Friday, June 21, 2024
Fantasy Guru - Baseball

CFB: Week 3 Conference Notes: Conference USA (C-USA)

UPCOMING GAMES (ALL TIMES CT)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
WKU at Indiana (Big Ten Network) 11 am

North Texas at UNLV (MWC Network) 2 pm

Georgia Southern at UAB (Stadium) 2:30 pm

Charlotte at Georgia State (ESPN+) 6 pm

Tenn. State at Middle Tennessee (ESPN+) 6 pm

UCF at Florida Atlantic (CBSSN) 6:30 pm

Louisiana at Rice (ESPN+) 6:30 pm

LA Tech at No. 5 Clemson (ACC Network)7 pm

UTSA at No. 21 Texas (Longhorn Network) 7 pm

UTEP at New Mexico (MWC Network) 7 pm

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK,
PRESENTED BY BLENDERS EYEWEAR (WEEK 2)

OFFENSE
QB FRANK HARRIS, UTSA
Redshirt Senior, Schertz, Texas
Harris posted his second consecutive 300-yard passing day to help UTSA rally for a 41-38 overtime win at Army on Saturday in West Point. The senior quarterback completed 32-45 passes for 359 yards — just eight yards shy of the school record — and three touchdowns and added 30 yards on the ground, as the Roadrunners churned out 512 yards of offense against the Black Knights. Harris completed passes to six different players, including a pair that topped the century mark for the second straight games in Zakhari Franklin (122) and Joshua Cephus (112). Harris led UTSA back from a 14-point second-half deficit with three touchdown drives in a row to eventually take a 35-28 lead late in the contest. In overtime, he found De’Corian Clark open in the left corner of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown pass. The national leader in total offense at 394.5 yards per game, Harris currently paces C-USA and ranks sixth nationally with 348.0 passing yards per game, and his six passing TDs stand 10th among FBS players.

DEFENSE
DL QUINDARIUS DUNNIGAN, MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Redshirt Sophomore, Chattanooga, Tennessee Making his first career start, Dunnigan led a Blue Raider defense that recorded a school record tying nine sacks, forced four turnovers and held Colorado State to just 246 total yards of total offense. Dunnigan turned in a career-best 2.5 quarterback sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss to go with a pass breakup and seven total tackles in the win for Middle Tennessee, the first of the season for the Blue Raiders.

SPECIAL TEAMS
K, GAVIN BAECHLE, UTEP
Senior, McKinney, Texas
Baechle converted two field goals (29, 46) and made a pair of extra points on his way to eight points in UTEP’s 20-13 win over rival New Mexico State in the 99th Battle of I-10 on Saturday night in El Paso. Baechle put the first points of the game on the board, courtesy of a 29-yard field goal in the first quarter. He added a 46-yarder in the third quarter that extended the lead to 20-6 at the end of the period.

QUICK HITTERS

A LOOK AT WEEK 3
For the second straight week, 10 of the 11 Conference USA teams are in action in Week 3, with all 10 games slated for Saturday. FIU is on its lone bye of the 2022 season.

WKU (2-0), the lone undefeated team remaining in C-USA is coming off its bye week, which followed a 49-17 win at Hawai’i in Week 1. WKU travels to Bloomington to take on Indiana (2-0), who knocked off Idaho 35-22 last week. The game kicks off the weekend at 11 a.m. CT on Big Ten Network. WKU QB Austin Reed enters play having thrown for 547 yards and seven touchdowns through the first two games.

North Texas (2-1) hits the road Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas, as they prepare to take on UNLV (1-1) at 2 p.m. CT on the Mountain West Network. The Mean Green got back to its winning ways with a 59-27 win at home over Texas Southern. UNLV’s comeback bid fell short in Berkeley against Cal, ultimately falling 20-14 in Strawberry Canyon.

UAB (1-1) returns home to host Sun Belt foe Georgia Southern (2-0) at 2:30 p.m. CT on Stadium from Protective Stadium. The Blazers fell 21-14 in a rain-soaked affair against future C-USA member, Liberty, in Lynchburg, while Georgia Southern upset Nebraska 45-42 in Lincoln. UAB enters play ranking 20th nationally in rushing yardage per game – 236.0.

Middle Tennessee (1-1) bounced back in a big way with a road win over Mountain West foe Colorado State, 34-19, in Fort Collins last week. The Blue Raiders open their home slate Saturday night at 6 p.m. CT against Tennessee State (0-2) and Tigers’ head coach Eddie George on ESPN+.

Charlotte (0-3) travels to Atlanta to take on Sun Belt foe Georgia State (0-2) as both teams look to secure their first win of 2022 on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. CT. The 49ers fell at home last week to Maryland and hope to have starting QB Chris Reynolds back after he’s missed the past two games due to injury. Georgia State dropped a close one last week to North Carolina, 35-28.

Florida Atlantic (2-1) got back in the win column last week with a comfortable 42-9 win over Southeastern Louisiana, and the Owls host in-state rival UCF (1-1) Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network in Boca Raton. UCF fell at home last week on Friday night against Louisville, 20-14.

Rice (1-1), picked up its first win of 2022 last week, hosts Louisiana (2-0) in Houston at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+. The Owls knocked off McNeese 52-10 to even their record on the young season. Louisiana handled

Eastern Michigan 49-21 at home last week and have won a nation-best 15 games in a row.

Louisiana Tech (1-1) picked up its first win of the Sonny Cumbie era last week, knocking off Stephen F. Austin 52-17 in the Bulldogs’ home opener. Louisiana Tech travels to take on No. 5 Clemson (2-0) at 7 p.m. CT on the ACC Network. The Tigers won their second straight game last week by taking down Furman 35-12.

UTSA (1-1) travels a few hours north to take on No. 21 Texas (1-1) at 7 p.m. CT at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. The Roadrunners picked up their first win of the season, defeating Army West Point 41-38 in overtime, UTSA’s second overtime game in as many weeks. The Longhorns nearly pulled a major upset, falling 20-19 at home in front of a record crowd of 105,213, to No. 1 Alabama. Saturday night’s affair will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. CT on Longhorn Network.

UTEP (1-2) won its first game of the 2022 season, holding off future C-USA member New Mexico State 20-13 in El Paso. The Miners will now make the trek to Albuquerque to battle the New Mexico Lobos (1-1) at 7 p.m. CT on the Mountain West Network.

UTSA ROARS BACK TO BEAT ARMY IN OT
UTSA (1-1) earned its first win of the season Saturday, 41-38 on the road at Army West Point. The Roadrunners scored 21 unanswered to turn a 28-14 deficit into a 35-28 lead in the fourth quarter and scored a seven-yard touchdown in overtime to win it after Army kicked a field goal on its possession in the extra frame. QB Frank Harris, last week’s CUSA Offensive Player of the Week, completed 32-45 passes for 359 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. UTSA’s talented trio of receivers lived up to the hype, as Zakhari Franklin (10 catches for 122 yards and two scores), Joshua Cephus (10 catches for 112 yards) and De’Corian Clark (seven catches for 90 yards and the game-winning touchdown in overtime) all made big plays in the comeback win. The Roadrunners have played in two overtime games in as many weeks – after falling in triple overtime last week against then-No. 24 Houston. The loss for Army marked its first in the month of September since the 2016 season.

PEASANT HELPS LIFT BLUE RAIDERS TO WIN AT COLORADO STATE
Middle Tennessee (1-1) picked up its first win of 2022 on the road at Colorado State, knocking off the Rams 34-19 in Fort Collins. RB Frank Peasant carried 22 times for 103 yards and two scores in the win for the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee raced out to a 34-0 lead, and never really looked back. QB Chase Cunningham completed 31-39 passes for 266 yards and a score, and WR Izaiah Gathings caught 11 passes for 92 yards in the win. Defensively, DL Quindarius Dunnigan was a handful for the Rams, recording 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks to go along with seven total stops and a pass break-up.

UAB FALLS AT LIBERTY, DESPITE BIG GROUND PERFORMANCE
UAB (1-1) fell to Liberty in a rainy night in Lynchburg, Virginia, 21-14 despite a monster performance on the ground from the Blazers’ two-headed monster at running back. DeWayne McBride carried 19 times for 170 yards and a touchdown, while Jermaine Brown, Jr. carried 17 times for 91 yards and a score. The Flames led 21-7 late before McBride cut the Liberty lead to one score in the final three minutes, but the visitors would get no closer.

CUMBIE WINS FIRST GAME AT LT
Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie picked up his first win at the helm of the Bulldogs’ program Saturday night with a 52-17 victory over Stephen F. Austin. RB Marquis Crosby carried 16 times for 196 yards and two scores in the win, averaging 12.3 yards per carry. The Bulldogs ran for 299 yards on their way to 515 yards of total offense at a 7.4 yards per play clip.

MCMAHON’S PERFORMANCE LAUNCHES RICE TO WIN NO. 1
Rice QB TJ McMahon had a big day for the Owls as they won their first game of 2022, 52-10 at home over McNeese. McMahon completed 20-29 for 274 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. WR Bradley Rozner caught three passes for 101 yards and two scores, one of which was 75 yards. Defensively, LB Ikenna Enechukwu recorded 1.5 sacks in the win.

MEAN GREEN RUSH TO BIG WIN
North Texas (2-1), 2021’s fifth-ranked rushing team in the nation, ran for 348 yards on Saturday night in a 59-27 win over FCS foe Texas Southern. The Mean Green totaled 607 yards of offense and were paced by RB Ayo Adeyi’s 10-carry, 135-yard and one-touchdown performance. Fellow running back Oscar Adaway III, scored twice, on 17 carries for 85 yards. QB Austin Aune also threw four touchdowns, while LB Larry Nixon III recorded a game-high 15 tackles in
the win.

FAU’S RB DUO, WESTER PACE OWLS IN WIN OVER SE LOUISIANA
Florida Atlantic (2-1) knocked off Southeastern Louisiana 42-9 in Boca Raton to bounce back from last week’s performance. RBs Zuberi Mobley (20 carries for 146 yards and a score) and Larry McCammon III (15 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown) led the Owls, who rolled up 631 yards of total offense in the win. WR LaJohntay Wester hauled in eight catches for 140 yards and a pair of scores for the victorious Owls.

UTEP OUTLASTS NM STATE IN RIVALRY CLASH
UTEP (1-2) held off a late rally from future conference-mate New Mexico State 20-13 in the final Battle of I-10 matchup before the Aggies join C-USA in 2023. UTEP RB Ronald Awatt led the way for the Miners with 21 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown in the win, UTEP’s first of 2022.

HARRIS LEADING FBS
UTSA QB Frank Harris leads the FBS in total offense (394.5 yards per game). The redshirt senior ranks sixth nationally in passing yards per game (348.0). Harris was named to the Manning Award Stars of the Week list, as well as the Davey O’Brien Great 8 following his monster performance in last week’s win over Army West Point on the road. He totaled 389 yards of total offense and threw three touchdowns with no interceptions in the win.

PERRY’S FINE NINE
Florida Atlantic QB N’Kosi Perry ranks second in the FBS with nine passing touchdowns through his first three games.

TAKEAWAYTOPS

WKU enters Week 3 ranking second in the nation in turnovers forced (10 in two games), just one behind the national leader, Nevada. The Hilltoppers are tied for the national lead in interceptions with seven, alongside Nevada. WKU has brought two of their 10 forced turnovers back for touchdowns (both interceptions), which ranks second in the FBS.

Mikey Balhan Sports

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