November 19 Football Notebook

Go C-USA! Vintavious Cooper
Go C-USA!
Vintavious Cooper
Go C-USA!

Nov. 19, 2012

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Black Friday will feature a C-USA East Division showdown when Marshall visits East Carolina (2 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network). The Thundering Herd enter the game needing a win for bowl eligibility, while the Pirates need a victory to keep its hopes of a C-USA Championship Game appearance alive.

Tulsa can assure itself of a perfect C-USA regular season and the right to host the 2012 C-USA Championship game with a victory at SMU Saturday. (11 a.m. CST on FX) The Golden Hurricane have won 19 of its last 20 C-USA games. The Mustangs need a victory in order to go to a bowl game for a school-record fourth consecutive season.

Rice can lock up a bowl spot with a victory at UTEP Saturday night (5 p.m. MST on Fox College Sports) in the league's final regular season contest.

FSN will air a C-USA doubleheader, beginning with UAB and UCF (Noon EST) as the Knights look to secure an East Division crown with a win. After that, the final game at Robertson Stadium takes place when Houston hosts Tulane (2:30 p.m. CST).

CSS will show the final scheduled meeting of the Black and Blue rivalry when Southern Miss visits Memphis in the 63rd all-time meeting between the teams (3:30 p.m. CST).

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE
KEYARRIS GARRETT, TULSA
Sophomore, WR, Daingerfield, Texas

In a 23-21 victory against UCF, it was Garrett's three touchdown receptions that led Tulsa to clinching the West Division title. He posted a career-high 130 yards on seven receptions for a career-best three receiving touchdowns. Garrett's first TD was a 70-yard reception, his second touchdown went 20 yards and his final TD grab went 13 yards on 3rd-and-13 to increase Tulsa's lead to 23-14 in the third quarter.

DEFENSE
DeAUNDRE BROWN, TULSA

Senior, LB, Arlington, Texas
Brown led a solid defensive effort that held UCF to 66 yards rushing (123 yards below its season average), 182 yards below its total offense average of 417 ypg and just 85 total yards in the second-half. He had nine total tackles, including eight solos and had 2.5 tackles for losses totaling 11 yards. Brown added one sack for minus 9 yards and also had a team-high three of Tulsa's eight pass break-ups in the win.

SPECIAL TEAMS
CHRIS BOSWELL, RICE

Junior, K, Keller, Texas
Boswell tied an NCAA record by kicking three field goals of 50 yards or longer, while breaking the school record with five field goals overall in Rice's win over SMU. Boswell converted from 56, 53 and 51 yards to become the sixth kicker in NCAA history to convert three from 50 or more in a game. His 56 yarder was his second this year from 55 or more, becoming the first player in C-USA history to have to kicks of that distance in the same season. Boswell leads the nation with five field goals of 50 or more this year and 10 in his career. His 18 point afternoon allowed him to break the school single season record for kick scoring. Boswell now has 96 points on the year.

EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
East Carolina improved to 6-1 in C-USA play with a 28-23 win at Tulane Saturday. Sophomore QB Shane Carden was 19-of-33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 36 yards and a score. He has thrown for 1,706 yards and 15 TDs in his last six games. Sophomore WR Justin Hardy hauled in a seven-yard touchdown pass from Carden to start the second quarter, his 10th TD of the season. That gives him a touchdown catch in 13 of his last 15 games (nine of 11 games this season). Junior RB Vintavious Cooper 21-yard rush in the fourth quarter was his eighth running attempt of 20 or more yards on the season. He ran for 87 yards on 15 attempts. Junior RB Reggie Bullock scored his third TD in the last three games with a five-yard run in the third quarter. The Pirates defense allowed nine yards rushing in the game and have limited their opponents to less than 135 yards rushing in eight of the 11 games this season.

HOUSTON COUGARS
Houston's furious second half rally fell short as the Cougars lost at Marshall Saturday, 44-41. Senior QB Crawford Jones made his first career start, finishing with 316 yards on 31-of-44 passing with five touchdowns. Two different receivers finished with two scores as junior WR Xavier Maxwell and junior WR Shane Ros both found the end zone twice. With two turnovers forced Saturday, the Houston defense has forced multiple turnovers in eight games this season, including seven straight. Junior DB Zach McMillian had an interception for the second straight game and also registered 10 tackles. Junior LB Phillip Steward moved into a tie for 11th on the Houston chart for single-season sacks with his 10th of the season. Steward finished the game with 16 tackles, his team-leading seventh game this season with at least 10 stops.

MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD
Sophomore K Justin Haig connected on a 45-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining in regulation to give the Thundering Herd a 44-41 victory over Houston Saturday. Sophomore QB Rakeem Cato went 32-of-50 for 377 yards and three touchdowns in the passing game, connecting with nine wide receivers in the victory. Sophomore WR Tommy Shuler paced the wide receiving corps with nine catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. He moved into a third place tie on Marshall's list of single-season reception leaders (96). Senior WR Antavious Wilson caught seven passes for 72 yards and had a 19-yard touchdown reception on Marshall's opening drive. Freshman RB Kevin Grooms amassed 117 yards on the ground in the first half and finished the game with 159. It was the third game this season that he has rushed for more than 100 yards.

MEMPHIS TIGERS
The Tigers scored 21 first quarter points for the first time since 2003 en route to a 46-9 win at UAB. Memphis has now won back-to-back games for the first time since 2008. Sophomore QB Jacob Karam completed 14-of-16 passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns. He is 28-of-34 over the past two games, both Memphis wins. Junior RB Brandon Hayes finished the game with 19 carries for a career-high 127 yards and three touchdowns. The last Tiger player to score three or more rushing touchdowns was Curtis Steele against Tulsa in 2009 (he had four). Sophomore Keiwone Malone finished the game with five punt returns for 112 yards, marking the first 100-yard punt return game by a Tiger since 1994. The Memphis defense held UAB to 213 total yards of total offense, the lowest total this season by an opponent.

RICE OWLS
The Owls won their 10th consecutive November home game, defeating SMU, 36-14. The victory was the third straight for Rice and a win at UTEP on Saturday will give them a bowl appearance. Junior QB Taylor McHargue set a career high for completions, going 24-of-36 for 297 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 38 more and a third score. Senior WR Vance McDonald had seven receptions for 85 yards and a TD. The scoring catch allows McDonald to tie Kenneth Roy (1973-76) for fifth on the school's career list with 15 TD catches. Junior DE Cody Bauer was credited with six tackles, including three for loss (two sacks) and caused a key fumble to set up the go-ahead touchdown. He leads the team with a career-high 5.5 sacks and 12 TFL this season.

SMU MUSTANGS
The Mustangs lost at Rice Saturday, 36-14. SMU will now need a victory on Saturday against Tulsa in order to go to a bowl game for a school-record fourth consecutive season. Senior RB Zach Line ran for both of SMU's scores, finishing the day with 19 carries for 94 yards. Senior WR Darius Johnson had six catches for a season-high 153 yards. It was his 13th career 100-yard receiving day (third this season), which ranks third in SMU history. Senior LB Ja'Gared Davis posted a season-high 10 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack, giving him 18.5 in his career.

SOUTHERN MISS GOLDEN EAGLES
Despite reaching a season high in points scored, Southern Miss dropped a one-point contest to UTEP Saturday, 34-33. The Golden Eagles also registered a season-best 532 yards of total offense. Sophomore QB Arsenio Favor threw for a career-high 374 yards, notching the first 300-yard throwing game since Austin Davis notched 364 passing yards against UCF last season (11/12/11). The passing performance was the fifth-highest output of yardage in school history. Senior WR Quentin Pierce enjoyed his best game of the campaign, catching two passes for 125 yards, including an 81-yard scoring play late in the contest. It was Pierce's third career 100-yard receiving game and, with his first catch of the day for 44 yards, he went over the 1,000-yard mark for his career. Pierce has tallied 1,100 yards receiving on 89 career catches. Senior DL Jamie Collins has reached a fifth-place tie on the school's single-season charts for both sacks (10.0) and tackles for loss (20.0). He is tied for fourth nationally in sacks and tied for No. 12 in TFLs.

TULANE GREEN WAVE
The Green Wave dropped a 28-23 decision to East Carolina Saturday. Senior QB Ryan Griffin completed 36-of-57 passes for 293 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He became the school's all-time leader in pass completions with 800, surpassing the former mark of 798 established by Patrick Ramsey from 1998-2001. Sophomore WR Ryan Grant had 94 yards on 10 receptions to bring his season yardage total to 1,041. He becomes seventh player in Tulane history to surpass the 1,000-yard receiving plateau in a season. Freshman RB Josh Rounds tallied career highs with nine catches for 43 yards. Junior K Cairo Santos connected on field goals of 22, 26 and 43 yards to keep him a perfect 20-for-20 for the season. Junior LB Zach Davis led Tulane with a career-high 14 tackles (8 solo, 6 assists) while senior SS Shakiel Smith and freshman CB Jordan Batiste each had an interception.

TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE
Tulsa clinched the Conference USA West Division Championship with a 23-21 victory against UCF Saturday. Junior QB Cody Green completed 21-of-34 passes for 252 yards and a career-high three touchdowns for the Golden Hurricane, with all three going to sophomore WR Keyarris Garrett, who tallied seven receptions for 130 yards. His 70-yard scoring play was the longest catch of his career. Garrett produced the first three TD reception game for a Hurricane receiver since Brennan Marion had three receiving TDs against UTEP Oct. 18, 2008. The Tulsa ground attack was led by junior RB Trey Watts with 122 yards on 20 carries, while the Hurricane gained 209 yards on the ground as a team. Senior LB DeAundre Brown started the game tied for ninth on the all-time for most TFLs in a season at 14. With 2.5 TFLs for 11 yards against UCF he has moved into a tie for third with James Lockett (2008) 16.5 TFLs.

UAB BLAZERS
The Blazers lost to Memphis Saturday, 46-9. Junior WR Jackie Williams had three catches for 44 yards to extend his streak to 34 consecutive games with at least one reception. That's the eighth-longest streak in the country. Senior WR Patrick Hearn caught four passes and eclipsed the 100-catch mark for his career. Hearn now has 102 catches. Senior RB Darrin Reaves enters the season finale at UCF needing just 34 rushing yards to become the fourth UAB player in history to reach 1,000 yards for a season. Senior LB Marvin Burdette registered 10 tackles in the final home game to increase his season total to 142. Burdette leads C-USA in tackles and is ranked No. 2 in the FBS.

UCF KNIGHTS
UCF dropped a 23-21 decision at Tulsa Saturday. The Knights need a win over UAB this Saturday or a loss by East Carolina to Marshall on Friday to secure the East Division title. Senior RB Latavious Murray was held under 100 yards (61) for the first time in five games, but he did score his 12th touchdown in just eight games. Senior CB A.J. Bouye set a career-high with his third interception of the season, returning it 76 yards for a touchdown, the fifth-longest in UCF history. Bouye, who had a 79-yard fumble return for six points at Memphis, is one of only three UCF players to record an interception return for a touchdown and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the same season. Senior LB Jonathan Davis registered a season-high 17 tackles and forced his first career fumble.

UTEP MINERS
The Miners posted a 34-33 win at Southern Miss Saturday. True freshman walk-on Demarcus Kizzie intercepted a two-point conversion pass with 2:48 left to seal the game, allowing his high school teammate and true freshman Autrey Golden's 98-yard kickoff return with 6:22 remaining to stand as the game-winning score. That was Golden's second kickoff return for a touchdown this season. Freshman QB Blaire Sullivan rushed 19 times for 98 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore RB Nathan Jeffery ran for two scores (his third straight multiple-TD game) and finished with 76 yards on the ground.

 

 

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