The biggest surprises in every conference at the 2019 midseason are …
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The Mustangs have won more than six games just once against 2012, and haven’t won more than eight since 1984. The last time they started out a season 6-0? 1982. This year’s version is 6-0 under head coach Sonny Dykes, has the quarterback in Texas transfer Shane Buechele, and has beaten teams like Arkansas State, North Texas and TCU on the way to the great start. HOWEVER … the second half? Temple, at Houston, at Memphis, East Carolina, at Navy, Tulane.
The Hilltoppers won three games last season with a defense that struggled with its consistency and an offense that couldn’t seem to get more than 17 points without pulling teeth. This year, the O is still sputtering, but the D is 17th in the nation in yards allowed, 20th in scoring defense, and is getting better as the year is going on with a 4-2 start after starting out with a loss to Central Arkansas from the FCS world.
BYU 30, USC 27
It’s been a rough run for BYU overall to start the season, but against a USC team that’s not all that bad, the Cougar defense came up with three picks, held on in the fourth quarter, and came up with a 43-yard field goal in overtime – and a defensive stop – to pull off one of the biggest wins in the Kalani Sitake era.
Kent State Golden Flashes
No one’s talking MAC championship yet, and beating Bowling Green and Akron isn’t that big a deal, but for a program that hasn’t won more than three games since 2013, and hasn’t won more than four since 2012, being 3-3 is fantastic. Head coach Sean Lewis and his FlashFast style of offense are at least beating the teams they’re supposed to.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Would you be stunned if Hawaii started out at 2-4 with losses to Arizona, Oregon State and Washington from the Pac-12 world, and at Boise State? It wouldn’t even be crazy to have suggested the Rainbow Warriors were going to start out 1-5 with a trip to Nevada, too. Instead, they’re 4-2, the defense has been shockingly good, and they’ve been a whole lot of fun.
Georgia State 38, Tennessee 30
As it turned out, Georgia State was a whole lot better than it got credit for. There was a blowout loss to Western Michigan, and losing to Texas State wasn’t great, but the Panthers are 4-2, starting out with a stunning win in Knoxville to put the team – and the Sun Belt – on the map.