Oct. 23, 2012
Tough defense meets high-powered offense when UCF travels to Marshall Saturday night (8 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network). After leading Conference USA in total defense the last two seasons, UCF is at it again. The Knights currently lead C-USA in total, scoring, passing and passing efficiency defense. UCF also allows the fewest third down conversions. Marshall's offense continues to put up amazing numbers, ranking fourth in the FBS, averaging 568.4 yards per game. The Herd ranks fourth in the nation in number of total plays (637) and second in the number of plays that have gone for at least 10 yards (155). UCF sophomore QB Blake Bortles has gone four-straight games without recording an interception, and has a streak of 147-consecutive pass attempts without a pick. Marshall sophomore QB Rakeem Cato sits in first place in the FBS with an average of 378.7 passing yards per game. He leads the nation in completions (249) and passing yards (2,651), while placing second in total offense (2,694). Dave Ryan, Corey Chavous and Evan Washburn will call the action at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Saturday, East Carolina hosts Navy at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Fox College Sports. The Pirates will try to maintain momentum after a 42-35 victory at UAB last week and extend their home winning streak to five straight when they meet the Midshipmen, winners of three in a row. ECU sophomore WR Justin Hardy ranks among the top four active career FBS leaders in receptions per game (6.39), leads C-USA with eight touchdown receptions this season and has now caught a TD in 11 of his last 12 games. Adam Alexander, Gary Reasons and Lesley McCaslin are set to announce from Greenville.
CSS and CSN Houston will air a doubleheader of action from Space City, with Southern Miss at Rice kicking off at noon CDT, followed by UTEP at Houston at 3:30 p.m. CDT.
Rice junior QB Taylor McHargue has four runs of 40 yards or longer this year, the most by an Owl since RB Quinton Smith had four in 2006. McHargue is averaging 70.0 yards per game on the ground, seventh among all C-USA players. As a team, the Owls have six runs of 40 or more this year. Southern Miss senior DB Deron Wilson recorded four pass breakups against Marshall last week, giving him six on the season and 31 for his career, tying former NFL star Patrick Surtain (1994-97) for second-place on Southern Miss' all-time list. Dave Raymond, ND Kalu and Leila Rahimi will be on hand to broadcast.
When UTEP and Houston meet, points are usually prominent. The winner of the last four UH-UTEP contests has averaged 54.3 points, with the Cougars winning three times and the Miners winning once. Cougars junior RB Charles Sims continues to lead Conference USA in rushing and all-purpose yards. He averages 116.2 yards per game on the ground and a 169.2 all-purpose yards. Sims is second in C-USA in touchdowns scored with 11 (eight rushing, three receiving). UTEP junior DL Horace Miller posted his sixth sack of the season last week against Tulane. He is the first Miner with six or more sacks in a campaign since 2005 when Alex Obomese (6.5) and Chris Mineo (6.0) both achieved the feat. Tom Dore, Keith Moreland and Sara Eckert will be at Robertson Stadium to announce the action.
Memphis will visit SMU in a regionally televised game on Time Warner Texas (2 p.m. CDT). After returning three interceptions for touchdowns in last week's 72-42 win against Houston, SMU has registered six scores on INT returns this season. This places the Mustangs third in FBS history in one season. Southern Miss set the new FBS record last season, when the Golden Eagles recorded eight pick-sixes. Tennessee held the original mark, with seven back in 1971. Through seven games of the 2012 campaign in comparison to the same point of the 2011 season, Memphis has made improvements or is even in 24 of 37 NCAA statistical categories (65 percent). Some of the Tigers' biggest improvement has come on the defensive side of the ball. Memphis has dropped its total defense yardage by almost 100 yards. John Nelson, Pete Stein and Mark Stern will be the announcing crew in Dallas.
Tulane will host UAB at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at 2:30 p.m. CDT in a game that will be available of the C-USA Digital Network. Both teams have received strong production from their quarterbacks the past few weeks. Green Wave senior Ryan Griffin has posted back-to-back 300-yard passing games since returning from a shoulder injury, including 364 yards and two TDs at UTEP last week. UAB sophomore Austin Brown finished 22-of-37 for 319 yards and three TD passes in last week's 42-35 loss to East Carolina. In four starts, he has thrown for 1,224 yards and eight touchdowns.