Oct. 11, 2010
Ranked among the top 10 in the FBS in four different team stat categories, the UCF defense will take to the road to open C-USA action with a Wednesday night contest at Marshall (8 p.m. ET on ESPN). Thundering Herd DE Vinny Curry and LB Mario Harvey both rank among the FBS' individual leaders on defense. Two big non-conference contests compile a CBS College Sports doubleheader on Saturday, as East Carolina hosts NC State (Noon ET), followed by SMU at Navy (3:30 p.m. ET).
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
KRIS ADAMS - UTEP
WR, Sr., Fort Worth, Texas (Everman)
Adams reeled in five catches for 134 yards, a 26.8-yard average, and scored three touchdowns as UTEP beat Rice, 44-24, on Saturday in the Sun Bowl. Adams scored on receptions of 26, 18 and 73 yards from Trevor Vittatoe. It marked the seventh game with multiple touchdown receptions of Adams' career, tying the school record established by Lee Mays (1998-2001). Adams tied his career-high for TD catches and moved into eighth place on UTEP's career receiving list with 2,140 yards. Adams posted the eighth 100-yard receiving game of his career, tying him for the seventh-most in UTEP history.
KEMAL ISHMAEL - UCF
FS, So., Miami, Fla. (North Miami Beach)
Ishmael made seven tackles, an interception and forced a fumble to lead UCF's defense to a 42-7 win over UAB in its C-USA opener. The interception came on UAB's first possession of the game and led to a score that quickly put UCF on top 7-0. The forced fumble, coming on the opening drive of the second half, was returned 56 yards for a touchdown by Josh Robinson, putting UCF on top 28-0 and in complete control of the game.
DANNY HRAPMANN - SOUTHERN MISS
K, Jr., New Orleans, La. (Southeastern Louisiana)
Hrapmann collected a school-record five field goals (tying the C-USA mark), hitting them from 28, 39, 39, 49 and 49 yards. He has now converted 16-straight field goal attempts. Hrapmann has made 10 of his 14 field goals this season from 30 yards or farther and five from 40 yards or longer. He added four extra points and has now converted all 19 extra point tries this season. Hrapmann also added a 19-yard run on a fake punt late in the game to keep a drive alive.
Senior DE Bruce Miller's sack in the first half vs. UAB last Wednesday was the 30th of his career. Miller is the nation's active leader in both sacks and tackles for loss (50). His 30 career sacks at UCF tie him with Miami's Kenny Holmes (1993-96) for seventh-most by a player from a Florida school.
Miller's efforts vs. UAB gave the Knights their seventh consecutive victory in Conference USA play and their first win in a conference opener since 2007, when they went on to win the C-USA championship.
KNIGHTS D DOMINATING
UCF is ranked in the NCAA's top nine nationally in four major team defensive categories, leading Conference USA in all four. The unit is second nationally in passing efficiency, fifth in pass defense, eighth in scoring defense and ninth in total defense. Only UCF and Cal have defenses ranked in the top 10 in all four of those categories
Marshall senior DE Vinny Curry has been one of the top defensive performers in the country this season. He ranks No. 1 in the FBS with eight sacks, No. 2 in tackles for loss with 11.5 and No. 16 with 50 total tackles. Curry also has two forced fumbles and three quarterback hurries.
Under first-year head coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff, East Carolina has relied on passing the ball much more than last season. Through five games, the Pirates have already matched their 14-game total from a season ago in passing touchdowns with 15. ECU is averaging nearly 80 more yards per game in passing offense with a league-leading 297.2 per game. That figure is up from 227.4 yards per game through the air in 2009.
SMU sophomore DE Margus Hunt blocked a 45-yard FG attempt in the first quarter against Tulsa last Saturday for his ninth career blocked kick. That sets the SMU record and ties for sixth in NCAA history. It is also his sixth career blocked FG, which ties for third in NCAA history (the record is eight).
ADAMS ON THE MARK
UTEP senior WR Kris Adams is second in the FBS in yards per reception at 24.04 (553 yards on 23 catches). Only North Carolina's Jrehanie Boyd (24.75) has a higher average. Adams tops C-USA in receiving yards (553). receiving yards per game (92.2) and receiving touchdowns (8).
THAT'S A HRAP
Southern Miss junior K Danny Hrapmann set a new school record and tied the Conference USA single-game record with five field goals against East Carolina on Saturday. He is now 14-for-14 on field goal attempts this season. Hrapmann's 14 total field goals and 2.33 field goals per game lead the FBS. He has at least one field goal in seven consecutive games.
EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
The Pirates roared back from a 20-point deficit to take a 44-43 victory at Southern Miss when junior QB Dominique Davis hit junior WR Michael Bowman for the game-winning 32-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-7 play. Davis was 18-of-36 for 305 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions. Senior WR Dwayne Harris had nine receptions for 99 yards, including a seven-yard TD catch. He also initiated an 89-yard kickoff return for a TD that senior RB Jonathan Williams had after catching the pitch from Harris. HIs 177 all-purpose yards put him over 100 for the fifth-straight game. Prior to this season, Williams had never had consecutive games reaching 100 all-purpose yards.
The Cougars had their three-game winning streak vs. Mississippi State snapped with a 47-24 loss on Saturday. Freshman QB David Piland made his first start and was 30-of-57 for 301 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior WR Tyron Carrier had 10 receptions for 90 yards, tying for the most catches by a C-USA player this season. Junior WR E.J. Smith tied his career-high with four catches and set a new career mark with 86 yards. Senior TE Wesley Scourten blocked back-to-back field goal attempts in the second half, the second time in his career that he has blocked two kicks in a game (vs. Colorado State in 2008).
MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD
Marshall was idle last Saturday as they prepare to host UCF on Wednesday night. The Thundering Herd has played eight times on Wednesday nights (all televised by ESPN) and owns a 6-2 record in those games. Senior QB Brian Anderson is 41-of-59 for 524 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions in two home games this season. Marshall has played 12 true freshmen in the first five games of the season, ranking among the nation's leaders. Included are four different freshmen that have started at cornerback.
The Tigers fell at Louisville on Saturday, 56-0. The shutout of Memphis snapped a 136-consecutive game scoring streak, which had been the second-longest current streak in Conference USA. The last time Memphis was held scoreless came in 1999 in a 3-0 loss at home against Ole Miss. Junior WR Jermaine McKenzie logged a career-high in receiving yards with a team-high 71 yards on three receptions. Freshman WR Tannar Rehrer matched his career best for receptions with three and had 41 yards receiving. He has recorded three receptions in three of the last four games. Senior LB Jamon Hughes and senior DB Marcus Ball led the team in tackles with seven. Hughes has led the team in tackles in 10-straight games.
The Owls saw their four-game winning streak vs. UTEP snapped with a 44-24 loss on Saturday night. For the fourth time in six games, Rice scored on its opening drive as the Owls drove 76 yards on 12 plays, capped by a four-yard TD pass from junior QB Nick Fanuzzi to sophomore TE Vance McDonald. Later in the game, McDonald had a seven-yard scoring reception, his first two career TD's as he became the first Rice player to score twice in a game this season. Freshman K Chris Boswell booted a 28-yard field goal in the first quarter and has now kicked a field goal in all six games of his career.
The Mustangs are 3-0 in league play for the first time since 1986 following their 21-18 win over Tulsa. Their 5-1 overall mark is also the best since 1986. Sophomore QB Kyle Padron passed for 381 yards and three scores, his second straight 300-yard game and fourth in 12 career starts. Junior WR Darius Johnson had career-highs of eight receptions and 102 yards, while reeling in his fourth TD of the season. Senior WR Aldrick Robinson also had 100 yards receiving, catching five passes for 118 yards. It was the second straight game that SMU has had two 100-yard receivers. with two blocked field goals on Saturday, SMU has five blocked kicks on the season.
SOUTHERN MISS GOLDEN EAGLES
The Golden Eagles had their school-record-tying 11-game home winning streak snapped with a 44-43 loss to East Carolina. It marked the first time Southern Miss has lost to ECU in consecutive games since the 1994-95 seasons. Junior QB Austin Davis was 20-of-39 for 287 yards, throwing one touchdown and running for another.
Sophomore LB Jamie Collins led the team in tackles for the second consecutive week with seven, while tallying a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was his first INT for a score and second career TD, after returning a fumble 16 yards against Tulane last season. He helped the Eagles limit ECU to 33 yards on the ground.
TULANE GREEN WAVE
The Green Wave fell to Army on Saturday, 41-23. Sophomore LB Trent Mackey had a career-high 17 tackles, the most by a Tulane player since 2001. Senior WR Casey Robottom registered his first career multiple-touchdown game and extended his streak of consecutive multiple-catch games to 14 with six receptions for 63 yards. In addition, Robottom caught a two-point conversion pass from sophomore QB Ryan Griffin to score the Green Wave's first two-point PAT since Matt Forté scored a deuce on a rushing attempt against Tulsa on Nov. 3, 2007. Griffin completed 20-of-34 passes for a season-best 211 yards and a career-high tying three touchdowns.
TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE
The Golden Hurricane fell at SMU on Saturday, 21-18. Junior QB G.J. Kinne threw for 229 yards and rushed for 38 yards and two touchdowns. In just 18 games , he has moved into ninth place on Tulsa's career passing chart, surpassing Jeb Blount's (1972-75) total of 4,343. Kinne now has 4,381 career yards. Kinne has been sacked just six times this year, once per game. That;s down from the 23 sacks suffered through the first six games a year ago, and the 46 sacks for the entire season. Sophomore DB Dexter McCoil recorded his league-leading third interception of the season at SMU.
UAB lost at UCF on Wednesday, 42-7. After back-to-back games with more than 350 yards passing, junior QB Bryan Ellis was limited to 149 yards on 14-of-30 passing. He did complete a 78-yard drive with a 23-yard TD pass to sophomore WR Patrick Hearn. Junior S Jamie Bender (14) and sophomore LB Marvin Burdette (12) each finished with double-digit tackles. It marked the first time this season that UAB had a defender finish with double-figure tackles. The Blazers were 3-of-5 on fourth down attempts vs. UCF and have now converted 7-of-13 on the year, after not convering a fourth down all of last season.
The Knights won their league opener on Wednesday night, 42-7, over UAB, UCF's seventh straight C-USA victory. Junior RB Ronnie Weaver ran for a pair of touchdowns and the Knights registered two defensive scores. Sophomore CB Josh Robinson had a 56-yard fumble return for a TD early in the third quarter and sophomore DL Troy Davis closed out the scoring with a 29-yard INT return. Robinson's return was the longest fumble return by UCF since 2002. Freshman QB Jeff Godfrey and junior QB Rob Calabrese ran the ball 14 times for a combined 120 yards on the ground. Godfrey was the leading rusher in the game with 80 yards on nine rushes, while Calabrese ran five times for 40 yards.
The Miners posted a 44-24 win over Rice on Saturday. Senior QB Trevor Vittatoe threw for three touchdowns and 327 yards while setting new UTEP career records for touchdown throws (89), passing yards (11,260) and total offensive yards (11,117). Senior WR Kris Adams tied a career-high with three TD receptions, grabbing five total passes for 134 yards. His seventh career multiple-TD day tied the school record set by Lee Mays (1998-01) and he moved into eighth place on the school's all-time receiving list with 2,140 yards. With senior WR Pierce Hunter grabbing five passes for 105 yards, the Miners had two 100-yard receivers for the first time since Oct. 13, 2007 vs. ECU. UTEP registered its first safety since Sept. 16, 2005 vs. Houston.