The American Athletic Conference's latest rebuild leaves Conference USA in a precarious position.
Six schools from C-USA — UAB, UTSA, Rice, North Texas, Charlotte and Florida Atlantic — have applied for membership with the American and are expected to be accepted by the end of the week, according to two people with knowledge of the process who spoke with The Associated Press.
MONROE, La. (AP) — Calum Sutherland kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal with under two minutes to play and Mark Williams preserved the victory with an interception as Louisiana-Monroe upset Liberty, 31-28 on Saturday night.
HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning that helped the Houston Astros beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series on Friday night.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Malik Willis threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns, Joshua Mack rushed for 91 yards and Liberty defeated Middle Tennessee 42-13 on Saturday.
The Flames (5-1), an FCS independent, featured a balanced offense, running for 227 yards to go with Willis' passing numbers.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Malik Willis accounted for three touchdowns — all in the third quarter — and Liberty pulled away in the second half to defeat UAB 36-12 in nonconference action on Saturday.
After each team managed only a field goal in the first half, Willis used just five plays to get the Flames (4-1) into the end zone on their first possession of the third quarter.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Syracuse has matched its best opening month of the football season since Dino Babers took over the program in 2016.
Florida State, meanwhile, has endured its worst September since 1973, losing its first four games.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) —
Andre Szmyt kicked the game-winning 35-yard field goal with no time on the clock as Syracuse used a late turnover to defeat Liberty 24-21 on Friday night.
Last year after Liberty beat Syracuse in the Carrier Dome with no fans to witness it, the Flames decided to savor their first-ever win over an Atlantic Coast Conference foe by going back on the field afterward and snapping a few photos.
Here are things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Week 4:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 21 North Carolina goes on the road to face Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets gave No. 9 Clemson all it could handle last week in a 14-8 loss at Clemson.
Last week, college football gave fans one of its tastiest, and unfortunately rare, treats when Auburn visited Penn State.
Good teams. Great setting. Entertaining game. What college football is all about.
The move to Michigan State has been a career booster for Kenneth Walker III, who leads the nation in rushing through his first three games with the Spartans.
Walker has had his two highest rushing totals as a collegian since transferring from Wake Forest in January.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Malik Willis threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more as Liberty shut out Old Dominion in the second half to earn a 45-17 in a non-conference game Saturday.
Liberty had three third-quarter sacks and held the Monarchs to minus-1 yard of offense in the period.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — The Syracuse defense yielded just 135 yards and sacked Albany quarterbacks eight times but it was running back Sean Tucker who stole the show.
Tucker had 132 yards rushing and scored five touchdowns to lead the Orange (2-1) to a 62-24 win over the Great Danes (0-3).
TROY, Ala. (AP) — Malik Willis threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead Liberty to a 21-13 victory over Troy on Saturday night.
Willis was 13-of-18 passing for 154 yards and added 93 yards rushing on 20 carries.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Malik Willis threw for a touchdown and ran for another, and Liberty opened the season with a 48-7 victory over Campbell on Saturday night.
Willis threw a 35-yard TD pass to Demario Douglas to open the scoring and scored on a 12-yard run with 25 seconds left in the first half for a 27-7 lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns, Chanticleers and Flames became household names for college football fans last year, when the upstart programs at Louisiana-Lafayette, Coastal Carolina and Liberty supplied some of the most compelling campaigns of the season.
The Citadel (0-0, 0-0 Southern Conference) at No. 22 Coastal Carolina (0-0, 0-0 Sun Belt), on Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT (ESPN+).
Line: Coastal Carolina by 34 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
West Virginia’s Jarret Doege knew he had some work to do after a poor finish to the 2020 season.
The quarterback needed the offseason to improve in several areas, among them awareness in the pocket, arm strength, footwork and foot speed.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell sees a new challenge for his surprising Chanticleers this fall: staying as hungry at chasing success as they were during their landmark 2020 season.
Army won nine games last season and finished just outside the AP Top 25 despite having to cope with a schedule that constantly changed because of COVID-19.
Coach Jeff Monken hopes to build off that success despite the usual loss of senior stars.
The passing accuracy displayed by Wisconsin's Graham Mertz and Ohio State's Justin Fields in their teams' openers had only been seen once before in the Big Ten in the past 20 years.
Mertz and Fields each completed 20 of 21 passes (95.2%) for the best performances in the country since another Big Ten quarterback, Minnesota's Tanner Morgan, hit 21 of 22 (95.5%) against Purdue last year.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Liberty coach Hugh Freeze says his back feels better, but it's not yet clear if he will be able to travel to this weekend's game at Louisiana.
"I'm going to let the doctors kind of guide me knowing that going to an away game, I'm going to have to be able to sit up — at least, that's the best case — for four-plus hours probably to call a game," the 49-year-old Freeze said at his weekly news briefing.
—Hank Bachmeier, Boise State, threw for 407 yards and two TDs, helping the Broncos rally from an 18-point deficit to beat Florida State 36-31.
—Jacob Eason, Washington, threw for 349 yards and four TDs in his first game in nearly two years, and the No.