If you’re a fan of non-Power Five programs, you were treated to a showcase matchup between two of the more recognizable programs.
And in front of a very well-coordinated Cincinnati crowd, the home team picked up a big win against the uncrowned 2017 National Champion, UCF Knights. It wasn’t a great showing for this series’ favorite QB, Dillon Gabriel, but it helped give exposure to two smaller programs on a big stage.
Michael Warren III, RB Cincinnati
I had to feature one player from the showcase game of the weekend and since I got my obligatory Gabriel mention done in the opener, I’ll stick to a player from the winning side. Cincinnati utilized a balanced offensive attack to maintain time of possession and the key piece of that game plan was Warren. Warren rushed the ball 23 times for 133 yards and tacked on four receptions for 19 yards. For that season, that brings Warren to 395 yards. Following his 1,329 yard 2018 campaign, this is slightly disappointing, but Warren has one more year of eligibility to rebound and games like this will only help his profile. He demonstrated his ability to be a workhorse and has increased his usage in the passing game. It might be a good time to send out a low-ball offer to acquire Warren as a stash.
Cincinnati travels to Houston in a critical conference matchup. Houston has allowed 178 rushing yards per game so Warren will likely be a focal point of the offense once again.
Re’Mahn Davis, RB Temple
In their opening conference game of the season, Temple continued their winning ways with a 27-17 win over East Carolina. Anthony Russo has been the leader of the offense for most of the season, but Re’Mahn Davis was the key producer in this game. Davis rushed for 157 yards and a TD on 24 carries. This is his second straight game over 100 yards rushing. For the year, Davis has 503 rushing yards and four TDs while averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Additionally, he’s caught three passes for 90 yards and a TD. Davis is a redshirt freshman and was an underwhelming three-star prospect, but he has good size and could be a deep sleeper with two or three productive seasons.
Davis and Temple take on Memphis at home on Saturday afternoon. Memphis has allowed 179 rushing yards per game. This could be a good matchup for him.
Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise St.
After their scare in Week 1, Boise State is now 5-0 and one of the bigger reasons for that is their effective passing game. They rank eighth in college football with 323 passing yards per game. And leading their receiving corps is sophomore, Khalil Shakir. For the year, he has 26 receptions for 357 yards and two TDs. That represents a 28% share of the team yards and a 0.263 dominator rating. And against UNLV, he led the way with seven receptions for 111 yards and a TD. Shakir was a four-star athlete prospect out of high school and could be an interesting prospect next year.
Boise State hosts Hawaii in a matchup that will most likely turn into a shootout. If Boise St. chooses to lean on their passing game, Shakir could be a strong candidate for another big week.
Other Notable Players
Kenneth Gainwell was a feature player last week and followed it up with 209 rushing yards and two TDs. Patrick Taylor remains injured, but it doesn’t appear that Gainwell will be giving up the top spot on the depth chart upon his return.
Despite the loss, UCF’s skill players found plenty of success. Greg McCrae rushed for 71 yards and a TD. Gabriel Davis caught 13 passes for 170 yards and Tre Nixon added 76 yards and a TD on six catches.
UTSA freshman Sincere McCormick rushed for 209 yards and two TDs against UTEP. This brings his season total to 439 yards and four TDs. Adding in his 10 receptions, McCormick is a player to watch.
Omar Bayless continued his dominant campaign with a 154 yard, three TD game against Georgia St. He leads the FBS in receiving yards and has a 0.50 dominator rating.
James Proche eclipsed the 100 yard mark for the second time this season with 153 yards and two TDs. He and Reggie Roberson have benefited from the innovative practices techniques being used at SMU.
Week 5 Group of Five Matchups of the Week
Memphis at Temple
This Saturday afternoon game may turn out to be a critical game in determining the AAC conference championship. Both teams are currently 1-0 in conference play. For Memphis, the key offensive players in this game will be Gainwell and QB Brady White, but their defense has been at the crux of their team success so far. Memphis has been slightly worse against the run, however, so this could be another 100-yard outing for Davis. Jadan Blue is the most noteworthy receiver on the Temple offense and fans should keep an eye on the sophomore.
Hawaii at Boise State
As I mentioned above, Boise State is the eighth best passing attack in the country. However, they’ll face an even more productive passing team in Hawaii who ranks fourth with 356 yards per game. Cole McDonald and Cedric Byrd are the two leaders for the Hawaii offense and Byrd could have NFL potential as a Day 3 pick. For Boise State, there’s plenty of options to keep an eye on. Freshman QB, Hank Bachmeier has an AY/A over 9.0 and a completion percentage of 63.9%. Both Robert Mahone and George Holani have more than 300 rushing yards for the season. And the aforementioned Khalil Shakir is the leading WR as a sophomore. This late-night matchup could be one of the more fun games of the day.