Around C-USA Week 6

Tulane traveled into New Jersey as a team that hadn’t won a road game since early last season, and left with a huge upset win.  I know Rutgers hasn’t been a force this season, but Tulane has been far from it.  The rest of the Conference played out as many expected it to.  SMU and Tulsa continue to put up points in bunches, Southern Miss looks like a dominant contender for the league title and North Carolina beat the Pirates of ECU soundly.  Lets take a look at some of last weeks Top Performances.

Week 5 Top Performances

Tulsa QB GJ Kinne continues his dual threat dominance.  He threw for 214 yards and 2 scores, while gaining another 34 yards on the ground and 1 TD.  He has really taken to the hurry up, no huddle offense this season.

The trio at SMU consisting of QB Kyle Padron and WR’s Cole Beasley and Aldrick Robinson had a monster game.  Padron threw for 371 yards and 3 scores, with a 75 % complection percentage.  He is good!  Beasley and Robinson combined for 14 receptions 306 receiving yards and 2 scores.  In this same game, Owls running back Sam McGuffie also had a pretty good day with 96 rushing yards and 45 yards receiving.

Austin Davis didn’t really fill up the stat book on Saturday for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, but the QB did have 4 total TD.  He threw for 1 score and rushed for 3 more in the blowout victory over Marshall.

Conference USA Top to Bottom

  1. 1. Southern Miss (4-1)  I know they played Marshall, but they looked like the best team.
  2. 2. East Carolina (2-2)  Had to drop them off the top after the blowout loss.
  3. 3. Houston (3-1)  If they can keep the pressure off Broadway with the running game, they should be fine.
  4. 4. SMU (3-2)  Offense is king here, and they have the weapons to compete.
  5. 5. UTEP (4-1)  Trevor Vittatoe continues to lead this team to wins.
  6. 6. UCF (2-2) After the tough loss to KState and a bye week, how will they respond?
  7. 7. Tulsa (3-2) GJ Kinne is the real deal, but can they stop anybody on Defense?
  8. 8. Rice (1-4)  We saw a glimpse of the potential offered by Sam McGuffie, will it continue?
  9. 9. UAB (1-3) UAB has found a QB mix that works, UCF should be a good match up.
  10. 10. Marshall (1-4) The bye week came at a good time for the struggling Herd.
  11. 11. Memphis (1-4)  Heading to Lousville isn’t the best situation for the Tigers right now, especially after losing their starting QB to a concussion.

Week 6 Matchups and Picks

UAB @ UCF   Both teams will be using 2 quarterbacks in different fashions for tonight’s game, does that mean neither team has one?  I like the way the UCF defense has been playing, so I will take the Knights 27-10.

Memphis @ Louisville   Memphis just needs to hope they get some lucky bounces in this game.  The young Cardinals have more talent than do the Tigers, but experience is lacking.  I like the Cardinals at home 33-17

East Carolina @ Southern Miss  This is one game that every football fan should watch, or atleast DVR and watch later.  The top 2 teams in the East Division square off in what should decide the divisions champ.  This game is going to feature the 14th ranked ECU passing attack and the 16th ranked Southern Miss Defense.  Defense will prevail in the Golden Eagles Homecoming game, SoMiss wins 22-20.

Mississippi State @ Houston  Houston gets a big time test to come to their house on Saturday, and I don’t like their chances.  It’s not a CUSA game, so a loss won’t kill them.  I think the Bulldogs will be the more physical team and take this game from the Cougars easily.  I like Miss St, 28-17.

Army @ Tulane Army lost a tough game to Temple last week, but have been pefrect on the road so far this season.  Tulane is coming off a huge upset victory over Rutgers.  I like the Army option attack lead by QB Trent Steelman, who had a hand in all 5 Black Knight TD’s last week.  The Black Knights should take this game, 30-21.

Tulsa @ SMU   This game is going to be a good one, with 2 of the top QB’s in the C-USA with GJ Kinne and Kyle Padron.  Watch the scoreboard light up in this game, as I like SMU to take it 41-34.

Rice @ UTEP   UTEP should take this game easily at home, Rice just doesn’t have to firepower to keep up with Trevor Vittatoe and company.  I’ll take the Miners, 31-23.

Written by Jason Madson @isbnJMAD on Twitter


Around C-USA:


Oh so close. Three near misses that would have been big wins for each program and the conference.

It started Friday night with SMU falling to TCU 41-24 in Dallas. But for at least 2 ½ quarters the game was much closer then the final score might indicate and SMU actually held a l7-14 lead in the 3rd quarter. But #4 TCU responded with 3 straight td’s to take a 35-17 lead on their way to the 41-24 final. Not many people were giving UAB much of a chance when they ventured to Knoxville to take on Tennessee. They left with what has to be a dose of confidence after taking the Vol’s to double OT before falling 31-29.

One week after their Hail Mary win comeback win over Troy the UAB QB duo of Bryan Ellis and David Isabelle almost led the Blazers to another stunner. Ellis completed 29 of 55 for 373 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Isabelle ran 16 times for 73 yards and completed 4 of 5 for 56 yards and a touchdown. Ellis hit Pat Shed on a 14-yard pass to pick up a first down in the second overtime but his 7-yard pass to Patrick Hearn came up 4 yards short of the end zone, and Josh Zahn scored on a 21-yard field goal to put UAB up 29-26 before Matt Simms threw a 25-yard touchdown to Denarius Moore on Tennessee’s first play of double-overtime for the game winning td.

UCF battled thru two rain/lightning delays of 86 and 75 minutes and led the game for 59 minutes and 36 seconds before Carson Coffman ran in from seven yards out with twenty-four seconds remaining for the KSU winning score. UCF missed two field goals and had to settle for three points on two other deep drives, allowing Kansas State (4-0) to stay within striking distance. And when the Wildcats drove the length of the field and scored in the final minute, it left the Knights (2-2) with an empty feeling.

Even with the devastating loss of QB Case Keenum, Houston still has some potent offensive weapons as they demonstrated in their 42-23 win over Tulane. Bryce Beall rushed for 123 yards and a career-high four touchdowns as Houston held off a Tulane rally 42-23, Saturday. The Cougars (3-1, 2-0 C-USA) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half, but Tulane pulled within five, 28-23, in the fourth quarter before Beall put it away with his fourth touchdown, a 25-yard run with 3:58 remaining in the game. Freshmen Terrance Broadway, who was making his first career start finished 19 of 28 for 174 yards and one interception

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 17:  Bryce Beall #25 of the Houston Cougars is tackled by Chinonso Echebelem #24 of the Tulane Green Wave at the Louisiana Superdome on October 17, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

One week after their big home win over Kansas, Southern Miss had to hold on for dear life at the end to preserve a 13-12 win over Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La. The Golden Eagles (3-1) led 13-3 in the fourth quarter and appeared on their way to victory against a Bulldogs offense that struggled until late. Deron Wilson picked off Louisiana Tech quarterback Tarik Hakmi at the Southern Miss 20-yard line with 2:31 left on the clock to seal the win. Austin Davis threw for 233 yards and one score for Southern Miss.

Sophomore RB Zach Line is averaging 7.8 yards per carry for SMU and has 53 carries for 415 yards on the season.

Houston and East Carolina both ran in the national top 10 in scoring offense. Houston is seventh with their average ppg of 44.3 and the Pirates check in at number nine with 42.3

Tulsa is 9th in passing offense averaging 310 yards per game and 5th in total offense at 523 total yards per game.

UAB is tied for tenth nationally in sacks with 12 team sacks

Best team win week 2:

Marshall survived a two point conversion attempt by Ohio with no time left on the clock to pick up their first win of the season. Ohio’s Boo Jackson connected with Terrence McCrae on a 36-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 24-23 with no time left. The Bobcats elected to go for the two-point conversion, but Jackson’s pass sailed through the back of the end zone to secure Marshall’s win.

Worst team loss week 2:

The UCF win at Kansas State would have been considered an upset nationally but it was still a heart breaking loss for the Knights. A loss they have to feel they let slip thru their grasp. UCF missed two field goals and had to settle for field goals on two other golden TD scoring opportunities. In addition, the winning KSU TD actually came on a busted play shovel pass.

C-USA Power rankings:

  1. East Carolina (2-1) – Still number one after a bye week.
  2. Southern Miss (3-1) – Dodged a bullet at Louisiana Tech.
  3. UCF (2-2) – Time to move past the tough loss and focus on the C-USA race.
  4. Houston (3-1) – Maybe not all is lost for this team.
  5. SMU (2-2) – Looked good for 2 ½ quarters vs TCU.
  6. Tulsa (2-2)– Got rid of some of the bad taste with a win over an overmatched opponent.
  7. UTEP (3-1) – Held server at home vs Memphis. Barely
  8. Memphis (1-3) – Tough loss at UTEP.
  9. UAB (1-3) – Almost pulled off the stunner in Knoxville.
  10. Rice (1-3) – Would have hoped for better showing at home vs Baylor
  11. Marshall (1-3) –  First win under their belts by the skin of their teeth.
  12. Tulane (1-2) – Couldn’t get past the Houston without Keenum.

Blind Squirrel’s C-USA picks for this week

Last week’s pick’s record (9-0) (17-3 overall)

Tulane at Rutgers: Another road game for Tulane that doesn’t look like a good match-up on paper. Will the QB change that seemed to spark Tulane vs Houston help?                                  My pick: Rutgers 27 – Tulane 17

East Carolina at North Carolina: The Pirates have taken to the new offensive system quickly with their only loss at Virginia Tech. UNC has played a brutal early schedule with losses to LSU and Georgia Tech. My pick: East Carolina 31 – UNC 24

UTEP at New Mexico: To say that New Mexico is struggling is an understatement. They are 0-4 and have been outscored by and average of 56 to 10 on the season. UNM has played a tougher schedule and they are playing at home. My pick: UTEP 31 – UNM 27

SMU at Rice: Although they are 1-3 win only a win over North Texas, Rice hasn’t been blown out in any of the losses to Texas, Northwestern or Baylor. SMU is starting to click in the passing and rushing game. My pick: SMU 35 – Rice 21

Tulsa at Memphis: Memphis got their only win in their only previous home game vs Middle Tennessee. Can they keep pace with the Tulsa offense? Possibly, the Tulsa offense is potent but the Golden Hurrican defense has given upt a ton of points. My pick: Tulsa 42 – Memphis 28

Marshall at Southern Miss: Marshall goes back on the road after getting their first win last week over Ohio. Southern Miss is back home where they are very tough. The Golden Eagles need to be careful not to get caught looking ahead to October 9th matchup vs East Carolina.                          My pick: Southern Miss 31 – Marshall 17

Written by John Huber @Fort80 on Twitter

PGWU Podcast: Week 4

This week we discuss the legal troubles at Florida, talk about the big stories in each conference in The Breakdown, make our selections in the PGWU Pick’Em segment and finish the show off with the World Famous Prospect Quick Fire. Enjoy!

Around C-USA: Week 4

The big news around the conference this week is the season ending injury to Houston QB and Heisman candidate Case Keenum. The 5th year senior suffered a torn ACL late in the second quarter of the Cougars loss at UCLA. To make matters worse late in the third quarter backup QB Cotton Turner was also lost for the season with a broken clavicle. Though not yet announced officially it is expected that Houston Head Coach Kevin Sumlin will name true freshman Terrance Broadway as the new starter.

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Case Keenum  of the Houston Cougars manages to dump off a pass as he is pulled down by linebacker Sean Westgate  of the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on September 18, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

UAB staged one of the most dramatic comebacks in their history in 34-33 win over Troy. With no timeouts, reserve QB Bryan Ellis engineered a 99-yard drive in the final 1:09 of the game, capping off the drive with a 44-yard `Hail Mary’ touchdown pass to freshman WR Jackie Williams. Ellis’ performance helped the Blazers overcome a 23-0 lead Troy had built through the midway point of the second period, and a 33-20 deficit in the final quarter. The comeback was the largest in UAB history. The previous largest deficit UAB had overcome was a 22-point deficit in a 51-34 win over Houston in 2002. The Blazers had trailed in that game, 28-6.

The SMU 35-21 win over Washington State was the first win against a BCS team since a win over Kansas (31-17) on Sept. 2, 2000, snapping a 17-game losing streak. Sophomore QB Kyle Padron was 19-of-34 for 280 yards and four scores. SMU has won five straight home games and is 7-2 in the last nine games, the best mark for any nine-game stretch since a stretch from the 1984 and 1985 seasons.

UCF true freshman QB Jeff Godfrey did nothing to temper the lofty expectations from Golden Knight fans in his first college start by going 15-of-24 for 130 yards passing and also ran for 44 yards.. With his 30 yard INT return fo a TD Senior DE Bruce Miller became the first UCF defensive lineman to return an INT for a TD since Jerry Nemethy on a 39-yard return against Alabama A&M on Oct. 17, 1981. UCF has scored on each of its last 14 red zone possessions dating back to Nov. 28, 2009.

UTEP senior QB Trevor Vittatoe became the first quarterback in UTEP history to throw for five touchdowns in a game four times as he completed 19-of-30 passes for 246 yards in the Miner 42-10 win over New Mexico State.  He also rushed three times for a career-best 54 yards in finishing with 300 yards of total offense. Vittatoe now has 83 career touchdown passes, the fifth-best total in Conference USA history.

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 07:  Quarterback Trevor Vittatoe #10 of the UTEP Miners at Louisana Superdome on November 7, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

East Carolina scored on five of their first six possessions and led 24-21 at halftime before falling at Virginia Tech on Saturday, 49-27. Pirate Junior QB Dominique Davis finished the day 30-of-44 for 251 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Senior WR Dwayne Harris caught 10 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. He has now scored in seven consecutive games.

Ryan Williams became the first true freshman to start at QB for Memphis since 1986 in the Tigers 24-17 win over Middle Tennessee State.  All 24 Tigers points came following MTSU turnovers, as Memphis forced four miscues for the first time since the 2007 Middle Tennessee game.

UTEP RB Donald Buckram, who ran for almost 1,600 yards in 2009 could make his return this week versus Memphis. Buckram is the second leading returning rusher in the nation.

C-USA team records since conference realignment in 2005:

School                         C-USA            Overall

Houston                      30-11               44-25

East Carolina              30-12               40-28

Tulsa                           27-14               44-25

UCF                            26-14               36-31

Southern Miss            25-15               39-29

Rice                             19-21               24-39

UTEP                          17-23               28-35

Marshall                     17-23               23-38

Memphis                     17-24               25-37

SMU                           15-26               23-40

UAB                            13-28               20-42

Tulane                           8-32               15-46

Best team win week 2:

Going to call this one a draw between the UAB hail mary win over Troy and the Memphis win over MTSU. UAB Coach Neil Callaway REALLY needed this victory and Larry Porter got his first win as Memphis Head Coach.

Worst team loss week 2:

No doubt it was the Houston loss at UCLA. More so for the loss of Case Keenum to a season ending ACL injury then the loss on the field. This takes a team that had longshot BCS dreams and puts their season in an entirely different perspective.

CUSA Power rankings:

  1. East Carolina (2-1) – Could not hold an early lead on the road at Virginia Tech.
  2. Southern Miss (2-1) – Impressive win over mediocre BCS team(Kansas) at home.
  3. UCF (2-1) – Good win and good things from young Mr. Godfrey
  4. SMU (2-1) – Washington State isn’t a power but it shows SMU is making progress.
  5. Houston (2-1) – A different team from one week ago. Young QB gets Tulane at home this week.
  6. Tulsa (1-2)– Not much good to take from the basing at OSU.
  7. Memphis (1-2) – Big win vs MTSU. Winnable game at UTEP this week.
  8. UTEP (2-1) – New Mexico State may be the worst team in D1.
  9. Rice (1-2) – Not a terrible loss to Northwestern but only win is a squeaker vs North Texas
  10. Marshall (0-3) –  Still looking for first win. The West Virginia loss still hurts.
  11. Tulane (1-1) – Get the first shot at the post Keenum Cougars this week.
  12. UAB (1-2) – They won’t apologize for the win over Troy.

Blind Squirrel’s C-USA picks for this week

Last week’s pick’s record (8-3)

TCU at SMU:  SMU has won five straight home games but I’m not sure how much of a home field advantage they will have against TCU. So far SMU has beaten the teams they are supposed to beat and played Texas Tech tough. TCU has won its last six road games and 17 straight regular season games. Andy Dalton has been phenomenal at QB for TCU. My pick: TCU 34 – SMU 21

UCF at K-State: I think KSU is a little overrated. They are one dimensional on offense and have given up some points on defense. Still, that one deminsion is Daniel Thomas and he is tough to stop even when you know he’s going to get the ball. It’s also not easy to win in Manhattan Ks. A good test for the Knights to find out where then stand. My pick: Kansas St 23 – UCF 20.

Tulane at Houston: This is an interesting game considering the QB situation at Houston. They still have a lot of talent at the skill positions and should roll Tulane at home. If they don’t it won’t be a good sign for the rest of their season. Emotions should also be high for Houston in their first home game without Keenum. My pick: Houston 35  – Tulane 13

Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech: Ruston is not an easy place to play and this will be a tough game for the Golden Eagles. Still, Southern Miss is the better team and La Tech as not been impressive. My pick: Southern Miss 27 –  Louisiana Tech 17

Baylor at Rice: Baylor coming off a disappointing loss to TCU but Robert Griffin is very dangerous. The Owl defense will struggle to contain Griffin and the Baylor offense. Rice needs to control the ball offensively to keep the ball out of Griffins hands. It would be a good time for Rice to get RB Sam McGuffie untracked. My pick: Baylor 30 – Rice 17

Central Arkansas at Tulsa: We all know that FCS schools can’t be taken lightly and Central Arkansas is 3-0 and in some FCS Top 25 polls. Still, Tulsa is looking for a whipping boy after they filled that role themselves last week in Stillwater. My pick: Tulsa 49 – UCA 21

UAB at Tennessee: UT is coming off home losses to Florida and Oregon. It would be in the best interest of Derek Dooley’s future as head coach of the Vol’s not to let UAB stay close. Bryan Ellis will get the starting not for UAB. It won’t matter. Tennessee 49 – UAB 14.

Ohio at Marshall: Marshall still looking for their first win and this may be the best chance they’ll have for the next month. Marshall is tough in Huntington. Ohio is 1-2 with their only win over Wofford. Marshall 23 – Ohio 13

Memphis at UTEP:  UTEP is 0-3 all-time vs Memphis. The Tigers got a nice confidence boost last week in their win over Middle Tennessee. RB Donald Buckram is expected to make his season debut this week and if 100% could be a huge factor. My pick: UTEP 30 – Memphis 21

Week 3 CUSA Players of the week:

UAB junior QB Bryan Ellis was selected as the C-USA offensive player of the week. Ellis came off the bench in the second quarter and threw for 360 yards and three TD’s to lead UAB to a 34-33 come-from-behind win over Troy. Ellis led a 99 yard game winning drive  in the final 1:09.

UCF Junior DE Darius Nall was named C-USA defensive player of the week after leading UCF with nine tackles, including three TFLs and two sacks, plus a pass-break up and a quarterback hurry in UCF’s 24-10 win at Buffalo.

Tom Hornsey of Memphis and Deron Wilson of Southern Miss share the C-USA Special Teams player of the week award. helped keep Hornsey kicked a career-high 10 punts in the game, averaging 41.7 yards per punt. He kicked a career-long 63-yard punt from the Memphis six-yard line late in the fourth quarter that helped keep MTSU in its own territory and go three-and-out in a critical defensive opportunity for the Tigers. Wilson recovered a block punt and went seven yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter of the Golden Eagles’ 31-16 win over Kansas on Friday night. It was the second-straight week that he was involved with a blocked punt, tallying one last week against Prairie View.

Written by John Huber @Fort80 on Twitter

Pregame Warm-Up Podcast Week 3

This week on The Pregame Warm-Up Podcast, we discuss quite a few topics. Tune in for a discussion about Reggie Bush and what he should’ve done with his Heisman Trophy, the Pregame Warm-Up conference breakdown where we discuss the hot topics in each conference for this upcoming weekend, we made our selections for the Pregame Warm-Up Pick’em segment and finished this week off with the World Famous Prospect Quick Fire. Thanks for listening!

Around CUSA:


Houston entered both major polls following its 54-24 win over UTEP. The Cougars appear in both polls this week at No. 23…..the Cougars ran up 309 yards on the ground and scored six rushing touchdowns in a 54-24 win over UTEP on Friday night in a departure from their typical pass heavy offense. Heisman candidate Case Keenum had a nice game but failed to throw a td pass for the first time in 31 games.

Tulsa junior QB GJ Kinne is off to a very nice start in 2010. The Texas transfer struggled at times in 2009 mainly to poor pass protection but Kinne leads all FBS quarterbacks with 755 passing yards in the first two games of the season.

East Carolina fans have to be very happy with the way the Ruffin McNeill era has started. The 100 points(51 vs Tulsa, 49 vs Memphis) scored in the first two games are the most scored in back-to-back opening games in program history. The catalyst of the Pirates attack has been junior QB Dominique Davis. After throwing five touchdowns vs. Tulsa, he accounted for five scores against Memphis, throwing three TD passes and running for two more. He completed 27-of-38 passes for 244 yards.

Southern Miss junior WR DeAndre Brown has NFL written all over him when it comes to athletic ability and talent. The question that has arisen with Brown is consistent effort. Through the first two games of the season Brown has 9 receptions for 165 yards and 2tds. All while being called out publicly by Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora for his effort on some plays following a season opening loss to South Carolina. “If you look at his game from the other night there was nothing special on his part. It wasn’t even an average performance to be honest with you”, Fedora stated in the Monday press conference following the opener.

UCF coach George O’Leary is battling a QB controversy with junior Rob Calabrese and true freshman Jeff Godfrey at the center of the storm. O’Leary is set to name a starter on Friday with most thinking Godfrey will get the starting nod following a late game entrance and impressive performance last Saturday in a 28-21 loss to NC St.

There has been a lot of anticipation at Rice since Sam McGuffie announced he was transferring from Michigan following the 2008 season. He has had mixed success in the first two games rushing for 80 yards in two game at 2.3 yards per carry. He has also caught 5 passes for 84 yards and 1 TD.

83 players from CUSA schools appeared on the opening day rosters of NFL teams this past weekend. All 12 C-USA schools are represented, with at least four or more players appearing from nine of the schools. UCF has the most former players on current NFL rosters with 12, while Memphis has 11 and Marshall has nine. Included are 12 players that have made at least one Pro Bowl appearance in their careers.

Best Team win week 2:

I’m going with the 32-31 Rice win over North Texas. It might not have been the most impressive win but not losing this game was huge for the Owl’s. Coming off a 2-10 2009 they did not want to start 2010 0-2.

Worst team loss week 2:

Although certainly not a terrible performance the Marshall loss to West Virginia was a heartbreaker. It would have been a huge win for Doc Holliday in his second game as head coach at Marshall in front of a record setting home crowd in Huntington.  To blow a 15 point 4th quarter lead made it even more painful.

CUSA Power rankings:

  1. East Carolina – Two good CUSA wins to start the season.
  2. Houston – Number two so far based on a slightly weaker schedule.
  3. Tulsa – Nice win over Bowling Green and a close loss at East Carolina
  4. SMU – Close loss at Texas Tech and convincing home win over UAB.
  5. UCF – Close loss at home to NC St
  6. Rice – Respectable loss vs Texas and road win at North Texas
  7. Southern Miss – Bounced back from loss at South Carolina with win over Prairie View.
  8. UTEP – Big loss at Houston.
  9. Marshall –  No wins yet but a brutal schedule and heartbreaker vs West Virginia.
  10. Tulane – Non impressive home win vs SE Louisiana and home loss to Ole Miss.
  11. Memphis – No wins but both losses on the road.
  12.  UAB – No wins so far and tough schedule stretch ahead.

 Ranking the CSUA games for Week 3:

  1. East Carolina at Virginia Tech – Playing 0-2 VT in Blacksburg isn’t good timing but the Tech defense is giving up 27ppg through the first two games. VT 30 – ECU 23
  2. Tulsa at Oklahoma State – Tulsa can score points but also give them up. Not a prescription for success playing Okie St. in Stillwater.  OSU 40 – Tulsa 30
  3. Kansas at Southern Miss – A pivotal game for both teams. KU looked terrible in their opener but much better vs a possibly overrated Georgia Tech. Hattiesburg will be rocking for a national TV audience on Friday night. Southern Miss 24 – KU 17
  4. Houston at UCLA – UCLA has struggled mightily on offense and they have yet to face an offense as high powered as the Cougars.  Houston 38  –  UCLA 17
  5. Washington State at SMU – Washington St beat Montana St by one point at home and opponents are averaging almost 6 yards per play. At home Kyle Padron and company should have a good day. SMU 31 – Washington State 21
  6. Northwestern at Rice  – Northwestern plays their typically tough defense and QB Dan Persa has completed 86% of his passes through two games. Rice will have to improve on a 2.4 yards per rush average but should be able to keep it close at home. Northwestern 26 – Rice 19
  7. Marshall at Bowling Green – How will Marshall bounce back from the brutal loss to West Virginia? Both teams need a win to avoid an 0-3 start. Home opener for Bowling Green after road losses at Troy and Tulsa. Bowling Green 28 – Marshall 21
  8. UCF at Buffalo – Frosh QB Jeff Godfrey could get the starting nod after an impressive performance in the loss to NC St. Buffalo isn’t the toughest road  UCF 24  – Buffalo 16
  9. Middle Tennessee at Memphis – Memphis opponents have averaged almost five yards per rush. MTSU has averaged six yards per rush. MTSU 28 – Memphis 17
  10. Troy at UAB – Troy scared Oklahoma St to death last week in Stillwater. UAB needs a win badly this week before hitting the road at Tennessee and UCF in the next two weeks. Freshman QB Corey Robinson is doing a nice job or Troy. UAB will need a big game from QB David Isabelle. Troy 24 – UAB 17.
  11. New Mexico State at UTEP – NMSU has lost eight straight games going back to last season. Look for UTEP to bounce back big from their loss to Houston. UTEP 38 – NMSU 10

Week 3 CUSA Players of the week:

Houston junior RB  Bryce Beall was named CUSA offensive player of the week . Beall rushed for his career-best 195 yards on 19 carries for a 10.3 yard average. He scored three touchdowns, tying a career best. Beall scored on runs of 43, 35 and 31 yards in helping Houston to a 54-24 win over UTEP in the conference opener.

Marshall senior DE Vinny Curry earned Defensive Player of the Week honors after a big performance in the Herd’s game vs. No. 22 West Virginia. Curry had 11 tackles, three for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles in Marshall’s near upset of No. 22 West Virginia on Friday night. Curry led a Marshall defensive effort that did not allow a West Virginia touchdown until the fourth quarter.

Special Teams player of the week was Tulsa junior K Kevin Fitzpatrick, who had four field goals in Tulsa’s 33-20 victory over Bowling Green.

Written by John Huber @Fort80 on Twitter

Big 12 Happenings

How many of you thought that the Kansas Jayhawks were going to beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets last week?  Not me. What about the Oklahoma Sooners rolling the Florida State Seminoles?  I actually did see this one happening(listen to the podcast people).  My point is that crazy things happen every week in this great conference.  There are quite a few big games this week and the conference kicks off with 2 pretty good games in their own right.

Kansas travels to Hattiesburg, MS to square off with the Golden Eagles from Southern Miss.  This is a national tv game on Friday night.  How will the Jayhawks handle their emotion in this game after the huge upset victory over Georgia Tech?  I like the Kansas redshirt freshman qb Jordan Webb a lot, he reminds me of a young Todd Reesing.  Georgia Tech only threw a handful of passes last week,  look for Southern Miss to be a bit more balanced.  How will the Jayhawks defend big play WR DeAndre Brown?  My pick  is SoMiss 24 KU 21

Baylor travels to TCU this weekend in what should be an easy victory for the Horned Frogs.  TCU just too much firepower on both sides of the ball for this one to be close.  I absolutely love the Bears QB Robert Griffin though, he is a special player.  I’m curious as to how good the Bears would be if he made the switch to WR and Nick Florence got the go at QB?  Just a thought.  Baylor also runs the 3-4 Defense and have a stout NT to anchor it in Phil Taylor, he could be popular come NFL Draft time. My pick is TCU 34 Baylor 16

Oklahoma hosts the Air Force Falcons this week in what should be a tune up game for the Sooners.   Landry Jones had one hell of a game last Saturday.  My pick of Landry Jones as a Heisman darkhorse isn’t looking so bad afterall.  The Sooner Defense gets a ton of credit after that beating they put on Christian Ponder and the Seminoles offense too.  I’m feeling better about picking Boomer Sooner to go undefeated and play in the National Championship game. This game is over by halftime.  My pick is OU 52 Air Force 13

Oklahoma State hosts Tulsa in what should be an extremely high scoring and entertaining game if nothing else. Brandon Weeden has done a very admirable job stepping in for Zac Robinson.  I like how he handles the Okie St offense.  Kendall Hunter has already rushed for almost twice as many yards as he did last year.  Justin Blackmon has become Weeden’s top target so far this year and Josh Cooper is a legit #2 WR.  The word defense won’t be used much in this game as I expect a very high scoring battle.  My pick is Okie St 45  Tulsa 41

Texas travels to Lubbock to battle Texas Tech.  Red Raiders HC Tommy Tuberville gets the opportunity to battle his former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.  I’d love to see the Red Raiders come out with an attacking D and put some pressure on the young Longhorn QB Gilbert.  I’m not as high on Gilbert as most, he isn’t elite.  Foswhitt Whittaker will get the start at  running back for the Longhorns this week.  Tech should lean on running back Baron Batch as much as possible.  Texas has an elite group of defensive backs, led by Curtis Brown. My pick will be announced on the podcast, so check it out Friday morning.

Texas A&M hosts FIU this week in what could be a lot closer game than most people think.  The Aggies have a tru star at QB in Jerrod Johnson.  He is about as good as they come.  He should be able to pick apart the FIU 3-4 defense, if his OLine gives him time.  The Aggies are loaded at WR this season, so expect them to spread it out all year.  Running back Christine Michael has had a good start to the year, but he needs more consistancy in his game.  Keep an eye on true freshman left offensive tackle Luke Joeckel this season, he is going to be a very good player.  FIU has a star DL named Tourek Williams, he could cause the Aggie OL some trouble with his quickness. My pick is TAMU 31 FIU 17

Colorado welcomes Hawai’i this week.  The Buffs were crushed last week by the Cal Bears 52-7, but htat is what happens when you lose the turnover battle 5-0.  This team has 3 good offensive weapons in Rodney Stewart, Scotty McNight and Toney Clemons.  The Warriors have a talented group of offensive weapons led by QB Bryant Moniz.  He is a dual threat qb, but when he throws it goes to WR’s Kealoha Pilares, Royse Pollard and Greg Salas a lot.  I don’t like the Buffs chances here.  My pick is Hawai’i 37 Colorado 24

Iowa State meets Kansas State at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.  This game has been dubbed “Farmageddon” by some across the midwest due to the agriculture schools at both Universities.  This game is going to be heavy on the ground.  Both teams have issues at the QB postion, but htey both feature a good running back.  Daniel Thomas is going to have a huge game this week, as he does every week I guess.  The Cyclones will lean on Alexander Robinson to get some chunks on the ground.  This has potential to be a close low scoring game.  My pick is KState 24 Iowa State 16

Missouri hosts San Diego State on Saturday night.  This should be another Big 12 warmup for the Tigers, but the Mizzou defense could be in for a test.  SDSU has some very good weapons in QB Ryan Lindley, running back Ronnie Hillman, WR Vincent Brown and big play threat DeMarco Sampson.  Look for MU QB Blaine Gabbert to get the ball to TJ Moe and Michael Egnew a lot.  Henry Josey should see more carries this week as well. The Tigers have far superior athlets than do the Aztecs, so I could see them hanging around through the first half, but this won’t be a game when it’s final.  My pick is Mizzou 48 SDSU 17

Nebraska travels to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies.  I’m very excited to see this game for manyreasons.  How will Jake Locker do against the Cornhusker defense and vice-versa.  After last weeks turnover /fumble fest for the Huskers, how will they bounce back versus stiffer competition?  If needed can NU QB Taylor Martinez throw the ball if the run isn’t there?  These are all questions that will be answered this weekend as I believe this game is going to be very close.  My pick will be announced on the podcast, so check it out Friday morning.

Written by Jason Madson @isbnJMAD on Twitter