Houston 35, South Florida 23
The Houston Cougars survived a late scare from South Florida, improving to 4-0 in the AAC and keeping pace with Central Florida. The Las Vegas oddsmakers had the Cougars favored to win by three scores, but South Florida put together its best offensive showing of the 2013 season and hung around until the very end.
USF's offensive resurgence was sparked by true freshman quarterback Mike White (311 yards, 2 touchdowns), who was making his first career start. But White's surprise performance was negated in large part by an incredible 19 penalties for 170 yards committed by the Bulls.
Midway through the fourth quarter, South Florida appeared to take a 30-28 lead on Matt White's third touchdown pass of the evening, but Andre Davis davis was flagged for pass interference. On the next play, Houston sacked White and knocked the ball loose in the process, and the Cougars recovered at midfield. From there, Houston marched down the field with ease and put the game out of reach with Kenneth Farrow's 5-yard touchdown run.
North Texas 28, Rice 16
The North Texas Mean Green knocked off the Rice Owls, earning a sixth win and becoming bowl-eligible for the first time since 2004. North Texas moves to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in C-USA play, and enters a two-way tie with Rice for second plays in the West division. Obviously, North Texas now holds a head-to-head tiebreaker with Rice.
The Owls outgained the Mean Green by 103 yards, but North Texas' pair of non-offensive scores proved to be the difference in the final score. North Texas linebacker Zach Orr recovered Charles Ross' fumble and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown, and the Mean Green took the lead for good when Brelan Chancellor returned a Rice punt 65 yards for a score.
Rice had plenty of chances to get back in the game late, including an amazing fourth quarter sequence in which the Owls ran 9 plays from inside the North Texas 10 yard-line. But the Mean Green defense stood tall and forced a turnover on downs, ending any realistic hope Rice had of pulling out the win.
ULM 49, Troy 37
Kolton Browning was supposed to have been out for the season, but the Warhawks' senior quarterback made a surprise return to action last week against Georgia State and was the difference-maker for ULM in its win over Troy.
Browning completed 21 passes for 354 yards and 5 touchdown passes and also rushed for a score. Powered by Troy quarterback Corey Robinson's 362-yard performance, the Trojans were able to keep pace with the high-flying Warhawks until the final minutes. But Browning's 29-yard touchdown pass to Tre' Perrier gave Louisiana-Monroe a 12-point lead that Troy would need more time than the 181 seconds left in the game to overcome.
After tonight's game, the Trojans and Warhawks are tied for second place in the Sun Belt with matching 3-1 conference records, one game behind Louisiana-Lafayette in the loss column.
Arizona State 55, Washington State 21
Kelly completed 22-of-31 passes for 275 yards and five touchdown passes, and ran for 66 yards on two carries and two more scores. He led six touchdown drives in the first half as the Sun Devils ran up 395 yards and took a 42-14 lead into halftime.
Connor Halliday threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars in defeat.
Arizona State (6-2, 4-1) has won three straight games and leads the Pac-12 South by one in the loss column over UCLA, Arizona and USC. The Sun Devils next hit the road to battle Utah on Nov. 9.