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Scoop Roundup: Bowden, Hoke turn back the clock; a QB's 8-TD game & NCAA program's 65-straight winning seasons

It's the FootballScoop Scoop Roundup, touring all levels of college football to highlight what seems like time travel, an offensive outburst for the ages and the gold standard in consistent winning.

For a bit this past weekend, college football found itself in something of a time warp.

Friday night on the West Coast, with the late hours stretching into Saturday morning in the Eastern Time Zone, San Diego State was pushing past rival San Jose State, 19-13, in double-overtime on the road.

The Aztecs now are 6-0 and own PAC-12 wins already against Arizona and Utah. They're prepping to visit similarly resurgent Air Force Saturday; the 6-1 Falcons already have wins against Navy, Wyoming and, on the road this past weekend, Boise State.

It's a big-time showdown in the Mountain West, especially as SDSU finds itself inside the top 25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' polls.

The overtime-win against the Spartans is a rather significant one for Aztecs coach Brady Hoke; with his team now 6-0, he's the only active coach to have a resumè of leading three separate programs (Ball State, 2008), Michigan (2011) and now SDSU to at least a 6-0 start.

Hoke's '08 Cardinals' squad finished the season a perfect 12-0.

“It was physical, it wasn't pretty the whole time,” Hoke said in his postgame, “but when you start looking at winning close games, and winning games like that, you have to do that to win a conference.

“Our goal's always, every year, to win the Mountain West Conference. We've had two overtime games this year, and I think our team has responded well and found a way to stay together and found a way to win.”

Hoke's revival is a bit of a blast from a more recent past.

Way down in Louisiana, where not all the news was about a coach who once had an undefeated season only to be fired some 21 months later, a different coach and former architect of an unbeaten campaign was scoring another signature win.

Louisiana-Monroe, under the guidance of first-year head coach Terry Bowden, and offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez, stunned heavily favored Liberty, 31-28, inside the Warhawks' Malone Stadium.

The win catapulted Monroe to a 3-3 mark on the year. Before that modest milestone is dismissed as insignificant, consider this: ULM has had just one season of .500 since 2014 and only five seasons of .500 or better success since 2000.

Bowden previously led Auburn to an undefeated season in 1993 on the Plains.

ULM now has wins against Liberty and Troy, as well as Deion Sanders' Jackson State team, which surged into the American Football Coaches Association FCS Top 25 rankings on Monday.

BARRIERE IS RARE

Eastern Washington, and the program's scintillating quarterback Eric Barriere, are no strangers to the FootballScoop Roundup.

But Barriere's singular performance this past weekend has the Eagles' signal-caller and the program at large turning quite a few more heads, registering many more headlines.

All Barriere did in EWU's 71-21 painting of Idaho was throw for 600 yards on 26-for-35 passing, with seven touchdowns, and add a 12-yard rushing score as part of the Eagles' record-setting 837-yard offensive output.

EWU remains a perfect 7-0 and has showcase games upcoming in the next two weeks against Weber State and Montana State.

BUFFALO CIRCLES UP

It's been a season of transition at Buffalo, where first-year coach Maurice Linguist is putting his stamp on the Bulls' program after Lance Leipold's departure for the Kansas Jayhawks job in late May.

The Bulls rarely have been out of any game, but they stared down one of their most significant deficits of the season Saturday against similarly retooling Ohio University.

The Bobcats pounced to a 21-0 first-quarter lead; actually, they led 21-0 barely 12 minutes into the game at Buffalo.

But then the Bulls did something that could prove crucial for the program finding its footing under Linguist's energetic staff: they outscored Ohio, 27-5, the remainder of the game to score a 27-26, come-from-behind win.

Buffalo has some momentum on the recruiting trail but it needed a win like this to further galvanize efforts.

Now at 3-4, with five games to play, a postseason berth for the Bulls is not out of the question.

SKYHAWKS SOARING

The University of Tennessee at Martin, with veteran head coach Jason Simpson the Ohio Valley Conference's longest-tenured skipper and among the more entrenched FCS leaders, has uncorked a five-game winning streak and climbed to No. 13 in the AFCA Top 25.

UTM's only loss this season was its season-opener at FBS resident Western Kentucky.

The Skyhawks knocked off then-No. 9 Jacksonville State last month on the road and since have added wins against Murray State and Eastern Illinois.

They host Southeast Missouri State Saturday.

A crucial element this year in UTM's turnaround? Quarterback Keon Howard. A graduate-transfer from Tulane University, Howard has passed for 1,188 yards and nine touchdowns; he's added 319 yards and six scores on the ground.

Saturday's battle against SEMO is for first place in the OVC. Though it started off the season 0-3, SEMO has gone 2-1 in its first three league games.

A win this week for the Skyhawks would be a significant step towards a return to the FCS Playoffs for Simpson & Co.

NO PROGRAM BETTER

Tiny Linfield University, southwest of Portland, Oregon, going towards the Pacific Coast, measures only an enrollment of just around 1,400 students.

The 163-year-old institution, known until last year as Linfield College, somewhat quietly has become the gold standard for NCAA football winning seasons.

Courtesy its 52-23 win last Saturday against Pacific, No. 7 Linfield improved to 5-0 – and with just a nine-game regular season, secured its 65th-straight winning season.

The victory extended the program's ownership of the winning benchmark even further; per NCAA records, no other program at any level of NCAA athletics has more than 42 consecutive winning seasons.

GREAT SCOTS

Not only did Maryville College (NCAA DIVISION III) join the ranks of teams nationwide in not playing a fall 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the football program also had to make a switch at head coach amidst those turbulent times.

The Scots played a scaled-down, miniature spring season as they transitioned into the Ben Fox era.

They saw some assistant coaches stay, and they saw some leave; ditto for the players, with DIII's non-scholarship platform always lending itself to a fairly transient roster situation.

Yet this past Saturday, after a grueling, 0-4 stretch through September, the Scots managed to improve to 2-1 in October with a road victory at North Carolina Wesleyan.

MC also secured the win in a fashion that, much like the aforementioned victory for Buffalo, could become a cornerstone moment in Fox's efforts to rebuild the program.

The Scots took an 18-3 lead, only to squander it as Wesleyan rallied to knot the score at 24-all with less than seven minutes to play in regulation. They got Cody Estep's game-winning touchdown run less than three minutes later and then deliberately took a safety to preserve the 31-26 USA South win.

MC is working to reestablish its football program into conference-title contender status at the small private school in the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Scots' men's and women's basketball programs have become NCAA Division III postseason regulars, with the men's squad under Raul Placeres ranked No. 23 nationally in the D3 preseason top 25.