Games to Watch This Weekend!
Temple @ USF, Thursday at 7:00pm CT on ESPN
The Temple Owls (5-3, 2-2) will visit the South Florida Bulls(4-4, 2-2) on Thursday night before a national television audience. The Bulls have recovered from a 1-3 start to win three of their past four, but a difficult four-game stretch lies ahead and they likely need a victory on Thursday in order to stand a reasonable chance of reaching bowl-eligibility. Jordan Cronkrite leads the Bulls with 587 yards rushing and four touchdowns of his own. The senior running back has rushed for over 129 yards in three of the last four games. The Owls have seen a contrasting trajectory, as they have watched the momentum from their 5-1 start dissolve in the form of two consecutive blowout losses. Temple can clinch their fifth straight bowl-eligible season with a win, the best five-year span in school history. Anthony Russo is the primary signal caller for the Owls. He is 159-of-274 (58 percent) for 1,873 yards and 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions on the season. The redshirt junior got off to a hot start, but has thrown just five touchdowns and three interceptions over the last four weeks.
UAB @ Southern Miss, Saturday at 2:30pm CT on NFLN
The UAB Blazers and Southern Miss Golden Eagles are currently neck and neck in the West division of CUSA, tied for #2 behind LA Tech, and this weeks game will determine who stays in the race for the West title. A Southern Miss win this weekend would make them bowl eligible for the 23rd time in the last 26 years. Not only is this game a major pivotal point for the remainder of the season, but it is also a rivalry game. With the two CUSA teams playing yearly, and only a 3 and a half hour drive separating the two, the rivalry is meaningful to fans and players of both teams. The Blazers enter week 11 with undoubtedly the best defense in CUSA. UAB has held their opponents to 17.5 points per game, and 255.3 yards per game, ranking first in both of those categories in CUSA. While the UAB defense is strong, the Southern Miss offense has shown throughout the season that they can be highly productive, even under pressure. The Golden Eagles offense is led by QB Jack Abraham, who leads CUSA and ranks #5 nationally in passing with 308.8 yards per game. Abraham and the Southern Miss offense have a wide variety of formations, play options, and targets that will be one of the biggest challenges the UAB defense has seen so far this year. With a rivalry game on the line, as well as division standings, this game is going to be exciting and pivotal for the rest of the season.
Wyoming @ Boise State, Saturday at 9:15pm CT on ESPN
The Boise State Broncos may be ranked #21 in the most recent AP Top 25 poll, but the Wyoming Cowboys are only one game behind the Broncos in the Mountain West standings, and could create a major shift with a win this weekend. Although Wyoming boasts a record not too far behind Boise State, Wyoming suffered the loss of QB Sean Chambers two weeks ago, who has now been deemed out for the remainder of the season with a left knee injury. This unfortunate injury means that Wyoming will be starting QB Tyler Vander Waal as the Cowboys take on the Broncos. Vander Waal doesn’t enter this position without experience, however. Vander Waal was the Cowboys starting QB at the beginning of the 2018 season, but after a 2-6 start, he was benched in favor of true freshman QB Sean Chambers, who has since turned the Cowboys around. With Sean Chambers out for the season, Vander Waal has an opportunity to prove himself yet again in a game that could create massive shifts in both the Mountain West standings and the National Top 25. Boise State will look to take advantage of Wyoming’s offense with their aggressive defense, led by big man Curtis Weaver. At 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, Weaver is explosive as he flies off the edge and threatens offenses with a sack. With Wyoming starting a QB who has yet to prove himself, the Boise State defense will look to attack the Wyoming weakness to secure a win. However, Vander Waal has been waiting for a second chance to lead the Cowboys for over a year, and his motivation to finally prove himself could overpower the Broncos defensive efforts.
Miami (OH) @ Ohio, Wednesday at 7:00pm CT on ESPN2
The MAC rivals sit on top of the Eastern Division of the MAC tied for first place, and the winner of the rivalry game this week will solidify their spot as the sole leader of the East Division. Miami (OH) started the season with a tough non-conference schedule, taking losses to Iowa, Cincinnati, and Ohio State. Since their challenging start, Miami (OH) has gone 3-1 against MAC opponents. Similarly, Ohio started with 3 losses to tough non-conference teams, and has since fought their way to 3-1 in the MAC. This leaves the two teams tied for first place in the East Division of the MAC going into the big rivalry game. Miami (OH) has relied heavily on their rushing attack this season, but they’ve had no trouble getting the ball down the field and into the endzone. The rush-heavy offense put up 289 rushing yards on 49 carries in last weeks win over Kent State, led by Tyre Shelton, with 148 rushing yards alone. Ohio has struggled to defend the run this season, allowing an average of 205 rushing yards per game, so Miami (OH) will be looking to take full advantage of Ohio’s weak spot. Ohio’s strongest asset is without a doubt QB Nathan Rourke, who is the only player in the MAC to rank in the top 10 for both passing and rushing yards. The dual-threat quarterback has recorded 536 total rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, and 10 passing touchdowns this season. With the additional support of strong running backs, Nathan Rourke leads an offense that will be very difficult to slow down.