Keeping up with C-USA: FAU Owls fly, MTSU brings fight to the Hokies

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AP Photo / John Raoux

Florida Atlantic quarterback N’Kosi Perry (7) runs during the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Florida on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021 in Gainesville, Florida

Wyatt Sparkman, Football reporter

Another week of college football action is in the books. WKU lost a hard-fought game against the Army Black Knights on Saturday, but how did the rest of the Hilltoppers’ conference foes fare this week? Read on to find out:

C-USA East 

Charlotte 49ers 

Charlotte (2-0) hosted FCS Gardner Webb (0-2) for a 38-10 win Saturday night with the 49ers rushing for a total of 317 yards and four touchdowns. Redshirt senior quarterback Chris Reynolds came back down to earth, completing just 58% of his passes for 103 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. 

Florida Atlantic Owls 

The Owls (1-1) scored 38 unanswered points to throttle the Georgia Southern Eagles (0-2) 38-6. FAU graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns, earning C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors along with WKU graduate quarterback Bailey Zappe. 

Florida International Panthers 

FIU (1-1) hosted the Texas State Bobcats (1-1) Saturday night in a thrilling 23-17 overtime win for Texas State. The Bobcats punched in an 11-yard game-winning touchdown run after FIU redshirt senior quarterback Max Bortenschlager fumbled on the first possession of overtime. 

Bortenschlager completed 50% of his passes for 259 yards and two scores while senior running back D’Vonte Price rushed for 111 yards for 4.8 yards per carry.  

Marshall Thundering Herd

Marshall (2-0) came away with a commanding 44-10 win against FCS North Carolina Central (1-1) Saturday night. Thundering Herd redshirt freshman quarterback Grant Wells torched the NC Central defense for 347 yards and three touchdowns along with a touchdown on the ground. 

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders 

The Blue Raiders (1-1) traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia on Saturday afternoon to play the No. 14 Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0). MTSU kept the first half close before the Hokies scored 21 unanswered points in the second half, winning 35-14. Blue Raiders senior wide receiver Jimmy Marshall caught eight passes for 111 yards. 

Old Dominion Monarchs

Old Dominion (1-1) dominated FCS Hampton (1-1) 47-7 Saturday evening. The Monarchs scored 41 unanswered points to open up the contest. ODU’s running back tandem of freshman Jon-Luke Peaker and redshirt sophomore Elijah Davis both ran for over 100 yards, combining for an absurd 253 yards on 26 carries. 

C-USA West 

Alabama-Birmingham Blazers 

UAB (1-1) traveled to Athens, Georgia to play the No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs (2-0) Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs throttled the Blazers 56-7. UAB totaled just 174 yards of offense compared to Georgia’s 539 yards. UAB sophomore running back Dewayne McBride rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries for 4.7 yards per carry.       

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 

The Bulldogs (1-1) hosted in-state FCS foe Southeastern Louisiana (1-1) in a close 45-42 win Saturday night. SELA senior quarterback Cole Kelly fumbled with 59 seconds left to play, ending the Lions’ hopes of an upset. 

The La Tech running back duo of graduate Marcus Williams Jr. and freshman Harlan Dixon combined for 156 yards on 7.4 yards per carry. Graduate quarterback Austin Kendall went 19-for-27 for 217 yards with one touchdown through the air and one on the ground along with one interception.           

North Texas Mean Green 

North Texas (1-1) traveled 43 miles to the south to play in-state rival Southern Methodist (2-0) Saturday evening. SMU held a slim 7-6 lead throughout a tight first half before the Mustangs opened the game up after the break, winning the game 35-12. Mean Green sophomore quarterback Jace Ruder threw for 366 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. 

Rice Owls 

The Owls (0-2) played the visiting Houston Cougars (1-1) Saturday night. The Cougars dominated the Owls in a 44-7 blowout. Rice redshirt freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey, brother of NFL superstar Christian McCaffrey, completed a dreadful 47% of his passes for 86 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. 

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 

USM (1-1) shutout visiting FCS Grambling State 37-0 Saturday evening. Freshman running back Frank Gore Jr. rushed for 162 yards on 21 carries while scoring one touchdown for the Golden Eagles. USM redshirt sophomore quarterback Trey Lowe completed 77% of his passes for 99 yards and a score.  

Texas-El Paso Miners

The Miners (2-1) traveled up to Boise, Idaho on Friday night to play the Boise State Broncos (1-1) on its blue turf field. The Broncos controlled the game throughout, working their way to a 41-13 lead at half before winning the game in dominant fashion 54-13. UTEP redshirt sophomore quarterback Gavin Hardison went 15-for-24 for 223 yards and one touchdown to go along with three interceptions. 

Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 

UTSA (2-0) hosted FCS Lamar (0-1) Saturday night, posting the program’s first-ever shutout in a 54-0 slaughter. The Roadrunners scored two non-offensive touchdowns during the game, the first on senior wide receiver Sheldon Jones’ 76-yard punt return and the second on senior linebacker Charles Wiley’s scoop-and-score.  

The Hilltoppers will take the rest of the week off but will be back at Houchens-Smith sStadium on Saturday, Sept. 25 to host the Indiana Hoosiers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

Football reporter Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @wyattsparkman3.