2021 Week 9 Summary

Week 9 in the Group of Five (G5) saw the following breakdown of games:

  • 22 G5 Conference Games
  • 1 G5 vs G5 Independent
  • 1 G5 vs P5 Game

With most of the MAC taking the week off to prepare for next week’s weekday games, we saw a reduced slate in the Group of Five.  However, it wasn’t without fireworks. 

10 G5 teams scored more than 40 points in wins during week 9, with two losing teams scoring more than 40.  In total, 1418 points were scored in 24 games, an average of nearly 60 a game. 

BYU claimed its fifth P5 win of the season in a shootout with Virginia 66-49 that saw over 1300 combined yards of offense.  Houston knocked SMU from the ranks of the unbeaten in dramatic fashion with a 100-yard kick-off return in the final minute of the game.   Fresno State gave San Diego State its first loss with a 30-20 win in San Diego. 

Winners

Houston.  The Cougars moved into sole possession of first place in the AAC with a intense win over previously undefeated SMU.  Marcus Jones returned a kickoff with approximately 30 seconds remaining 100 yards for the score and the win for the Cougars.   With the win, the Cougars are in fantastic position to claim one of the two AAC Championship game slots.  The primary obstacle they face will be a struggling Memphis team.   

Bowl Eligibility.  As of 10/31/21, 16 Group of Five teams have reached the 6-win threshold for bowl eligibility.  8 G5 teams sit at five wins and 18 more are at four wins.  In 2019, 37 G5 teams qualified for bowls.  There are 36 G5 bowl slots up for grabs and potentially a few more if there are not enough P5 teams qualify. 

Fresno State.  Fresno State followed up their dramatic win over Nevada with another solid performance in knocking San Diego State from the unbeaten ranks in a 30-20 victory.  The Bulldogs took advantage of 3 Aztec turnovers to compliment another solid performance by QB Jake Haener.  In doing so, the Bulldogs grabbed the tiebreaker in the MWC West over their closest two competitors (Nevada and San Diego State). 

Losers:

Coastal Carolina & Tulsa.  A week after a capacity crowd in Boone, NC watched a thrilling match-up between App State and Coastal Carolina, the Chanticleer fans simply didn’t show for their home game against Troy.  While weather played a part, the stands were practically empty and looked significantly less than the announced attendance of 11,600.  Tulsa suffered a similar fate with stands looking barren in their Friday game with Navy.  The fans in the stands did not look to be anywhere close to the announced attendance of 16,300.  We point this out as both games were played on ESPN2 in prime time.  It wasn’t a good look for the Group of Five.   

SMU.  Game management 101.  You have tied your game with 30 seconds remaining.  You are kicking off and the opponent’s kick returner is averaging almost 38 yards a return with one for a TD during the season.  What do you do?  SMU kicked deep to Houston’s Marcus Jones who promptly returned the kick 100 yards for a score and handed the Mustangs their first loss of the year.  Jones second TD return of the season boosted his AVERAGE yards per return to 47.7, second in the country to only SMU’s Bryan Massey. 

G5 Gurus Top 20 following Week 9.

The G5 Gurus poll will be released later today. 

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