Keeping Score

C-USA Top 5: Herd on top, Blue Raiders continue to impress

Conference USA is entering week No. 6 and it's just getting weirder as the season goes along.

Marshall is still the clear No. 1 in the C-USA Top 5, but Middle Tennessee appears to be getting better by the game.

Here you have it, the top five teams in C-USA for week six.

1. Marshall (4-0): The Thundering Herd had the week off and sits at 4-0. Marshall has been by far the most stable team in the league. If it can keep up that consistency, it could be in contention for a major bowl bid at the end of the season. Cincinnati's 50-28 loss to Ohio State helps out Marshall's case somewhat, but East Carolina (3-1) might be the favorite for the major bowl bid out of the Group of 5 at the moment.

2. Middle Tennessee (3-2, 2-0): Following the 41-28 win at Old Dominion, MTSU looks like a team capable of playing spoiler in the East. Austin Grammer is a good dual-threat quarterback and the Raiders can create turnovers on defense.

3. Western Kentucky (2-2, 0-1): The Hilltoppers' 36-27 win at Navy Saturday is as good as any win in the conference this season. We all know WKU can score, but the defense held its own against a difficult Navy offense Saturday. The triple-overtime, 50-47, loss at MTSU in week three isn't looking so bad right now.

4. Florida Atlantic (2-3, 1-0): After getting pushed around the first two weeks by Nebraska and Alabama, the Owls have looked much better the last three games. They have two quality wins over Tulsa and Texas-San Antonio and a 20-19 loss at Wyoming during that stretch. FAU moved into this spot because it is playing better of late and other contenders are suddenly struggling.

5. Old Dominion (3-2, 0-1): OK, Monarchs … You get another week in the C-USA Top 5, but you are on the clock. ODU hosts undefeated Marshall at 11 a.m. on Saturday in a game that should involve plenty of points … with most of them likely on the Marshall side. If ODU hangs with the Thundering Herd Saturday, it might have another week in the C-USA Top 5 … Did you notice that every team in the top five is in the East? Go figure.


C-USA Star of the Week: While Old Dominion may not be a defensive juggernaut, MTSU sophomore quarterback Austin Grammer was mighty impressive Friday in a 41-28 victory over ODU. He completed 25-of-30 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns and ran 11 times for 67 yards and two scores.

C-USA's Worst Week: UAB had such a positive buzz surrounding its football program for the first time in a while. That was until FIU came to Legion Field and spoiled the party with a 34-20 victory Saturday. UAB won nearly every statistical category, but committed a whopping six turnovers compared to FIU's zero. 

The San Antonio blues: Everybody was starting to cozy up to Texas-San Antonio (1-3, 0-1) after it whipped Houston, 27-7, in the opener and went toe-to-toe with Arizona in a 26-23 loss in the second week. Things didn't go as well in a 43-13 loss at Oklahoma State and the Roadrunners received a rude awakening with a last-second loss, 41-37, loss at Florida Atlantic on Saturday. It's a long way from San Antonio to Boca Raton, Fla., and there's no reason to panic over a loss to a decent FAU squad. A win over New Mexico Saturday should be the cure for UTSA.

Mean Green's chance to impress: The folks in Denton, Texas, believe that they've solved their quarterback problem with freshman Dajon Williams looking good in garbage time against Louisiana Tech and the 77-0 loss at Nicholls State. We'll find out how he responds on the road when North Texas travels to take on Indiana at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. C-USA has yet to pick up a win this season over a Power 5 team and this match-up gives the league a chance. The Hoosiers (2-2) are no pushover as proven by their 31-27 victory at Missouri, but this is a winnable game for North Texas (2-2).

Jaquez to the rescue: FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson led a nine-play, 93-yard drive capped by his 15-yard touchdown pass to Nate Terry with 20 seconds remaining to get the 41-37 victory over UTSA. Johnson has the potential to emerge as a star in C-USA and it appears he may be on his way.