October 20, 2010 1 Comment
Last week gave us some big time wins and heartbreaking losses in the Conference USA.
East Carolina had a big win against the more talented NC State Wolfpack, 33-27 in OT. The Pirates missed a field goal in OT, but sealed the win when true freshman safety Damon Magazu intercepted a Russell Wilson pass at the goaline.
The Rice Owls jumped out to a huge lead on the Houston Cougars, leading 27-7 at one point. Then the Cougs woke up and even took a 31-27 lead late in the 4th quarter. That lead wouldn’t last as Rice QB Nick Fanuzzi hit Vance McDonald for the go ahead TD, Rice won 34-31.
The Southern Methodist Mustangs traveled to Annapolis for a showdown with the Navy Midshipmen. SMU started off the game hot, leading 14-0 at halftime. Kyle Padron was throwing and even running the football at will and the Mustang D was looking good. Then the 3rd quarter started and it was a different story. Three unanswered scores for Navy made it 21-14 in the 4th, until Kyle Padron threw his 3rd TD of the game. The Midshipmen would strike back taking a 28-21 lead late in the 4th, but the Mustangs had a shot. The game ended with an SMU Hook ‘n Ladder attempt. Navy wins 28-21. The game changed on 2 Padron turnovers, a fumble and INT, both converted into TD’s by Navy.
UAB pulled off a huge upset over the UTEP MIners, 21-6. The Miners couldn’t do anything on the offensive side of the ball, while the Blazers did what they wanted on offense after halftime. UTEP led 6-0, until the Blazers went on a scoring spree late in the 2nd half. UAB QB Bryan Ellis threw for 272 yards and 3 TD’s.
Ranking the C-USA
1. East Carolina Pirates They pulled off a huge win over NC State, now they get a little easier test when Marshall comes to Greenville.
2. Southern Miss Golden Eagles They get to the bye week after beating down Memphis. UAB comes to town Oct 30.
3. SMU Mustangs How will they respond after the tough loss to Navy? A win at home against Houston would push them to 4-0 in CUSA, that would help them get over it.
4. UCF Knights I continue to be impressed by the Knights defense. They get a tough Rice team at home this week in what should be a good game.
5. Houston Cougars David Piland isn’t Case Keenum, but he filled in well last week. If the Cougars can get Beall going on the ground, they have a good shot against SMU.
6. Tulsa Golden Hurricane The Golden Hurricane got back to their offensive ways against Tulane, and head into the bye week fresh off a win. They head to Notre Dame on Oct 30 for a huge road game with the Fighting Irish.
7. UTEP Miners After a tough loss to UAB, the Miners should put one in the W column this week when Tulane rolls into town.
8. UAB Blazers I hope the Blazers took time to enjoy their win over UTEP, because they travel to Mississippi St this week . It won’t be pretty.
9. Rice Owls After the big win over Houston last week, they head to UCF for a battle with the Knights.
10. Tulane Green Wave Tulane is a team I wouldn’t want to play if I were a contender. They will always battle, regardless of the score. They just need more talent on their roster.
11. Marshall Thundering Herd They were over matched last week against UCF and I see more of the same this week when they travel to ECU.
12. Memphis Tigers This team needed a bye after getting destroyed the past few weeks.
Week 8 Picks
Rice @ UCF
The UCF defense should control this game like they have throughout the season. Rice has some nice weapons in QB Nick Fanuzzi, RB Sam McGuffie and a handful of good WR. The story of this game might be the season ending knee injury to UCF QB Rob Calabrese. Jeff Godfrey will be the lone QB in the Knights QB rotation. I still like the Knights to win 27-7.
Houston @ SMU
This game is going to fun to watch. Offense will be king as the Mustangs and Cougars can score the ball in bunches. The key to this game will be Cougs running backs Bryce Beall and Michael Hayes. Get these 2 going and Houston has a great shot to win. I’ll take my chances with the Mustangs though, 34-28.
Marshall @ ECU
ECU should dominate this game from start to finish. The Pirates QB Dominique Davis had an enormous game last week and I expect more of the same. He has been fun to watch this season. ECU wins big, 40-17.
UAB @ Mississippi St
Miss State is going to roll in this game. They are just too much for the Blazers to handle. Miss State wins 52-10.
Tulane @ UTEP
I like UTEP to get back on track in this West division battle. UTEP wins 31-20.
Written by Jason Madson. Follow him on Twitter @isbnJMAD.