Saturday Football Roundup
Nov. 3, 2012
Rice ran for six touchdowns, including two each by Luke Turner and Taylor McHargue to win a wild one at Tulane, 49-47. East Carolina became bowl-eligible with a 48-28 win over Houston, as Shane Carden passed for 305 yards and four TDs. Rakeem Cato tossed four touchdowns in Marshall's 38-28 victory over Memphis.
RICE 49, TULANE 47
Turner's go-ahead run was confirmed by review after it appeared he might have been down before crossing the goal line.
The Owls (4-6, 2-4 Conference USA) withstood a comeback led by Ryan Griffin, who threw for a school-record 476 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the second half when Tulane (2-7, 2-3) rallied from a 28-10 halftime deficit.
Ryan Travis' 73-yard interception for a touchdown started the comeback. Tulane led 38-35 on Orleans Darkwa's 1-yard run after Griffin's 62-yarder to Ryan Grant moved the ball to the 1.
Rice led 14-0 early after two touchdown runs by Taylor McHargue. The second came after the Owls recovered a Tulane fumble on the kickoff following the first score.
EAST CAROLINA 48, HOUSTON 28
Vintavious Cooper rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown for the Pirates (6-4, 5-1 Conference USA), who posted their highest point total this season.
The victory makes East Carolina bowl-eligible for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.
Carden's 31 completions and 43 passes are both career highs. He has thrown 16 TD passes against seven interceptions this season. Danny Webster caught six of Carden's passes, three of them for TDs.
The Pirates outgained the Cougars (4-5, 3-2) 245 to 28 yards rushing, which contributed to their nearly 30-minute advantage in time of possession. Houston ran the ball only 11 times.
Houston's David Piland threw 51 passes, completing only 22, including four for touchdowns. He and Carden threw one interception each.
MARSHALL 38, MEMPHIS 28
Cato capped a 75-yard drive with a 28-yard scoring pass to Davonte Allen with 7:34 remaining for the Thundering Herd (4-5, 3-2 Conference USA) after three consecutive touchdowns by the Tigers (1-8, 1-4) had whittled a 31-7 deficit to three points.
With Memphis trailing 31-21, Tom Hornsey's 61-yard pass to Bobby McCain on a fake punt put the Tigers at the Marshall 4. Jai Steib fumbled on a rush from the 2, but Jordan Devey was there to recover and score.
Kevin Grooms' 28-yard run helped the Thundering Herd reach Memphis territory on their next possession, but the drive stalled before Cato found Allen for the score on a fourth-and-6 play.
Cato completed 34 of 44 passes, including 22 of 29 in the first half, and has thrown for 3,290 yards this season.
UCF 42, SMU 17
Quarterback Blake Bortles also accounted for three touchdowns -- two through the air and one on the ground -- to help the Knights (7-2, 5-0) secure their fifth straight victory and remain on track to host the Conference USA championship game.
SMU (4-5, 3-2), which entered with the league's top-rated rushing defense, fell back under .500 and deeper behind West Division-leading Tulsa.
The Mustangs briefly closed within four points in the second quarter, but never found consistency on either side of the ball.
After posting a career passing effort in last week's win over Memphis, SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert was sacked three times and never got into a rhythm.
SMU's offense entered Saturday's game with some momentum with Gilbert coming off a career-high 353-yard passing effort in the Mustangs' 44-13 victory over Memphis last week.
But the Knights' defense kept the junior off balance throughout, holding him to just 16 of 29 for 133 yards. Gilbert and Zach Line both had rushing scores, but were otherwise limited to mostly short gains.
Line finished with 96 yards on 21 carries, his longest run of the game a 20-yard burst in the first half.
SMU's struggles were on both sides of the ball, with its defense having no answers for Murray in the first half while the Knights built a 21-10 halftime lead.
Murray showed both his vision finding running lanes and his speed in the open field during the half, rushing for 124 yards and two scores.
That opened up the passing game as well, with Bortles adding a third score through the air and spreading out the Mustangs' secondary. For the night Bortles completed throws to seven different receivers.
SMU rode Line on the ground as much as it could and kept the game close early. But the Mustangs went three-and-out on three of their six drives of the opening 24 minutes. Gilbert also struggled to connect with his receivers, going 9-for-20 passing and was sacked twice.
Gilbert did cap a solid, 15-play drive with a 4-yard rushing score to close the gap briefly at 14-10 midway through the second quarter. It was overshadowed, though, by two other long drives that ended in a punt and field goal.
The Mustangs' special teams also had a miscue, with Kenneth Acker muffing a punt early in the second quarter. It was recovered by UCF and set up Murray's first rushing score of the game.
UAB 27, SOUTHERN MISS 19
The Golden Eagles (0-9, 0-6 Conference USA) led 16-0 at the half, but the Blazers (2-7, 1-4) scored three second-half touchdowns and hit two long field goals to seal the comeback.
Reaves rushed for 169 of his 223 yards in the second half and scored on plays of 14 and 8 yards.
Reaves' first touchdown put the Blazers on the board just after the half. His second put the game out of reach with 2:41 left.
UAB quarterback Austin Brown recovered from a shaky first half to complete 17 of his 29 pass attempts for 228 yards, including a third-quarter, 18-yard touchdown pass to Sam Accursio.
The Blazers' defense held Southern Miss to 117 yards of total offense and forced two second-half turnovers.
ARKANSAS 19, TULSA 15
Cody Green threw for 222 yards on 22-of-37 passing, and Trey Watts ran 19 times for 81 yards and a touchdown to lead the Hurricane (7-2). TU rushed for 106 yards, led by Watts' 81 yards on the ground. Keyarris Garrett caught a career-high 12 passes for 94 yards.
Arkansas (4-5) gained 407 total yards to TU's 328 yards. Tyler Wilson completed 21-of-31 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown for the Razorbacks. Dennis Johnson ran 22 times for 109 yards a two scores, including the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.
DeAundre Brown tallied 11 tackles to lead a TU defense that totaled four tackles for loss, a sack and four quarterback hurries. Dexter McCoil picked off his 16th career pass and third of the season in the first half, and Mitchell Osborne forced his second fumble of the season in the third quarter.
Osborne's forced fumble and the 33-yard return by DeMarco Nelson led to a 29-yard field goal from Daniel Schwarz that gave Tulsa its first lead of the game, 15-13, with 9:15 left in the third quarter.
The Razorbacks, however, took the lead again for good with 10:08 remaining in the game after covering 76 yards in four plays following a TU punt. Johnson scored from the 1, and two-point PAT attempt was no good, giving Arkansas a 19-15 lead.
The Hurricane could not muster another scoring drive after the Arkansas touchdown. After a missed field goal attempt by the Razorbacks, TU took over with 3:35 remaining, but lost the possession on downs. TU had a last-chance possession with 1:07 left after stopping Arkansas, but Green was hit and fumbled on second down, allowing The Razorbacks to kneel out the clock.
TU punted after receiving the opening kickoff of the second half. On the ensuing Razorback drive, Osborne forced a fumble after a completed pass, and Nelson returned the ball to the Arkansas 45. Five plays later, Schwarz's 29-yard field goal put Tulsa ahead, 15-13.
Arkansas took the game's opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in seven plays to score the first touchdown of the contest. Dennis Johnson ran in from eight yards out for the touchdown.
On its first possession, Tulsa put together an 11-play, 40-yard drive that resulted in a missed 42-yard field goal attempt. Arkansas then 61 yards and extended its lead to 10-0 with a 31-yard field goal.
Tulsa got on the board with 11:42 left in the half when Alex Singleton plunged into the end zone from one yard out on fourth-and-goal to cut the deficit to 10-6, after the point-after attempt was no good.
The Razorbacks added a 46-yard field goal to extend their lead to 13-6 with 6:02 left in the half.
The Golden Hurricane pulled within a point before halftime when Trey Watts scampered 29 yards for a touchdown. The score capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive.