Sept. 13, 2010
The upcoming weekend of Conference USA Football features 11 non-conference games against seven of the 10 other FBS conferences. Included are two games against the Pac-10 Conference (Washington State at SMU and UCLA at Houston), the league that C-USA has faced the least in its history. Games are also on tap against the ACC (East Carolina at Virginia Tech), Big 12 (Kansas at Southern Miss and Tulsa at Oklahoma State), Big Ten (Northwestern at Rice), WAC (New Mexico State at UTEP) and two games each vs. the Mid-American and Sun Belt Conferences.
Tulsa junior QB G.J. Kinne leads all FBS quarterbacks with 755 passing yards in the first two games of the season. In Saturday's 33-20 win over Bowling Green, he completed 27-of-41 passes for 356 yards, more than any other C-USA quarterback.
East Carolina junior QB Dominique Davis tops all FBS signal-callers in touchdown passes with eight total in a pair of Pirate victories. He threw three scores and ran for two others in Saturday's 49-27 win over Memphis. Kinne is tied for second with seven passing touchdowns.
Houston jumped into both major polls following its 54-24 win over UTEP on Friday night. The Cougars, who spent nearly all of the 2009 season nationally-ranked, appear in both polls this week at No. 23. Houston returns to action this Saturday at UCLA (Fox Sports Net, 9:30 p.m. CT).
BIG CROWDS FRIDAY NIGHT
Houston defeated UTEP on Friday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 32,119 at Robertson Stadium, just one week after drawing a stadium-record crowd of 32,119 in the season opener vs. Texas State. It marked the first time that UH has drawn back-to-back home crowds over 30,000 since 1991.
Marshall established a new Joan C. Edwards Stadium record when it drew 41,382 fans to Friday night's game vs. West Virginia.
In just his second collegiate game, Rice freshman K Chris Boswell tied a school record with four field goals in a game at North Texas on Saturday. He tied the mark set by Joel Baxter vs. TCU on Oct. 10, 1981 and equaled by Matt Huelsman at TCU on Oct. 29, 1994. Two of his kicks were 50 yards, the first 50-yard field goals by Rice since Luke Juist had a 53-yarder against Navy on Oct. 22, 2005....UTEP senior QB Trevor Vittatoe went over 10,000 yards passing in his Miner career at Houston on Friday. He now has 10,052, making him the seventh Conference USA player to achieve the feat. UTEP's all-time passing leader Jordan Palmer has 11,084 yards....UCF sophomore Quincy McDuffie returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown against NC State on Saturday. It is the second straight season he has returned a kickoff for a TD and he becomes just the ninth player in C-USA history to have multiple kickoff returns for touchdowns in a career....UAB junior P Trey Ragland boomed a career-best 75-yard punt at SMU, tying for the second-longest punt in UAB history. The kick traveled from the UAB 24-yard line and was downed at the SMU 1-yard line, one of two times in the game Ragland pinned the Mustangs inside the 20....Tulsa senior RB Charles Clay scored his 33rd career touchdown on a 42-yard reception from G.J. Kinne against Bowling Green on Saturday. With that touchdown, Clay moved past Howard Twilley, Steve Largent and Michael Gunter to claim sole possession of 2nd place on TU's all-time total touchdown chart....Through two games, all of Tulane's points have been scored by freshman. Running back Orleans Darkwa has run for four touchdowns, while kicker Cairo Santos has four field goals and four extra-points....ECU's Ruffin McNeill is the first C-USA coach to win his first two games at a school since Todd Graham won his first two at Tulsa in 2007 and he is the first rookie head coach in C-USA to win his first two games since Bobby Petrino began 4-0 at Louisville in 2003.
EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
The Pirates moved to 2-0 in Conference USA play and overall with a 49-27 victory over Memphis on Saturday. After throwing five touchdowns vs. Tulsa, junior QB Dominique Davis accounted for five scores against Memphis, throwing three TDs and running for two more. He completed 27-of-38 passes for 244 yards. Senior WR Dwayne Harris had six receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. His first reception allowed him to go over the 2,000-yard mark and he finished the day with 2,053 career yards. Senior RB Jonathan Williams rushed for a career-high 109 yards and added a personal-best 50 receiving yards.
The Cougars ran up 309 yards on the ground and scored six rushing touchdowns in a 54-24 win over UTEP on Friday night. Junior RB Bryce Beall carried 19 times for 195 yards and three TDs, while freshman RB Michael Hayes rushed 17 times for 77 yards and three scores as Houston registered 643 yards of total offense. Senior QB Case Keenum was 15-of-24 for 279 yards but was held without a touchdown pass, ending his 31-game streak. He also left the game with an injury late in the third quarter. Junior WR Patrick Edwards caught six passes for 118 yards and the game's first touchdown. The win over UTEP extended Houston's school and conference record home winning streak to 17 games. The Cougars have scored 50 or more points in 10 of those 17 contests.
MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD
The Thundering Herd suffered a heart-breaking 24-21 overtime loss to No. 22 West Virginia on Friday. Senior QB Brian Anderson completed 20-of-29 passes for 229 yards and matched a career-high with three touchdown passes. Anderson also hooked up with sophomore WR Aaron Dobson on a 96-yard TD pass that was the second-longest TD pass in school history. The longest pass in MU history was a 99-yard TD pass from Todd Donnan to Troy Brown vs. VMI in 1991. Senior LB Mario Harvey recorded a career-high 16 tackles, including three TFL's, a sack and he forced a fumble.
The Tigers dropped their C-USA opener at East Carolina on Saturday, 49-27. Freshman QB Ryan Williams, who again split time with sophomore Cannon Smith, completed 18-of-25 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns. He led Memphis on five scoring drives. Sophomore WR Marcus Rucker scored for the second straight game, reeling in a 13-yard scoring reception in the third quarter. Senior LB Jamon Hughes led the defense in tackles for the second-straight week, posting 17 stops. His career high is 18 tackles against Houston last season.
The Owls posted a 32-31 win at North Texas on Saturday. Freshman K Chris Boswell tied a school record with four field goals, including a pair of field goals from 50 yards. Junior QB Nick Fanuzzi came on in relief of freshman Taylor McHargue to throw for 189 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore TE Luke Willson caught four passes for a career-high 86 yards, including the TD throw from Fanuzzi. Sophomore RB Tyler Smith carried 12 times for 92 yards, rushing for 87 second-half yards. Junior FS Travis Bradshaw recorded his eighth consecutive double-figure tackle game as well as his 14th in 20 career starts for the Owls with 10 stops.
The Mustangs opened conference play with a 28-7 win over UAB. Sophomore QB Kyle Padron had career-highs of nine rushes for 66 yards and also threw two touchdown passes.Both of his scoring strikes went to sophomore WR Darius Johnson, who also registered career-bests of seven receptions for 45 yards. Sophomore RB Zach Line established personal-highs of 16 carries for 122 yards with two rushing TD's. Sophomore LB Ja'Gared Davis tied his career-highs of nine tackles and 1.5 sacks while setting a career-high with 2.5 tackles-for-loss. SMU had 247 rushing yards, the most since 320 against Rice in 2007 and the most under June Jones.
SOUTHERN MISS GOLDEN EAGLES
The Golden Eagles won their home opener on Saturday, defeating Prairie View, 34-7. Junior WR DeAndre Brown caught five passes for 100 yards, including a six-yard TD reception from junior QB Austin Davis. It was his seventh career 100-yard receiving game. Brown moved into second place on the career TD receiving chart at the school with 23. Freshman CB Deron Wilson tallied four tackles, including one tackle for loss and two pass breakups. He gave the Golden Eagles a first-quarter spark by setting up the first USM points with a block of a punt on Prairie View's first possession. The Golden Eagles are now 11-0 in the Larry Fedora era when they limit their opponents to under 100 yards rushing, holding Prairie View to 67 on 27 attempts.
TULANE GREEN WAVE
Tulane fell to Mississippi at the Superdome on Saturday, 27-13. For the second consecutive game, all of the Green Wave's points came via true freshmen as RB Orleans Darkwa scored the Green Wave's lone touchdown on a one-yard plunge with 1:51 to go in the third quarter while rookie K Cairo Santos drilled field goals of 19 and 38 yards and was true on his extra point try. Sophomore QB Ryan Griffin was 21-of-30 for 203 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore WR D.J. Banks set career highs with six receptions for 85 yards. One week after earning C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors, sophomore LB Trent Mackey set a career high with 14 tackles.
TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE
The Golden Hurricane defeated Bowling Green on Saturday, 33-20. Junior QB G.J. Kinne completed 27 passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore RB Alex Singleton rushed for 74 yards and one TD, including 63 yards on seven rushes on the last drive of the game to preserve the victory. Kinne connected with junior WR Damaris Johnson seven times for 84 yards and senior WR Trae Johnson six times for 80 yards. With seven catches for 84 yards, D. Johnson now has 2,009 receiving yards in his career. Senior RB Charles Clay had a 42-yard TD reception, the 33rd of his career. He is now in second place on TU's all-time touchdown chart.
The Blazers dropped their conference opener on Saturday at SMU, 28-7. Sophomore QB David Isabelle threw a 4-yard TD pass to Mike Jones for UAB's only score. It was set up three plays earlier when senior DE Bryant Turner forced an SMU fumble and D.J. Reese recovered to give the Blazers the ball in the red zone. Isabelle, making his second start for UAB, finished 7-of-15 for 109 yards, including a career-long 50-yard connection with senior WR Frantrell Forrest, who led UAB with five receptions for 71 yards. Forrest moved into third place on the UAB career receiving yardage list with 1,738. Marvin Burdette and Cornelius Richards finished with seven tackles each for the Blazer defense.
The Knights fourth quarter comeback fell short as UCF fell to NC State, 28-21 on Saturday. Freshman QB Jeff Godfrey led the Knights to two fourth quarter touchdowns and put them in position for a third before a turnover ended the comeback. He was 7-of-10 passing for 107 yards and also ran 10 times for 53 yards and two TDs. Sophomore WR/KR Quincy McDuffie recorded his second career kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter, taking a kick back 93 yards. Senior DE Bruce Miller recorded his first sack of the season and the 28th of his career, most among all active FBS players. The Knights' second-half offense produced 200 total yards after posting 108 in the first 30 minutes.
The Miners fell at Houston on Friday night, 54-24. UTEP lost a Conference USA opener for the first time (5-1 record). It is the Miners' first setback in a league opener since Sept. 18, 2004 vs. No. 23 Boise State in El Paso, 47-31. Senior Trevor Vittatoe recorded his 13th career 100-yard passing game, completing 30-of-54 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns. Vittatoe went over 10,000 yards passing in his Miner career, making him the seventh C-USA player to achieve the feat. Senior WR Kris Adams led the receivers with seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.