Two other Conference USA schools became bowl eligible on Saturday, and they did so in dominant fashion.
It might have taken a bit longer than some expected, but Marshall became bowl eligible on Saturday when they welcomed lowly UAB into Huntington. The Thundering Herd offense was clicking on all cylinders as they racked up 657 yards of total offense on the afternoon and seemed to score at will. Jordan Howard of the Blazers rushed for 123 yards on the ground but it was not enough as his team fell 56-14. With the loss, UAB’s hopes of bowl eligibility are over.
The surprise of the weekend happened in the Alamo Dome as UTSA welcomed Tulane to San Antonio on Saturday. The Green Wave drew first blood as Orleans Darkwa scored on a 9-yard rush right before halftime. The second half would belong to the Roadrunners. Running back Brandon Armstrong scored on a 68-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to tie the game at 7 for UTSA. The game would be decided with only 14 seconds remaining as UTSA kicker Sean Ianno kicked the game winning, 34-yard field goal to give the Roadrunners the surprise victory 10-7.
North Texas welcomed another in-state rival into Denton this past week as they faced UTEP on Saturday. This game was over after the first quarter as the Mean Green rushed for over 300 yards on the day as the blew out the Miners 41-7. North Texas is on a five-game winning streak, while UTEP was handed their seventh straight loss.
Defending Conference USA champs Tulsa were on the road on Saturday as they traveled to Greenville to face East Carolina. This game was never really close as the Golden Hurricane were no match for the high-powered offense of the Pirates. In the final seconds of the contest, Tulsa QB Dane Evan threw an interception that ECU DB DeShaun Amos returned for a 100-yard touchdown to seal the lopsided 58-24 victory for the Pirates. Tulsa is now eliminated from bowl contention.
Former Sun Belt members squared off on Saturday as FIU traveled to Murfreesboro to face Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders completely destroyed the Golden Panthers and became bowl eligible with a 48-0 victory.
Southern Miss was hoping to finally get in the win column on Saturday as they faced longtime rival Louisiana Tech on the road. Kenneth Dixon and the Bulldogs, however, had other ideas. Dixon racked up 205 yards rushing and a touchdown as his team ran away from the Golden Eagles 36-13. Freshman QB Nick Mullens threw for nearly 300 yards for Southern Miss, but he also accounted for 3 interceptions.
Old Dominion traveled a long way from home on Saturday as they faced the Idaho Vandals in Moscow, Idaho. Not much defense was played in this game as the teams combined for over 1,100 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Monarchs QB Taylor Heinicke accounted for 533 of those yards as he lead Old Dominion to their first victory over an FBS opponent, 59-38.
Future Conference USA member Western Kentucky also became bowl eligible on Saturday as they came-from-behind to defeat former Conference USA member Army 21-17 in West Point.