Nov. 20, 2012
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 enters 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. Last year, the teams met in the final regular season game with a bowl trip on the line and Marshall won in overtime on its home field. Marshall sophomore WR Tommy Shuler enters the game needing four receptions to become just the fifth player in C-USA history to have 100 catches in a season and the first underclassmen to accomplish the feat. ECU sophomore QB Shane Carden has thrown for 1,706 yards and 15 TDs in his last six games, helping the Pirates to their 6-1 league mark. Ben Holden, Todd Christensen and Evan Washburn will be on the call.
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 has 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. Tulsa and SMU rank one-two in Conference USA, respectively in rushing defense, but will face stern tests. Mustangs senior RB Zach Line leads the league individually in rushing yards with 1,126 (his third straight 1,000-yard campaign), while Tulsa's trio of backs (Ja'Terian Douglas, Trey Watts and Alex Singleton) combined to form the top rushing unit (241.4 yards per game). Steve Physioc, Brian Baldinger and Jim Knox will announce on C-USA's first FX appearance of the 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. The Owls have won three straight to move within one victory of their first bowl appearance since 2008. The Miners will be playing with emotion after head coach Mike Price announced his retirement earlier this week. UTEP officials announced that Saturday will be "Coach Mike Price Appreciation Day," as the second-winningest coach in Miners history coaches his final game. Joel Meyers and Ben Leber will be calling the action at the Sun Bowl.
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. UCF is seeking its fourth East Division title in eight seasons. Behind sophomore QB Blake Bortles, the Knights boast a 21-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio, the second-best mark in school history. Blazers sophomore 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. Mike Gleason, Gary Reasons and Lesley McCaslin are to set to announce from Orlando.
The second game of the doubleheader is the final game at Robertson Stadium when Houston hosts Tulane (2:30 p.m. CST). The 70-year-old facility will be torn down following the conclusion of the season and the Cougars will return to a new on-campus stadium on that location in 2014. Houston has had a great deal of success at the facility in recent years, posting a 35-9 (.795) record at "The Rob" since 1996. Tulane junior K Cairo Santos was named one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award on Monday. Santos is a perfect 20-of-20 on field goals this season with a 12-of-12 clip from 40-plus yards and a 2-of-2 effort from beyond 50. His 20 field goals are tied for the second-most in Tulane single-season history. Ron Thulin, Dave Lapham and Desmond Purnell will announce the final game at Robertson Stadium.
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). Golden Eagles 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. Over the last two weeks, Tigers junior QB Jacob Karam has completed 28-of-34 passes (82.3 percent) for 417 yards and five touchdowns, leading Memphis to back-to-back victories for the first time since 2008. Matt Stewart, Chuck Oliver and Rachel Baribeau are set to call the action.