Here is the countdown of the Top 5 upsets of Week 10 that featured several high profile upsets but it’s the under the radar upsets that dominate this week’s list. Upset rankings are based on the point spread (per Covers.com) and I use the Sagarin Predictor spread to break ties.
Old Dominion 36, UTSA 31
Spread: UTSA -7.5
You know I’m starting to think maybe UTSA shouldn’t be favored anymore. They showed up here last week in a loss to North Texas and now have one more “upset” loss than actual wins this season. As to how a three win ODU could be a touchdown-plus dog to a one win team, there three wins included squeakers over two of the worst teams in FBS, Eastern Michigan and Charlotte, and a 14 point win over FCS Norfolk State. UTSA had managed to stay competitive in a few games this year including a three point loss to Conference USA West division leader Louisiana Tech but their season has officially fallen apart after these lat two weeks. UTSA had a chance to win the final minute but on a 4th and 1 from the ODU 13 they threw a fade route to the end zone which landed incomplete. ODU held a 6.4 to 5.6 yards per play average in the game.
Navy 45, Memphis 20
Spread: Memphis -10
Due to the success of Memphis, Houston and Temple this season, Navy had been the forgotten team in the AAC title and New Year’s Six bowl spot race. In fact the majority of people might not have even realized that they had joined the AAC this season after 121 years as a football independent. A road loss to Notre Dame has been their only blemish to this point but they didn’t have the Power Five win to grab people’s attention. They still don’t have a Power Five win but after blasting #14 Memphis, Navy should enter the Top 25 this Tuesday and could possibly leap over Temple and Houston as the top ranked non-Power Five team. Navy hasn’t played in a major bowl game since the 1964 Cotton Bowl and being a service academy their run at a NY6 bowl is going to gain a lot of attention in the coming weeks. This was a tight game for most of the first three quarters until with a 24-20 lead late in the 3rd, Navy fullback Craig Swain busted through for a 40 yard touchdown and Navy proceeded to pour it on the 4th. Navy scored touchdowns in four of their final five possessions while Memphis’ last four possessions ended in a fumble, punt, fumble, and turnover on downs.
Arkansas State 40, Appalachian State 27
Spread: Appalachian State -12.5
Appalachian State came into this game winners of ten straight Sun Belt conference games dating back to last season and 13 of their last 14 games overall, the only loss a blowout to current #1 Clemson. Outside of that very forgivable loss they had been dominating in their first six wins this season outscoring their opponents by an average 35.5 points per game and no game had been closer than 18 points. But last week some cracks may have started to show as they had to survive a home scare against Troy and then on Thursday the roof caved in on them in the 3rd quarter. They were up 21-17 at the half but Arkansas State proceeded to score two touchdowns in the first five minutes of the second half on their way to 23 point uninterrupted surge to turn this into an easy win. Before that though App State had two killer first quarter turnovers that helped keep the game close early. Up 7-0 running back Marcus Cox fumbled inside their own 10 which set up Arkansas State for a quick one play “drive” to tie it up. Then up 14-7 quarterback Taylor Lamb was sacked and fumbled at their own 19 which was scooped by Arkansas state linebacker Xavier Woodson-Luster and returned for a touchdown to tie it up again. Arkansas State did a great job containing the normally potent App Sate running attack (10th in nation yards per game) by holding them to season low 141 yards (sack yards removed).
New Mexico State 31, Texas State 21
Spread: Texas State -16.5
Break up the Aggies! New Mexico State was coming off a 19 point 4th quarter comeback win over Idaho last week to end a 17 game losing streak and this week they ended a 9 game road losing streak. The result also gives them back-to-back wins conference games for the first time since 2004. They were once again road the legs of running back Larry Rose III who had 207 yards rushing plus a 77 yard touchdown reception in the 4th to push their lead to 10. It was his second straight week over 200 on the ground, his third of the season, and now ranks 4th in the country in rushing yards per game. Texas State had a drive going with under four minutes to go try to trim the lead to three but quarterback Tyler Jones was picked off at the NMSU 2 by safety Jacob Nwangwa to seal the game.
New Mexico 14, Utah State 13
Spread: Utah State -20.5
Utah State’s descent from Mountain West favorite has been a quick one. Just three weeks ago they crushed MWC alpha Boise State to take control the Mountain division but followed that up with a road dud against San Diego State and now a loss to New Mexico that cedes division control back to Boise. I have to say on the surface this appeared to be an unusually large spread especially for an in conference road favorite against a 4-4 team but Sagarin pretty much agreed with a 19.5 point spread. This ends up being only the 4th 20 point underdog win of the season. This was not a pretty game offensively as neither team cracked 300 total yards and New Mexico averaged only 3.9 yards per play in the win. In any game lacking offense, cashing in on scoring opportunities is usually a deciding factor and Utah State failed miserably in that department here. Seven times they had the ball past the New Mexico 40 and only produced one touchdown with two field goals. Twice they turned it over on downs, including on the New Mexico 2 on the game’s opening possession, and fumbled it inside the New Mexico 20 with under nine minutes to go. The had a chance in the final minute to escape with the win but kicker Brock Warren missed a 41 yard field goal attempt. On top of that a fumble by punt returner Andrew Rodriguez inside his Utah State’s 5 set up a New Mexico touchdown early in the 3rd quarter to give them a 14-3 lead and proved to be the deciding score.