Highlights: CSJ FBS Group of Five Top Five Games and Recap of Week 6

Houston takes the field for the first time this past Thursday at home versus Tulane in the Cougars first game of the season for the team. (Courtesy of UH Athletics)

This week was the weekend of Hurricane Delta. The highly anticipated match-up of two undefeated Sun Belt teams in Louisiana and Coastal Carolina was to happen this Saturday but that game was moved to next week Wednesday.

But the weekend was still full of great action with two American Athletic Conference teams finally getting on the field in Houston and Temple.

Two undefeated independent teams in BYU and surprising Liberty looked to remain undefeated with each of their home games. And those two did just that

The big game in Conference USA this week was Marshall visiting Western Kentucky with those two teams in the opposite divisions selected to finish high in their divisions but it wound up not being much of a game with Marshall winning easily and also stayed undefeated.

Army looked for its fourth win and on paper before the game looked liked a sure win with an FCS opponent visiting West Point. But The Citadel gave the Black Knights all they could handle with Army eking out a narrow win.

Houston, We Have Lift Off

The Houston Cougars started their game this past Thursday and looked like a team playing its first game of the season in hosting Tulane. After five weeks of games called off though with three of them happening due to their opponents having to call-off the games due to COVID-19 reasons, Houston did finally play its first contest 53 days after it started fall camp.

The Cougars though started the game with two turnovers that directly went for Tulane touchdowns in the teams first three drives. Houston would end with five turnovers on the game.

But despite the turnovers and trailing at halftime 24-21, Houston would win this game easily over the Green Wave in the end with a 49-31 final.

WR Marquez Stevenson had a touchdown receiving and had another on a kickoff return. He finished with five catches for 118 yards. QB Clayton Tune threw for over 300 yards with two touchdowns passing and added another rushing.

Owls Also Take the Field

Temple was another school that had not yet played a game this year. After all of its non-conference games were canceled, the school decided not to try to get any replacements. So the visit to Navy as their AAC opener would also be its season opener.

The Owls stood blow for blow with the Midshipmen in this game and scored on a RB Re’Mahn Davis 1-yard run to cut Navy’s led to 31-29 with 1:02 left in the game and the Owls had to go for two points to tie. QB Anthony Russo went to Davis out of the backfield, but Navy’s Terrell Adams was right on him to bat the ball away to preserve the Midshipmen lead and ultimately the win.

Give Me Liberty!

Liberty scored three special-teams touchdowns and held Louisiana-Monroe below 200 yards of total offense in a dominant 40-7 victory.

QB Malik Willis passed for 177 yards and rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown in his return to the lineup after missing late week’s win over FCS North Alabama.

The Flames improved to 4-0, now as one of three such teams in FBS (SMU & BYU) to reach that number of wins with no losses. It is the first 4-0 start for Liberty since 2008 when the Flames were an FCS squad.

The Flames have no won six games in a row dating back to last year but will see an uptick in competition starting this upcoming week with a visit to the ACC’s Syracuse.

BYU Hangs On to Stay Perfect

BYU had won its first three games very impressively with wins over Navy, Troy and Louisiana Tech. But the Cougars had a “clunker” of sorts in their game with Texas-San Antonio.

The Cougars’ victory over UTSA was a win but BYU had a season-low 470 yards on offense, a season-high seven penalties for 55 yards, and the first-ever scoreless quarter of the 2020 season.

But in the end BYU still won 27-20 to get to 4-0 and will get a tough road test at Houston next week.

Marshall, Marshall, Marshall

Marshall has had a three week break in games–remember its last game was the home upset at home against Appalachian State.

The break for the Thundering Herd did not seem to affect them as they dominated both sides of the ball in its domniating 38-14 win at Western Kentucky.

RB Brenden Knox had scoring runs covered 45, 1 and 9 yards and he finished with 107 yards on 15 carries. QB Grant Wells went 16-of-22 for 162 yards. 

The Herd defense limited the Hilltoppers to 294 total yards on the night and 85 on the ground. LB Tavante Beckett recovered three fumbles including a 38-yard scoop and score in the third quarter.

MAC Attack

The Mid-American Conference was the last FBS confrence to announce its intention to play this fall and this past week the conference was the last to announce its schedule The league will get going on Nov. 4th with six regular season games and the conference title game in Detroit on Dec. 18th.

COVID-19 and Hurricane Delta Postponements

It is tough to keep count as leagues have moved games to new weeks but last week, the games this week that were postponed.

The Louisiana-Coastal Carolina was initially slated for Oct. 17.

However, it was moved up to this past Wednesday when Louisiana’s game against Appalachian State was postponed until Dec. 4 or 5 due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Appalachian State.

Now due to COVID-19 also involving Georgia Southern and Appalachian State along with Hurricane Delta, the Louisiana and Coastal Carolina game will be moved to next Wednesday.

Two other G5 games were postponed. Here is that list and the new games dates:

GameOriginal DateNew Date
Louisiana at Appalachian StateOct. 3Dec. 4 or 5
UAB at RiceOct. 10TBD
FAU at Southern MissOct. 10TBD
Appalachian State at Georgia SouthernOct. 14Dec. 12

Top 5 Games of the Week

Below are my top five Group of Five games of the week with highlights and a full recap of the game in the hyperlink.

1. Navy 31 Temple 29  (Annapolis, Md.)

2. Middle Tennessee St. 31 FIU 28  (Miami, Fla.)

3. Louisiana Tech 21 UTEP 17  (Ruston, La.)

4. BYU 27 UTSA 20  (Provo, Utah)

5. Army 14 The Citadel 9  (West Point, N.Y.)

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