No. 6 Houston is one of the top 10 reasons to watch ASN Saturday

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Houston makes its debut on ASN Saturday against Lamar as the sixth-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 and FWAA-NFF Super 16 polls.

The Cougars have won 15 of their last 16 games, including two in a row against Top 10 teams — No. 3 Oklahoma last Saturday and No. 9 Florida State in last year’s Peach Bowl.

Overall, Houston has won five consecutive games against top-25 opponents. Only Alabama (8) and Stanford (6) have more.

Will they keep rolling or will they suffer a Lamar letdown? That’s just one of the top 10 reasons to watch Saturday’s college football lineup on ASN. Take a look:

1Marquis Young ran for 59 yards against Florida to become the first UMass running back in the FBS era to eclipse 1,000 career yards — and he’s only a sophomore. He reached the milestone in his 13th game, and he’s averaging 6.1 yards on 165 carries. He was also one of the Minutemen’s five first-time offensive starters, including offensive linemen Jack Driscoll, Jake Largay and Raquan Thomas and quarterback Ross Comis.  »  Saturday vs. Boston College, noon ET

2Old Dominion, led by junior running back Ray Lawry and senior linebacker TJ Ricks, hopes its second meeting against Appalachian State turns out better than the first. The Mountaineers won 49-0 last year — the first time the Monarchs were shutout. Lawry, who set ODU single-season rushing records each of his first two seasons, and Ricks, who set a single-season school record for tackles last year, provide hope.  »  Saturday at Appalachian State, 3:30 p.m. ET

3Holy Cross quarterback Peter Pujals opened the season with three touchdown passes in a 51-24 victory against Morgan State. He entered the season as the school’s No. 3 all-time leader in completions (722), passes (1,191) and total yards (9,307). Pujals hopes to add to these totals against a New Hamsphire defense that gave up nearly 300 yards passing in a 31-0 loss at San Diego State.  »  Saturday at New Hampshire, 7 p.m. ET

4

Georgia Southern is fourth in FBS rushing offense after piling on Savannah State for 420 yards and six touchdowns. The Eagles are the only FBS team with two active career 2,500-yard rushers — senior running back Matt Breida (3,161) and senior quarterback Kevin Ellison (2,747). They also have Favian Upshaw. South Alabama will have its hands full against the Eagles’ shotgun triple option.  »  Saturday at South Alabama, 7 p.m. ET

5

Every underdog has its day, as South Alabama (below) proved in a 21-20 victory at Mississippi State. But even after its first win in five tries against an SEC opponent the Jaguars are again double-digit underdogs. They were unfavored by 28.5-points against Mississippi State and now by 13 against Georgia Southern. Can they make it two upsets in a row? They’re at home but lost at Georgia Southern last season, 55-17.  »  Saturday vs. Georgia Southern, 7 p.m. ET

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6

“It’s hard to take positives out of a butt-whooping like that,” Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks said after a 77-10 loss at Ohio State. Well, here’s one: A pick-six by Brandon Harris, a 63-yard interception return, gave the Falcons an early lead against the Buckeyes. And they can still start the season at least 1-1 for the sixth consecutive season with a victory in their home opener.  »  Saturday vs. North Dakota, 3:30 p.m. ET

7

New Hampshire lost its seventh consecutive game against an FBS opponent, 31-0 at San Diego State. But the Wildcats have not started 0-2 since 2002 (0-4). They are still ranked in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll and have the added incentive of debuting their new stadium. New Hampshire has won 11 consecutive home openers and 16 in a row at home against non-conference opponents.  »  Saturday vs. Holy Cross, 7 p.m. ET

8

Will Kade Harrington of Lamar make it eight 200-yard rushing games in 13 contests? ASN’s 2015 FCS Player of the Year picked up where he left off with 207 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-14 loss to Coastal Carolina. He scored on runs of 59 and 64 yards in the first half but gained only 55 in the second. And it will be tough going against Houston — the Cougars held Oklahoma to 70 yards on 26 carries.  »  Saturday at Houston, noon ET

9Appalachian State is eager to get back in action Saturday against Old Dominion after nearly upsetting No. 9 Tennessee on Sept. 1. The Mountaineers led for 40 minutes and never trailed in regulation before losing 20-13 in overtime. Marcus Cox set a school record with his 23rd 100-yard rushing game. In last year’s 49-0 win against Old Dominion, quarterback Taylor Lamb had a career-high four touchdown passes.  »  Saturday vs. Old Dominion, 3:30 p.m. ET

10Brandon Wilson of Houston made a game-high and career-high 10 tackles against Oklahoma, earning the Walter Camp Foundation’s National Defensive Player of the Week honors. He also made the play of the year (so far), returning a missed field goal 100 yards for a decisive third quarter touchdown against Oklahoma. That earned him an ASN FBS Player of the Week nomination.  »  Saturday vs. Lamar, noon ET


Also join us on Twitter @LiveOnASN for an inside look at our coverage of your favorite teams, from the tailgates and the press box to the sidelines. And don’t forget to vote for #GameChanger — ASN’s FBS and FCS Players of the Week — online starting at 9 a.m. ET every Monday.
Above: Photo courtesy Houston Cougars Athletics
Middle: Photo courtesy Bobby McDuffie/South Alabama Athletic Media Relations
American Sports Network

Mike Bambach

Mike Bambach is senior web producer for ASN.