss scored their first win of the season, beating previously unbeaten Tulane 27-24.

Wilcke’s 37-yard touchdown pass to WR Jakarius Caston tied it at 17 late in the third quarter. Scott’s pick-6 stretched the Southern Miss lead to 27-17 with 7:07 remaining. Wilcke was 17-of-25 passing for 194 yards. Caston had eight receptions for 91 yards.

See highlight of the interception that sealed the game below:

Top 5 Games

Here are my top five games outside of what I showed above. The best game had to be Navy’s two overtime win over East Carolina.

Here are highlights of these games with game recaps in the hyperlink.