Week One G5 games to watch; Can FAU compete with OU?

Week one is finally here! And there are many solid games on the slate for the Group of 5 teams. Will there be upsets? Most likely there will be a few. Here some games to watch out for this week with the Group of 5.

Friday, August 31

Syracuse at Western Michigan, 6 p.m. ET, CBSSN

Anytime an ACC school plays at a MAC school, you know it will be a goodie. At least we can hope. The Orange are a 5 point favorite, but this could be an upset by the Broncos at home.

Colorado State vs. Colorado, 9:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN

Though Colorado State lost its home opener to Hawai’i, the Rams will play Colorado in Denver for what could be a great game. There’s no better way to get over a disappointing loss than to beat your rival. Buffs are 7 point favorites.

Saturday, Sept. 1

Florida Atlantic at No. 7 Oklahoma, Noon ET, FOX

We’re gonna find out right away if FAU is any good. Of course winning in Norman would be an amazing feat, just keeping it close would be a major boost to the Owls’ resume. OU is favored by three TDs.

Northern Illinois at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN

NIU has the reputation of beating Power 5 teams and it’ll get a shot right out of the gate. The Huskies are coming off an 8-5 season with a disappointing bowl loss to Duke. But remember, NIU beat Nebraska last year in Lincoln. Iowa is a 10-point favorite.

Washington State at Wyoming, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN

Washington State had a solid season last year, falling flat, however, in the Holiday Bowl. The Cougars will head to Laramie to play Wyoming, a team that allowed less than 150 total yards last week at New Mexico State.  WAZZU is a 3 point favorite.

No. 22 Boise State at Troy, 5 p.m. ET, ESPNews

Boise State will head to the South to battle a very good Troy team. The Broncos won last year in Boise, 24-13. Expect a similar type of game even though Boise State is a 10.5 point favorite.

BYU at Arizona, 10:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

This is an interesting matchup as BYU had its worst season in decades, while Kevin Sumlin takes over a program with a Heisman Trophy candidate in Khalil Tate. Arizona is an 11-point favorite.

Other games of note: Navy at Hawai’i (11 p.m. ET, CBSSN); Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt (7:30 p.m. ET, SECN); Indiana at FIU (7 p.m. ET, CBSN)

Photo: Florida Atlantic will need a huge game from Devin Singletary if the Owls want to keep it close on Saturday against Oklahoma. (Courtesy FAU athletics)

 

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Hawai’i secures huge road win at CSU

The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors last won a football game on the road in Fort Collins way back when head coach Nick Rolovich was just a boy (it was actually 30 years ago). But on Saturday night, the Warriors’ revamped Run and Shoot offense was explosive, leading to a 43-34 win.

Redshirt sophomore Cole McDonald was impressive, completing 26 passes for 418 yards and three TDs. He also ran for 96 yards and two more scores. Not bad for this lightly recruited, two star prospect out Sonora High in La Habra, Calif.

The final score looked a bit closer than it actually was as Hawai’i (1-0, 1-0 MW) led 37-7 with less than 4 minutes to play in the third.

So what does this mean for Hawai’i? Well, it means that they are a legitimate contender to compete for the Mountain West’s West Division. It also means a bowl game is most likely. Next week, the Warriors host Navy in O’ahu followed by another home game against Rice and a trip to West Point to take on Army. The team’s next two are against Duquense (a FCS team that got rolled Saturday by UMASS) and then a trip to the Bay Area to take San Jose State.

It’s reasonable to think Hawai’i will be 6-0 when they host Wyoming on the islands Oct. 6.

Speaking of Wyoming …

The Cowboys’ defense was impressive (or New Mexico State’s offense is just awful) as the Pokes ran over the Aggies 29-7 in Las Cruces. Wyoming’s defense only allowed seven first downs and 135 total yards. Wow! We should learn a bit more about the Cowboys as they host Washington State next week in Laramie.

Photo: Cole McDonald runs past a Colorado State defender Saturday night in Fort Collins. Photo courtesy of UH athletics.