Western-Kentucky-Hilltoppers
(Stephen So)

As we continue with the latter part of the season, we’re starting to see some teams from the Group of Five stand out from the others. The outright leader will eventually get a chance at one of America’s “top teams” in the New Years’ Bowls. In the mean time, let’s look at Week 8’s Top Five games from the Group of Five.

5. Connecticut @ Cincinnati (-12.5), 10/24, 4:30PM CBS Sports

(USA Today Sports)

This match-up is a key game for both teams in the AAC. Connecticut is 3-4 on the season with one win in conference play. For them, this game will keep a lot of their bowl hopes alive. A loss would make that hope die just a little bit sooner than if they come out with the victory. For Cincinnati, they need to get back into conference contention with a win. They have 0 conference wins on the year, and are currently sitting at 3-3. Their 0-2 conference start has come to two of the AAC’s three top 25 teams, so maybe they weren’t “bad” losses after all. The Huskies are coming off a 28-20 loss to South Florida where a lot of mental mistakes were made. They struggle offensively on third down conversions and sacks allowed, being ranked 106th and 127th in those areas. Moving the ball hasn’t really been the issue for UConn, however, scoring touchdowns has been. Luckily for the Huskies, Cincinnati’s defense is ranked 78th in the nation, allowing just over 400 yards per game. The Bearcats are also struggling without their star QB Gunnar Kiel. He looks to return this week if his neck injury subsides. The positive note for Cincinnati? UConn is 0-6 when traveling to face the Bearcats, and are just 2-9 all time. Cincinnati gets their first win in AAC play. Cincinnati 24, UConn 16

4. #18 Memphis (-10.0) @ Tulsa, 10/23, 8:00PM ESPN

(AP Photo)

The Memphis Tigers are undefeated and 6-0 for the first time since 1961. The last time they were ranked in the AP poll? 1979. Oh and I am talking about their football team, not basketball. This week’s matchup pins them up against Tulsa. I see this potentially as an upset game for the Golden Hurricanes since the Tigers are coming off such an emotional victory against Ole Miss. Tulsa is just 3-3  on the season, and mostly because of their defense. Anyone who allows 525 yards per game isn’t going to fare well against hot offensive teams such as Memphis. That stat, yanno…, the 525 yards allowed per game, is among the worst in the entire country. Only Tulsa can boast that number as of right now. One positive thing for the Golden Hurricanes is that this game will be played at home where they’ve won the last two games against Memphis in overtime. Unfortunately for them, I think the Tigers will extend their win streak to 14 games and move on to 7-0 on the season. The G-5 conferences need a Memphis win in this one. It may be their best bet for a huge Power 5 bowl take-down. Memphis 41, Tulsa 24

3. Middle Tennessee @ Louisiana Tech (-7.0), 10/24, 3:30PM ASN

(La Tech Athletics)

Jeff Driskel and the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech take on the Blue Raiders in what is definitely the best CUSA-CUSA match-up this week. The Bulldogs have lost three games this season, but they’ve come to three pretty great teams. The first one came in week two against Western Kentucky, and you’ll be hearing more about them here in a little bit. The second came against Kansas State in a game that went into 3 OT’s. Lastly, Mississippi State knocked off LA Tech by 25 last week, probably the least impressive of their games so far. Middle Tennessee, on the other hand, is also sitting on three losses, but theirs are a little less impressive. A 27 point loss to Bama, 2 point loss to Illinois, and a 30 point smack-down from the hands of Western Kentucky. I think this will be a close game between the two teams regardless. Both QB’s, Jeff Driskel and Brent Stockstill, are over 2000 passing yards on the year and have only thrown four interceptions. The stat that stands out to me the most is that MTSU has put up 70 points twice this season, which is why I think they will be able to keep up with Louisiana Tech offensively. The home field advantage will give this one to the Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech 44, MTSU 37

2. (-3.5) Utah State @ San Diego State, 10/24 3:30PM ESPN 2 

(Utah State Athletics)

Coming off of a 52-26 blowout win against Boise State, Utah State looks to continue their conference success against SDSU. The Aggies are 4-2, with their two losses coming against Utah and Washington. Ever since then Utah State has dominated their opponents, including highly praised Boise State. San Diego State has a little less impressive resume. Losses to California by 28, South Alabama by 7, and Penn State by 16 have put the Aztecs where they are. Offensively both teams don’t have very high numbers to boast. Utah State is 99th in PPG, while SDSU is currently 166th. Even with such low numbers, both teams respectively lead their division in the Mountain West Conference. It could be said that we will see these two teams again in the MWC Championship at the end of the year. But for right now, it’s a matter of which offense can get going against the others’ stout defense. Utah State didn’t seem to struggle against Fresno State and Boise State, and if they play the same for a third week in a row, the Aztecs may have their work cut out for them. The Aggies cover the spread. Utah State 27, San Diego State 21

1. Western Kentucky @ #7 LSU (-15.5), 10/24 7:00PM ESPN U

(USA Today Sports)

Now we preview the number one G-5 game of the week, even if it does only feature one G-5 team. Western Kentucky has the chance to do what no other team has successfully done this season, and that’s beating LSU. They definitely won’t be doing it defensively; I can tell you that much already. The WKU defense is allowing 24 PPG, and it could easily be allowing much worse numbers. North Texas managed 28 points on the Hilltoppers, 28 more points than the week prior against their FCS opponent. Regardless, WKU still has a great chance to knock off the #5 team in the nation Saturday Night. It’s gonna have to come from the hands of Brandon Daughty and the high-powered Hilltopper offense. They know how to win shootouts and knock off undefeated teams. Just ask 11-0 Marshall how their 66-67 affair went last season when WKU came to town. The only big issue for them is going to be Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette. North Texas popped an average of 5.8 yards on the ground last weekend, and they definitely didn’t have the best RB in the nation on their side. Coach Miles of LSU, however, said he has WKU ranked in his Top 25 as part of the 11 votes they received in the coaches poll this week. This one is certainly one to keep an eye on if you like offense. LSU 48, WKU 38

Casey Mosrie covers the Group of Five Conference for MFST. You can follow him on twitter @wxmozz

https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Western-Kentucky-Hilltoppers.jpg?fit=850%2C560&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Western-Kentucky-Hilltoppers.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Casey MosrieAmerican AthleticAnalysisConference USAFootballMountain WestNCAAFNews and UpdatesRecent PostsSECAAC,Cincinnati,College Football,Connecticut,CUSA,G-5,Group of Five,Louisiana tech,LSU,Memphis,middle tennessee,Mountain West,san diego state,scores and predictions,SEC,tulsa,utah state,week 8 college football,western kentuckyAs we continue with the latter part of the season, we're starting to see some teams from the Group of Five stand out from the others. The outright leader will eventually get a chance at one of America's 'top teams' in the New Years' Bowls. In the mean time,...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?