Weekend Football Roundup

Go C-USA! Chase Clement
Chase Clement

Nov. 2, 2008


IRVING, Texas - Chase Clement threw for 372 yards and accounted for six touchdowns, as Rice matched its best conference record in nearly a half-century with a 49-44 win over UTEP on Saturday night. Clement threw five TD passes for the second time this season and also ran for a 3-yard score that gave Rice the lead for good in the second quarter. Clement has accounted for at least six TDs on three occasions so far this season.

In other action, Southern Miss defeated UAB 70-14, becoming the third C-USA team to score at least 70 points in a contest this season. No. 18 Tulsa and Tulane both stepped out of league play Saturday and both were saddled with losses. Arkansas handed the Golden Hurricane its first loss of the season, 30-23, while No. 15 LSU downed the Green Wave, 35-10.

RICE 49, UTEP 44
Chase Clement threw for 372 yards and accounted for six touchdowns, and Rice matched its best conference record in nearly a half-century with a 49-44 win over Texas-El Paso on Saturday night.

Clement threw five TD passes and ran for a 3-yard score that gave Rice the lead for good in the second quarter. UTEP kept close, and a third touchdown pass from Trevor Vittatoe to Jeff Moturi with 1:23 left gave the Miners hope before their onside kick attempt failed.

Rice (6-3, 5-1 Conference USA) clinched bowl eligibility for the second time in three seasons. Not since 1960 have the Owls been 5-1 in conference play.

Clement threw three touchdowns to James Casey, who finished with 12 catches for 142 yards, and one each to Jarett Dillard and Pierre Beasley.

Vittatoe threw for 265 yards and helped UTEP build an early 17-7 lead in the first quarter before the Owls lurched back to go up 28-20 by halftime.

Moturi finished with five catches for 109 yards.

East Carolina placekicker Ben Hartman drilled a 39-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Pirates to a 13-10 win over UCF on Sunday night. The Pirates improved to 5-3 this season, 3-1 in Conference USA play. UCF dropped to 2-6, 1-3.



Hartman's game-winner, the third of his career, followed an interception by Pirates freshman cornerback Emanuel Davis on the first play of overtime. Davis stepped in front of a pass by UCF quarterback Michael Greco, giving the Pirates an opportunity to finish off a rally that started in the final minutes of regulation.

ECU tailback Norman Whitley, who rushed for 135 yards in the game, scored from two yards out with 1:51 left in regulation to tie the game at 10-10.

That started a wild run to the finish with both teams turning the ball over once, but neither could convert.

Greco, who was just 9-of-21 for 142 yards passing, fumbled at the UCF 46 with 33 seconds left. Davis recovered for ECU.

However, Pirates quarterback Rob Kass was intercepted on the next play by Johnell Neal. The Knights ran out the clock to play for overtime.

UCF's defense dominated the game for the first three and a half quarters, but couldn't finish.

The Knights led 10-0 at halftime after a 54-yard scoring pass from Greco to Jamar Newsome and a 49-yard field goal by Daren Daly.

The Knights defense, meanwhile, was manhandling ECU's offense. The Pirates had only 89 yards total offense and converted just one of eight third-down opportunities. Hartman tried to salvage something for ECU's offense, but missed on attempts from 48 and 46 yards.

ECU's defense took over in the third period, limiting UCF to one first down and just seven yards in the quarter. Hartman finally connected, nailing a 27-yard field goal to cut the Pirates deficit to 10-3.

Austin Davis scored five rushing touchdowns and threw another score to lead Southern Mississippi to a 70-14 vicorty over UAB on Saturday night.

The Golden Eagles, (3-6, 2-4 Conference USA) snapped a five-game losing streak, which was their longest in 32 years. Southern Miss has never lost to UAB in nine all-time meetings.

Southern Miss scored the most points since beating Cal-State Fullerton 70-0 in 1975.

Davis, along with running backs Damion Fletcher and Tory Harrison, led a Southern Miss offense with 49 first half points -- setting a new team record.

Davis scored on runs of 10, 8, 23 and 1 yards in the first half, and also hit De'Andre Brown on a 60 yard touchdown pass.

He then added a 4-yard scoring run just over one minute into the third quarter, giving the Golden Eagles a 56-7 lead and breaking a Southern Miss record for the most touchdowns by a player in one game.

His scoring pass gave the redshirt freshman 16 touchdown passes on the season, breaking the old Southern Miss freshman mark set by Brett Favre in 1997.

Harrison, who replaced the starter Fletcher, also scored on a pair of 1-yard runs in the first half, as the Golden Eagles took a 49-7 lead at halftime. He added a 69-yard scoring run in the third quarter, and finished with a game high 137 yards on 20 carries.

Fletcher ran for 86 yards on just three carries early in the game, including a career long 69 yarder, before being sidelined by a leg injury. His rushing total put him over the 1,000 yard mark for the season, and also allowed the junior to become the only player in school history to rush for over 4,000 yards in a career.

The Golden Eagles tied a team record with nine rushing touchdowns in the game.

No. 15 LSU 35, TULANE 10
The Tulane Green Wave were held to 159 yards of total offense, falling to No. 15 Louisiana State, 35-10, Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. Tulane's Travis Burks returned an interception 43 yards for the Green Wave's lone touchdown.

Burks, a junior linebacker, added three kickoff returns for 62 yards and a sack to go with two solo and two assisted tackles, but the Green Wave offense was kept out of the end zone all game.

LSU's Charles Scott rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown as LSU gained 235 yards on the ground to Tulane's 69. Tulane held LSU to 8-of-20 passing for 99 yards through the air, but the Wave completed 11-of-23 for only 91 yards.

The Green Wave falls to 2-6 overall, while LSU improves to 6-2 overall. The paid attendance of 92,136 was the second-highest in a game featuring the Green Wave, behind only Tulane's season opener at Alabama.

Tulane trailed by just 7-3 with three minutes to go in the first half, before the Tigers put in a touchdown pass and then returned a fumble for a touchdown just before halftime to seize control, 21-3 at intermission. The second half was defensive battle until the final minutes when LSU punched in a rushing touchdown.

After Tulane went three-and-out on the opening possession, Scott drove the Tigers downfield by rushing for 79 of the Tigers' 86 yards on the drive. He broke a 56-yarder to move into Tulane territory, and then capped the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run.

The Green Wave moved into LSU territory on a 22-yard run by Albert Williams. Alan Mitchell's first career rush picked up 13 yards on an end-around, and gave Tulane a first down at the LSU 28. But the drive stalled, as the Green Wave settled for a 48-yard field goal by Ross Thevenot, tying the longest of his career.

Tulane forced an LSU punt, and after switching ends at the start of the second quarter, the Green Wave picked up a pair of first downs, one via trick play which led to a pass interference penalty. On back-to-back plays, Tulane tried quarterback sneaks, but didn't get the spot, turning it over on downs at the LSU 39 yard line.

The two teams traded punts, and LSU rode Scott down to the red zone, where Jarrett Lee found Brandon LaFell crossing in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead. After kicking off, LSU's Rahim Alem stripped Tulane quarterback Joe Kemp and Chris Hawkins returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.

Scott rushed for 114 yards in the first half, as LSU out-gained Tulane 174 to 107 in total offense in the first half.

In the second half, LaFell hauled in a 29-yard catch giving the Tigers first and goal, and LSU's Keiland Williams ran in the touchdown from three yards out for a 28-3 lead. LSU had a short field to go as the Wave attempted an on-side kick to open the half.

The Green Wave moved the ball 67 yards to the LSU 14, but missed a 31-yard field goal. LSU answered back with a drive down to the Tulane 30, but Logan Kelley recorded a 21-yard sack and the Green Wave forced a punt before the end of the third quarter.

Tulane thought it had a turnover when Philip Davis leveled the LSU punt returner as the ball arrived, but Trindon Holliday was ruled down before Davis wrestled the ball away. The Tigers drive to the 34 yard line, going for it on fourth down with a 28-3 lead, but Davis broke up the attempted pass as Tulane took over on downs.

The Green Wave punted, and Burks made two key plays on the next drive, first sacking Lee for a 12-yard loss and then intercepting Lee's third down attempt and taking it 43-yards to the house to cut the margin to 28-10.

Tulane held the Tigers to force a punt, but the Wave could get nothing going offensively, giving the ball back to LSU, which ran in a touchdown by Stevan Ridley with 1:18 to pile on the Green Wave.

Freshman running back Nathan Austin led the Green Wave on the ground with 53 yards on 16 carries, and caught a team-high three passes for 23 yards. Fullback Jordan Stephany also picked up 23 yards receiving on a pair of catches.

Sophomore Kevin Moore and redshirt freshman Joe Kemp split time at quarterback for the Green Wave. Kemp completed five-of-12 for 40 yards, while Moore completed six-of-11 for 44 yards.

LSU won its 17th straight over Tulane, keeping The Rag since 1983. Tulane has now lost 35 consecutive games to ranked teams, dating back to the Green Wave's last win over LSU, a 31-28 win on Nov. 27, 1982 when the Tigers were ranked No. 12.

ARKANSAS 30, No. 18 TULSA 23
Every quarter this season, Tulsa had found a way to score. No matter the opponent, the Golden Hurricane kept moving the ball and found the end zone.

Then in the final minute against Arkansas, with it's unbeaten record hanging in the balance, David Johnson and Tulsa finally fell short.

Johnson threw incomplete on fourth down from the Arkansas 7, giving the Razorbacks a 30-23 victory Saturday and ending No. 18 Tulsa's unbeaten run.

"Obviously our BCS dreams are wounded, but we still want to finish up conference undefeated and win the Liberty Bowl," defensive lineman Wilson Garrison said. "This is just a bump in the road."

It sure was a big one. Tulsa (8-1) came into the game leading the nation in scoring, putting up 56 points a game with its fast-paced offense full of misdirection plays. The Golden Hurricane, who play in Conference USA and had not played a team from a BCS conference, were hoping an unbeaten regular season would be enough to earn a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.

They rallied from an early 17-0 deficit, but Dennis Johnson's 96-yard kickoff return gave Arkansas a 30-23 lead in the final minute of the third period. Neither team scored in the fourth -- Tulsa's first scoreless quarter of the season.

"You watch them in their other games, and they're scoring 60 points and 77 -- and you don't sleep very good all week long," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "For our defense to come out and hold them to 23 points, I think that's an excellent job."

The Golden Hurricane (8-1) caught a huge break when Casey Dick threw an interception in the end zone with just over three minutes remaining. Arkansas (4-5) was well within field goal range, but the turnover gave Tulsa a chance to tie.

Johnson moved his team downfield with ease, but after reaching the Arkansas 5, Tulsa was stopped on two straight runs. That brought up fourth down, and Johnson's pass to the back corner of the end zone fell incomplete.

"Arkansas' defense did a great job up front, especially early," Johnson said. "They did some things that confused us a little bit, and came at us hard from the get-go."

Tulsa appeared overmatched at first against its Southeastern Conference opponent. Arkansas scored on the game's first drive on a 13-yard pass from Dick to Andrew Davie. The Razorbacks then sacked Johnson on Tulsa's first two offensive plays.

The Golden Hurricane called two early timeouts while Arkansas had the ball, but still couldn't stop the Razorbacks' momentum. When Smith scored on a 7-yard run with 2:22 to play in the first quarter, it was 17-0.

Tulsa turned the game around quickly. Backup quarterback Jacob Bower found Trae Johnson for a 22-yard touchdown. Charles Clay added a 28-yard touchdown run and later caught a 2-yard TD pass from Johnson to tie it at 20.

Johnson threw for 322 yards and was intercepted once.

Arkansas led 23-20 at halftime, and Tulsa turned the ball over at the start of the third quarter when a wide receiver pass by A.J. Whitmore was intercepted. On their next possession, the Golden Hurricane came up short on fourth down, but their defense rose to the occasion. Arkansas went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Tulsa 16, and Smith was stopped.

Tulsa drove all the way to the Arkansas 2 and had first-and-goal, delighting the large group of blue-clad fans in the northeast corner of the end zone. But a mishap on a snap cost the Golden Hurricane 12 yards. They eventually settled for a field goal, and Dennis Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to put the Razorbacks ahead to stay.

"I thought about it all last night that I wanted to break one," the Arkansas freshman said. "When I saw that opportunity, I took it."

Dick threw for 385 yards, but aside from Johnson's return, Arkansas didn't score in the second half. The Razorbacks made up for that by holding Tulsa to by far its lowest point total of the season. The Golden Hurricane had scored at least 37 points in every game under the eye of offensive assistant Gus Malzahn -- who was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 2006.

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