Butch Dill/Associated Press
Arkansas State (3-1) at Georgia Southern (2-1), 6 p.m. ET
Surrendering 310 rushing yards to UNLV isn’t a promising sign for Arkansas State entering a matchup with Georgia Southern. The Red Wolves should be able to ride quarterback Justice Hansen past an average secondary, but the run defense must avoid “sieve” territory on the road.
Prediction: Arkansas State 38, Georgia Southern 33
Northern Illinois (1-3) at Eastern Michigan (2-2), 6 p.m ET
The paycheck-collecting start to the season is over for Northern Illinois. Though the defense put up respectable fights opposite Utah and Florida State amid three power-conference losses, NIU never looked threatening on offense. Eastern Michigan’s attack is rarely pretty, but it’s effective enough to win at home.
Prediction: Eastern Michigan 27, Northern Illinois 22
Liberty (1-2) at New Mexico (2-1), 6 p.m. ET
New Mexico’s rushing attack isn’t as dangerous as years past, but Liberty’s defense will regularly bend and eventually break. The Flames, who surrendered at least six yards per tote opposite both Army and North Texas, won’t be able to handle this volume.
Prediction: New Mexico 37, Liberty 27
Florida Atlantic (2-2) at Middle Tennessee (1-2), 7 p.m. ET
Here’s your scoreboard-breaker of the week, considering FAU and Middle Tennessee are giving up 40-plus points apiece. FAU quarterback Chris Robison has stumbled to an uneven start, but a secondary that cedes 8.1 yards per attempt will be a favorable matchup.
Prediction: Florida Atlantic 48, Middle Tennessee 34
Houston Baptist (1-2) at SMU (1-3), 7 p.m. ET
Over the last two games, Houston Baptist has allowed 628 yards and eight touchdowns through the air. Although SMU is still wavering between Ben Hicks and William Brown at quarterback, either one should be productive opposite the FCS visitors.
Prediction: SMU 37, Houston Baptist 24
UTEP (0-4) at UTSA (1-3), 7 p.m. ET
This Conference USA tilt is a clash of weaknesses. UTSA has a horrid pass defense but appears solid against the run. UTEP isn’t much of a threat through the air but relies on the run. Which unit bends the most? Like Week 4, we’ll favor a tested UTSA squad that lost to Arizona State, Baylor and Kansas State.
Prediction: UTSA 26, UTEP 20
Hawaii (4-1) at San Jose State (0-3), 7 p.m. ET
All season long, we’ll wonder whether this is the Saturday a porous Hawaii defense melts down. That likely won’t happen opposite San Jose State—the nation’s No. 124 offense—but Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald should throw five touchdowns just to be safe.
Prediction: Hawaii 38, San Jose State 22
Charlotte (2-2) at UAB (2-1), 7 p.m. ET
UAB remains perfect at home since the program returned in 2017, boasting an 8-0 record in Birmingham. Charlotte’s inefficient defense will allow the streak to continue, provided UAB doesn’t allow 49ers quarterback Chris Reynolds to rule the air.
Prediction: UAB 36, Charlotte 24
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-3) at Florida International (2-2), 7:30 p.m. ET
Two weeks ago, South Dakota State scored 90 points on Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Once your skull has resumed normal tilt position, eyebrows are relaxed and your jaw is closed, you’ll understand why we’re picking Florida International to win a blowout.
Prediction: FIU 58, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 14
Louisiana Tech (2-1) at North Texas (4-0), 7:30 p.m. ET
Through three games, Louisiana Tech has ceded 6.6 yards per pass attempt with two touchdowns and two interceptions. That’s pretty good! But to stop North Texas quarterback Mason Fine, the secondary better be special. With a victory, the Mean Green might hop into the AP Top 25.
Prediction: North Texas 42, Louisiana Tech 24
Marshall (2-1) at Western Kentucky (1-3), 7:30 p.m. ET
Western Kentucky is a competitive bad team. Though quarterback Davis Shanley might be correcting the issue, the Hilltoppers haven’t been explosive on offense. Marshall can be defeated that way, but we’ll need to see it from WKU to believe it.
Prediction: Marshall 33, Western Kentucky 21