What to watch from the non-AQs, Week 9

October, 29, 2009
10/29/09
8:08
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

1. Familiar foes: Missouri and Utah never met when current Wyoming coach Dave Christensen was the offensive coordinator, but Christensen used to spend a lot of time in Utah trading offensive plays with his good friend and former Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. With the exception of some personnel tweaks, Utah’s offense hasn’t changed much.

2. A scary Halloween: Halloween has not been kind to Navy. The Midshipmen are 1-12-1 all-time on the holiday and the last win came against NC State in 1914. In all fairness, the Mids haven’t played a Halloween game since 1931 when they tied West Virginia Wesleyan 0-0.

3. It’s all about karma: During last year’s Troy-Louisiana-Monroe game, Troy suffered a safety, turned the ball over twice and missed three field goals, including the game-winning try that went off the crossbar. The loss to the Warhawks was the Trojans' only defeat in conference. The Trojans have to feel like they’re due some good karma this week.

4. Hungry like the Wolfe: UNLV might not be having a good season, but receiver Ryan Wolfe continues on a record-setting pace. Against New Mexico last week, Wolfe became the nation’s active leader in receptions with 270. He ranks 15th all-time, and if he notches just two catches against TCU this weekend, he’ll move into 13th all-time.

5. I’m Bear Woods: According to Troy media relations guru Ricky Hazel, mop sales have gone up in the Troy, Ala., area this week. Several fans visiting Movie Gallery Stadium for the contest between Troy and ULM have decided to dress up as Troy linebacker Bear Woods for Halloween. You'll have to see his picture to get the reference.

6. Ready for our close up: Marshall coach Mark Snyder called Sunday’s ESPN televised game against Central Florida “huge,” not only because it’s a big game for Conference USA, but also because both teams are the only football game on that night, which should help recruiting and the exposure of players such as running back Darius Marshall and tight end Cody Slate, who are up for national awards.

7. The race for the BCS: Both Boise State and TCU have games against subpar opponents this weekend who have combined for a 4-10 record this season. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous. Both teams have had their moments and could present a challenge if either the Frogs or Broncos don’t show up.

8. Keeping the faith: Idaho coach Robb Akey said he’d learn a lot about his team this week by the way they respond after a 70-45 shellacking by Nevada last week. Akey said the day after the game his team wasn’t moping and was anxious to get back in the win column. Not good news for a struggling Louisiana Tech team.

9. Rocky’s return: San Diego State defensive coordinator Rocky Long will meet his former team, New Mexico, for the first time this weekend and it’s a different team than the one he left. The Lobos are 0-7 and their coach, Mike Locksley, is back for his first game since being suspended. Both SDSU coach Brady Hoke and Locksley said this game wasn’t about Long, but who knows if the players will see it that way.

10. Keeping the streak alive: Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews has rushed for at least 100 yards in every game this season, and he’ll have a chance to make it eight consecutive games against a Utah State rushing defense that is one of the worst in the country. The Aggies allow 197.43 yards per game and 10 of their 27 touchdowns allowed have come on the ground.

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