Army not only became bowl eligible but retook the top spot after topping Temple in West Point last weekend.

Playoffs?!?!? Don’t talk about playoffs!!!

Ah, but we can at least start talking postseason here in our Metro Power Rankings, as the Army Black Knights become the first of our five to become bowl eligible. That netted them a little reward, as we count down the Metro area’s FBS teams….

1. Army (6-2)

  • Last Week: W 31-28 vs Temple (OT)
  • Top Performer: RB Darnell Woolfolk (18 carries, 132 yards, 3 TDs)
  • This Week: Idle (Next Game: 11/4 @ Air Force)

The Black Knights return to our #1 slot with a win over the Owls, becoming bowl eligible with the thrilling victory. The Knights will go bowling in back-to-back years for the first time since 1984-85, as well as back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1988-90. They have already accepted an invitation to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas on December 23.


What made the Temple victory all the more impressive was not just the return of Woolfolk, who has four touchdowns over his past two games after missing the previous three with an injury, but the Knights’ surprising ability to throw downfield. Down 28-21 in the final minute, Kelvin Hopkins (5-for-12, 67 yards) led the team on a 14-play, 79-yard drive that concluded with a Jermaine Adams touchdown with no time remaining in regulation. Blake Adams kicked a 29-yard field goal in overtime before an Owls miss sent West Point into hysterics.

2. Syracuse (4-4)

  • Last Week: L 27-19 @ #8 Miami (FL)
  • Top Performer: RB Dontae Strickland (14 carries, 105 yards)
  • This Week: Idle (Next Game: 11/4 @ Florida State)

Back-to-back major upsets were not to be for the Orange, who were done in early by some costly Eric Dungey mistakes. The normally reliable Dungey tossed four interceptions, all in the first half, allowing the Hurricanes to keep the early momentum, as they scored 10 points off those turnovers to build a 13-0 lead. The Orange were able to keep it respectable, cutting the lead to as a little as 20-19 in the fourth quarter, but were done in by the Hurricanes’ 85-yard drive that created the final margin. Despite the crucial turnovers, Dungey ended up running for 100 yards as well.

3. Connecticut (3-4)

  • Last Week: W 20-14 vs Tulsa on Saturday
  • Top Performer: WR Hergy Mayala (4 receptions, 131 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: vs. Missouri (Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network)

Make it two wins in a row for the Huskies, who withstood a furious rally to earn a victory in their first-ever showdown with the Golden Hurricane. With the help of QB Bryant Shirreffs‘s 372 passing yards, the Huskies built up a 20-0 lead before a scary fourth-quarter rally was snuffed out on the game’s final play. Going into a rare late October non-conference game, the Huskies will look to build some momentum before going up against the ranked directional Florida schools in their conference. They previously faced off against a ranked Mizzou team in 2015, falling just short in a 9-6 defensive struggle against a then-#22 Tigers team.

4. Rutgers (3-5)

  • Last Week: W 14-12 vs Purdue
  • Top Performer: LB Trevor Morris (15 tackles)
  • This Week: @ Michigan (Saturday at Noon ET on BTN)

The Scarlet Knights get some props for earning back-to-back Big Ten wins, holding off a Purdue rally in the late stages. Gus Edwards had another strong week, picking up 94 yards and a score on 21 carries, easily the star of a weak offensive effort (eight first downs, 217 total yards). The defense picked up the slack, taking two turnovers and forcing the Boilermakers to go 3-for-15 on third down. They also stopped a late two-point conversion that would’ve tied the game.

Don’t expect that good luck to continue against the Wolverines, however. Michigan is no doubt furious from dropping out of the Top 25 entirely following that disaster in Penn State last week and dismantled the Knights to the tune of a 78-0 final last season….in Piscataway.

5. Buffalo (3-5)

  • Last Week: L @ Miami (Ohio) 24-14
  • Top Performer: LB Khalil Hodge (14 tackles)
  • This Week: @ Akron (Saturday at 11:30 a.m. ET on CBS Sports Network)

The Bulls have now dropped three in a row, taking a tough loss against the cellar-dwellingRedhawks. True freshman Kyle Vantrease threw for two touchdowns, but had a rough first career start, completing just 17-of-41 passes and throwing an interception. While opening day starter Tyree Jackson (733 yards, 3 TDs) could possibly return this week against the Zips, the team received some tough news when it was revealed Drew Anderson, who filled in admirably when Jackson went down (1,039 yards, 10 TDs), would miss the rest of the season. This will be UB’s final Saturday game of the season, as they are set to partake in the weekday “MAC-tion” slate over their final three weeks.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

 

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