Six non-conference G5 games to watch in 2022
Happy New Year, G5 football fans!
The 2021 season is pretty much over, which means we’re already thinking about the 2022 season and the games to start building excitement over the spring and summer. While we don’t know the conference times yet, we do know the non-conference times for just about all FBS teams, and that is more than enough to start speculating.
Here are a few of our favorite games coming up in the New Year, in no particular order, with explanations of why we think they will be fun.
Coastal Carolina vs. Virginia
In some ways, this may be one of the toughest games in Jamey Chadwell’s tenure with the Chanticleers. While Coastal Carolina has beaten Kansas three times since 2019, they only have two other games against P5 opponents under their belt. Those games included a loss to Arkansas in Fayetteville in 2017 and South Carolina in 2018.
The chance to clinch a victory in Charlottesville on Nov. 19 against a team that isn’t… well, Kansas… gives Grayson McCall a belated opportunity to really cement his already impressive collegiate legacy.
Marshall vs. Appalachian State
Each of the past two seasons, Marshall and App State have given us some very physical and close fights. Some might even characterize the rivalry between the herd and the mountaineers as controversial.
Clearly and simply, these teams don’t like each other… but that’s what makes it fun. Like the ball of haters of Mountain Man players.
With Marshall moving to the Sun Belt soon, I hope we get to have this game more often in the years to come.
Old Dominion vs. Virginia Tech
Anytime you play against an opponent in the state this should be something to look forward to. The last two times that Old Dominion and Virginia Tech went head-to-head, we had some really entertaining contests. This included ODU’s very first victory over a P5 opponent in 2018 when the Hokies visited Norfolk.
With a Monarch squad that showed impressive potential at the end of the 2021 season, Ricky Rahne again welcomes the Hokies to Norfolk on September 3.
UTSA vs. Houston
During Larry Coker’s day, UTSA faced Houston twice. The Cougars ran away with 59-28 in 2013 while UTSA won 27-7 in 2014. These two teams meet for the third time on September 3 of this year.
Obviously, both of these programs have grown and evolved significantly over the past eight years. It’s a special time for college football in East Texas.
Houston is set to move on to P5 shortly as UTSA’s growth has earned it an invitation to the US conference. It seems unlikely that Jeff Traylor or Dana Holgorsen have finished building. On top of all of that, we’re going to continue to see these two schools compete for many of the same rookies for years to come.
San Diego State vs. Utah
While games between the Utes and the Aztecs were a very frequent occasion, the two teams met for the first time since 2010 last season. The Aztecs took home victory in a triple-overtime thriller on September 18.
San Diego State is coming off its fifth double-digit winning season this century. Utah just won a Pac-12 title and a place in the Rose Bowl. With both programs on the rise, could we be in another thriller on September 17th?
Freedom against Miss South
2021 didn’t go the way Will Hall and Southern Miss wanted it to be. But at the risk of sounding cliché, they showed a tremendous amount of heart. Frank Gore Jr. is back in the lead and on offense who can hopefully stay healthy after being decimated by injuries and COVID for the past two seasons.
Meanwhile, Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze returns to Mississippi, where he had a relatively successful run as Ole Miss’s head coach before resigning after misusing his work phone. and we’ll leave it there. Since then, Freeze has gone 26-11 as the head coach of the Flames, including three consecutive wins in a bowl and a top 20 in 2020.
Bonus – UTSA vs. Texas
We cheat a bit by including the UTSA twice. But, given that the Longhorns seem to be finding new ways to embarrass each other both on and off the pitch (something about the emotional support monkey of an exotic dancer), Jeff Traylor’s upstart Roadrunners would not be. not beaten as UTSA fans show Austin tech bros how to really party be a kiss-worthy moment for G5 fans?