Around the Group of 5: Week 6
College football is well underway as the halfway point of the regular season nears. While every year this topic pops up, it seems like this may be the year where a Group of 5 team makes it to the College Football Playoff.
There were some exciting games over the weekend, we’ll also take a look at some games this coming week.
Starting it off in the American Athletic Conference, No. 5 Cincinnati has cemented itself as true playoff contenders. This weekend the Bearcats traveled to South Bend, In. and topped No. 9 Notre Dame, 24-13.
Senior Desmond Ridder proved to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country with a masterful performance. Ridder threw for 297 yards, two touchdowns and added another on the ground. Cincinnati is back at home to open up conference play against Temple at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Also, SMU improved to 5-0 and cracked the top-25 coming in at No. 24 with a win over South Florida, 41-17. Quarterback Tanner Mordecai had 301 yards and four touchdowns through the air for the Mustangs.
In Conference USA, it was a lackluster week for most teams, but not for UTSA, who remained perfect. The Roadrunners escaped on Saturday against winless UNLV, 24-17. Senior signal-caller Frank Harris fueled UTSA going 24 of 30 with 278 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Moving along to the Independents, BYU stayed perfect and jumped up to No. 10 in the newest rankings. Over the weekend, the Cougars powered past Utah State, 34-20, thanks to 218 rushing yards and three touchdowns by sophomore Tyler Allgeier.
This weekend BYU welcomes Boise State for a showdown in Provo, kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. on ABC.
Over in the Mountain West, previously-ranked No. 18 Fresno State was upset by Hawai’i, 27-24. The Rainbow Warriors forced six turnovers and shut out the Bulldogs 17-0 in the fourth quarter on their way to the victory.
The new top team in the Mountain West is No. 25 San Diego State. The Aztecs are 4-0 but did not play this weekend. In their last contest, two weeks ago, they defeated Towson, 48-21.
Heading down to the Sun Belt Conference, the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina continue to climb up the rankings clocking in at No. 15 in the most recent AP poll.
This weekend Coastal Carolina torched Louisiana-Monroe, 59-6. Quarterback Grayson McCall continued his impressive sophomore season going a perfect 13 of 13 with 212 yards and two touchdowns.
Finishing it off with the MAC, Western Michigan sits atop the standings after beating Buffalo, 24-17, to increase their winning streak to four games. Kaleb Eleby fueled the Broncos with 279 yards through the air and two touchdowns.
Just behind Western Michigan is Northern Illinois who held off Eastern Michigan, 27-20. The Huskies are now 3-2 on the year and have been led by their rushing attack, averaging 220 rushing yards per game. Rocky Lombardi and Clint Ratkovich each had a rushing touchdown over the weekend.
Northern Illinois is on the road this weekend against Toledo who is also 3-2 on the year. While Western Michigan welcomes Ball State to Waldo Stadium.
Matthew Scalzo is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com