Forgotten5 Road Trip: Week Three

Our season-long road trip rolls on after an exciting week two. We saw a thriller in the desert and a dogfight in the City of Brotherly Love. The other two stops, however, weren’t so dramatic.

We made a stop at Louisiana Tech to see the Bulldogs go at each other. The Dogs from Starkville came out on top 57-21, much to the chagrin of the home crowd.

Down in Mobile, Heisman hopeful Mason Rudolph put on a show as he led Oklahoma State to a 44-7 win over South Alabama in front of one of the largest crowds in Jaguars history.

The fun began in Philadelphia when Temple and Villanova squared off. In a game that most outsiders would believe to be a blowout, the Owls scraped by with a 16-13 win. A field goal with 1:00 left in the game sealed a hard-fought win for Temple.

The last game of the week was to the campus of New Mexico to see the Rio Grande Rivalry. The Lobos hosted the New Mexico State Aggies and lost 30-28. New Mexico showed great resiliency, coming back from being down 30-5 early in the fourth quarter. The comeback came up short, though, and the Aggies won the contest for the second straight year.

With that, let’s take a look at our deep south focused week three edition of the Forgotten5 road trip.

American

The first game of the week is another chance to see another Heisman candidate when UCLA rolls into the Liberty Bowl to take on the Memphis Tigers. After the postponement of the UCF game, Memphis will be off the field for 16 days coming into the bout with the Bruins.

The their first outing, the Tigers flexed their run game and ran away from Louisiana-Monroe quickly. However, the Warhawks came right back in the final quarter to make the score a respectable 37-29 in favor of Memphis. Of course this was only one game but it doesn’t bode well with a team that was notably electric in the final quarter of its first game. You know the one.

Las Vegas isn’t too keen on the Bruins, though, giving the newly ranked team just three points. They’ll certainly have their work cut out for them against a Memphis offense that can move the ball through the air or on the ground. Quarterback Riley Ferguson is one of the best in the G5 business and is surrounded by weapons.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen going head to head with Ferguson is hands down the top quarterback battle of the week and is can’t-miss action.

Conference USA

Finally, we make our way to #TheReturn in Birmingham, Alabama to see UAB host the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. The Blazers are 1-1 after a tough road showing against Ball State but primed to defend their home turf.

This game is one of the more interesting games of the year, simply because nobody really knows much of anything about either team. The Chanticleers bring with them a strong run game led by Osharmar Abercrombie. Coastal grabbed a huge win in week one against UMASS, a game we went to.

The Blazers shouldn’t have as tough of a time with the Chants, who are fairly one-dimensional on offense. Still, experience is on the side of Coastal Carolina. Quarterback AJ Erdely knows how to control the football and has a pair of talented backs behind him in Spencer Brown and James Noble.

If anything, we’ll learn a lot from this game on both sides. Vegas gives a slight advantage to Coastal at two points but that can essentially be thrown out the window in this one. One of the tougher games I have ever tried to predict, I suggest sitting back and enjoying some UAB football.

Mid-American 

We took a bye from this conference last week back we’re back in action and heading to Miami.. Ohio. The RedHawks are taking on Cincinnati in the oldest rivalry in college football. You may have never heard of the Victory Bell, so let me learn you a thing or two.

These two teams first met way back in 1888. The final score of that game? 0-0. Also, to put into perspective just long ago this was, this game was played 15 days before Vincent Van Gogh cut off part of his left ear. That game also happened to be the first ever collegiate football game played in the state of Ohio. To those fans, I promise it gets better.

121 meetings later and Cincinnati holds a slim 59-55-7 advantage in the series. This is largely thanks to the 11 game win streak the Bearcats currently possess. Fans in Oxford, and yours truly, believe things will finally go differently this time around. After just two weeks, each team has met a common opponent in Austin Peay. Cincinnati won that game 26-14 while the RedHawks won 31-10.

I wouldn’t read into that too much, even though Vegas does favor Miami by 4.5 points. Expect a closely contested battle in the greatest rivalry you have never heard of.

Mountain West

We’re heading all the way out to Laramie now to catch the Wyoming Cowboys take on the Oregon Ducks. This will be the back end of a home-and-home after Oregon won the first meeting 48-14 in 2014. That was the first time these two teams have seen each other on the football field despite the western schools playing at the top level of football for over 100 years.

The Oregon offense look as if its regained its wheels after a tumultuous couple of years. Willie Taggart knows he’ll need to keep his players focused, though, for a very different Wyoming team. While we’ve yet to truly see what the Cowboys offense is capable of this year, we know there is definitely potential with Josh Allen at quarterback.

Wyoming has struggled to find any semblance of a run game and will need to find answers quickly to keep up with the Ducks. When these two teams met in 2014, Oregon went on to win the conference championship while the Cowboys went 4-8 in Craig Bohl’s first season. Much has changed since then and this game will be a measuring stick for just that.

Sun Belt 

For our final game of the week we head back to the South to see Louisiana-Monroe clash with Southern Mississippi. The Warhawks have met the Golden Eagles four times, dropping three of those contests. The last time these two birds met, though, was in 1993. It’s surprising just how sparingly these teams meet (1982,1986,1987,1993) when they’re just a three and half hour drive away from each other.

Monroe had its week two game with Florida State cancelled but played more than admirably in its loss to Memphis. The Warhawks have one of the highest ceilings in the Sun Belt and more room for steady growth than any other team. Southern Mississippi is becoming once more a mainstay at the top of its division in Conference USA. This game is a great chance to see the progress in a rebuilding Monroe squad.

Quarterback Garrett Smith will be starting this game and he can spin the ball with the best of the Sun Belt. His feet are also an underrated part of his game, too. If the Warhawks can find some room to run the football, one thing it struggled with against Memphis, they can hang with the Eagles.

 

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