Games to Watch This Weekend!
Temple @ SMU, Saturday at 2:30pm on ESPN2
#19 SMU will try to stay perfect as it hosts Temple on Saturday. The Mustangs are coming off a 21-point comeback over Tulsa before their bye week, while Temple handed Memphis its first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon. This is a battle between the top two teams in the AAC, so this game could also prove to be a significant tiebreaker over who hosts an AAC title game, should both Temple and SMU qualify. Temple and SMU have matched up five other times, including Temple defeating SMU, 45-20, at home in the most recent meeting between these two programs on Oct. 1, 2016. Temple is 2-1-2 in its five all-time, head-to-head matchups against SMU. This should be an exciting matchup between two explosive offenses, with SMU averaging nearly 500 yards of total offense and 44 points and temple averaging slightly less in both categories at more than 440 yards or offense and nearly 30 points per game.
Southern Miss @ Louisiana Tech, Saturday at 2:30pm on NFL Network
The battle for the top spot in the CUSA West will be a showcase of the two top passing offenses in the conference. A win for either school would push them to #1 in the West division of CUSA, and a Louisiana Tech win would make them bowl eligible for the 6th straight season. Southern Mississippi is led by QB Jack Abraham, the leading passer in CUSA with an average of 322 YPG and a total of nearly 2000 yards so far this season. Abraham has two extremely productive targets, WR Quez Watkins and Jordan Mitchell, who rank at #1 and #3 receivers in CUSA. Louisiana Tech heads into this week ranked at #1, just above Southern Mississippi with one more win. The Bulldogs have been successful both running and passing the ball so far this season, and Junior RB Justin Henderson, a JUCO transfer, has been a key part of the Louisiana Tech offense. Last week, Henderson ran for 137 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 receiving touchdown against Massachustus.
Air Force @ Hawaii, Saturday at 10:00pm on CBSS
With both teams sitting at 4-2 on the season, this Mountain West matchup could come down to the wire, with Air Force favored to win by only 3 points. The Rainbow Warriors hope to move on after a tough loss to undefeated Boise State last week. As each team sits near the top of their division, a win this weekend is necessary to keep their season going strong. Air Force is a dangerous team when they run the ball, ranking #2 in the nation for rushing yards with 296.5
yards. On the other hand, Hawaii QB Cole McDonald is #8 in the nation for passing yards, with 1880 yards in the air this season. The contrasting offensive strengths will provide for an exciting game that could be very back and forth, and a thrilling finish could be in store for this weekends Mountain West matchup.
Western Michigan @ Eastern Michigan, Saturday at 6:00pm on ESPN+
In state rivalries always promise to bring huge hype, and the circumstances of this weeks matchup add even more to that hype. Western Michigan enters this week as the highest scoring team in the MAC, but it’s no secret that the Bronco offense is powerful, the biggest surprise coming into this week is actually the defensive performance from the Broncos in Week 7. Holding Miami (OH) to only 16 points, the Broncos defense stepped it up in Week 7, and even recorded 3 interceptions, one of which was a pick six. The Eastern Michigan Eagles will fight to bring their 3-3 record to a winning record this weekend against a rival. The Eagles started the season strong with a 3-1 non-conference record, including a win over Big10 school Illinois. The Eagles have since fallen in their last 2 games, but look to regain speed this week with a big win over a rival. While the Broncos seem to be coming into this week with some confidence, they are 0-3 on the road this season, so the Eagles may have some additional confidence as they play on their own turf.