CFB Roundup in the Group of Five: Week 5 Recap
American Athletic Conference
No. 24 Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati (4-1) enters Week 6 as the only ranked team in the Group of five. The Bearcats have outscored the rest of the American conference, hosting the 18th-best offense in the nation (40.2 points per game).
At the helm is redshirt senior Ben Bryant. He threw for 3,121 yards and 14 touchdowns last year with the Eagles and has picked up right where he left off — tossing 13 touchdown passes with Cincinnati, almost matching his career high through five games.
A little under half of those scores have gone to junior receiver Tyler Scott, who accounted for 500 yards and six scores in 2022. The 5’11 star wideout has 28 grabs on the year and continues to produce for the Cincinnati offense.
The Bearcats aren’t slouching on defense either. They rank 35th in the nation, allowing 20.6 points per game. Redshirt junior Ivan Pace Jr. has five sacks on the year, leading the squad. The 6’0 linebacker has looked unstoppable off the edge.
The Bearcats take on a conference opponent this week, the South Florida Bulls.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
The Hilltoppers (3-2) look to this next week deadlocked with the Rice Owls and UTSA Roadrunners for the Conference-USA lead. All three teams are 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the conference, and Western Kentucky will look to rely on their high-powered offense to get the job done.
The red and gray rank 9th in the country offensively, scoring a whopping 43.4 points per game. They’re led by the West Florida transfer, quarterback Austin Reed, who has impressed early: 72 percent completion percentage for 1,669 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Looking beyond the Hilltoppers' attack, there are some real flaws defensively. Western Kentucky ranks 52nd in the nation allowing 22.2 points per game. Their offense may hide some deficiencies, but a top defense could present some challenges.
Western Kentucky will face UTSA this upcoming week in a Conference-USA showdown.
The Rebels (4-1) come in with the best offense in the Mountain West conference, scoring 37.8 points per game. They’re led by 6’5 sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield, who has notched 1,223 yards for eight scores thus far.
Although the passing numbers may be underwhelming compared to some Mountain West competition, UNLV has had no trouble moving the ball on the ground. Junior running back Aidan Robbins has eclipsed 509 yards on the year for eight touchdowns, ripping off 4.9 yards a carry.
Defensively, the Rebels are allowing 22.4 points per game, which ranks around the middle of the pack. Although they come in undefeated in conference play, UNLV has yet to be challenged so far.
They have a tough test ahead of them this week, however, as they take on the San Jose State Spartans (3-1).
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
The Chanticleers (5-0) are one of the few undefeated teams left standing in college football. They rank 33rd in the country offensively, scoring 36.4 points per game. They’re led by junior quarterback Grayson McCall, who has been impressive in 2022: 1,332 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Defensively is a different story for Coastal Carolina. They are 77th in the country, allowing 27 points per game. Although teams have no trouble scoring on them, the blue and gold have only given up one 30-point score on them thus far.
The real question with the Chanticleers is the strength of their opponents. They may be undefeated, but they struggled to knock off inferior teams like Georgia Southern and Gardner-Webb. Time will tell if this team is a legit contender.
Coastal Carolina will take on the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-3) this week.
Parker Silverman is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email email@example.com.