Sept. 25, 2012
FSN will air a tripleheader of Conference USA Football action this Saturday. The opening game features SEC foe Missouri at UCF, beginning at 11 a.m. CT. Following that, the annual Battle for the Bayou Bucket will take place at Reliant Stadium, when Houston and Rice meet at 2:30 p.m. CDT. The evening contest will feature No. 14 TCU and SMU playing for the Iron Skillet at 6 p.m. CDT.
Missouri will be the first SEC school to play at UCF, as the Knights continue a four-game home stand. Sophomore WR's Ranell Hall and J.J. Worton are having impact on offense and special teams for the Knights. In the first three games of the season, Hall has posted 197 receiving yards and 178 kickoff return yards, while Worton has 190 yards through the air and 128 on punt returns. Ron Thulin, Shaun King and Desmond Purnell are set to announce from Bright House Networks Stadium.
Houston and Rice are rivals separated by just five miles and they have met at a neutral site just one other time (2004 at Reliant Stadium). The schools have split the last four meetings. Rice junior QB Taylor McHargue ranks second in the league in rushing at 89.1 yards per game, is third in passing at 231.1 yards per game, third in passing efficiency (133.8) and has seven passing touchdowns and a league-best five rushing scores. Junior WR Dewayne Peace has emerged as a key weapon in the Houston passing attack. He has posted back-to-back 100-yard games and has 23 receptions for 257 yards and a touchdown on the season. Mike Morgan, JC Pearson and Laura McKeeman will be on hand to call the action.
Metroplex rivals TCU and SMU meet on Saturday night in Dallas as the Mustangs look to make it two in a row over the Horned Frogs following last year's overtime win in Fort Worth. TCU enters the game with a national-best 11-game win streak and ranked 14th in the nation. The Frogs are led by quarterback Casey Pachall, who leads the nation in passing efficiency, and their defense, which ranks ninth in total defense. SMU will look to senior RB Zach Line, once again C-USA's leading rusher, to get the offensive attack going. Joel Meyers, Brian Baldinger and Jim Knox will be on site to call the game.
Coming off its wild 54-51, double-overtime win at Rice last Saturday, Marshall visits Purdue for its final non-conference game. Marshall is receiving tremendous production from freshmen, including seven rookies that scored touchdowns against Rice. In that win, freshman RB Kevin Grooms ran for 103 yards, rushing for three touchdowns and catching another score. Freshman RB Steward Butler added 166 rushing yards, the most by a Herd player since Darius Marshall had 203 vs. SMU in 2009. It was also the first time Marshall had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game since the SMU game in 2009. The Big Ten Network will air this game at 3:15 p.m. EDT, with Eric Collins and Derek Rackley announcing.
Saturday night's showdown between No. 17 Louisville and Southern Miss is a matchup of former Conference USA rivals that combined to win seven league championships while both were in the league from 1996 until the Cardinals left in 2005. Golden Eagles senior LB Jamie Collins will look to slow down Cardinals QB Teddy Bridgewater and the U of L offense. Collins leads the team with 2.0 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss this season. James Bates, Aaron Taylor and Lauren Gardner will be calling the action for CBS Sports Network, beginning at 7 p.m. CDT.
A pair of conference games are on Saturday's slate, as Tulsa visits UAB and UTEP travels to East Carolina. Tulsa is off to a 3-1 start and will face a Blazers team coming off a gritty performance at No. 16 Ohio State. UTEP also had a good showing at a ranked Big Ten foe last week, falling at No. 24 Wisconsin. The Miners will look to build on that outing in their C-USA opener at ECU. The Pirates will look to go 2-0 in league play for the third time in the past four years. This game will air locally on WITN in Greenville and KVIA in El Paso with Patrick Kinas, Kevin Miller and Billy Weaver announcing.
Rounding out Saturday's action will be Louisiana-Monroe at Tulane at 2:30 p.m. CDT. CST will air this game in Louisiana, with Tim Grubbs and former New Orleans Saints RB Deuce McAllister calling the action.