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CFB: Week 4 Conference Notes: Conference-USA (C-USA)

C-USA Notes

UPCOMING GAMES (ALL TIMES CT)
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
Boise State at UTEP (CBSSN) 8 pm

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
FIU at WKU (CBSSN) 2:30 pm

Middle Tennessee at No. 25 Miami (FL) (ACC Network) 2:30 pm

North Texas at Memphis (ESPN+) 2:30 pm

Texas Southern at UTSA (Stadium) 2:30 pm

Rice at Houston (ESPN+) 5 pm

LA Tech at South Alabama (ESPN+) 6 pm

Florida Atlantic at Purdue (Big Ten Network) 6:30 pm

Charlotte at South Carolina (ESPNU) 6:30 pm

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK,
PRESENTED BY BLENDERS EYEWEAR (WEEK 3)

OFFENSE
RB DEWAYNE MCBRIDE, UAB
Junior, Starke, Florida
McBride had a career-high 223 rushing yards and matched his career highs for carries (28) and touchdowns (four) in UAB’s 35-21 victory over Georgia Southern on Saturday. McBride averaged 8.0 yards per carry in the victory for the Blazers. In two games this season, McBride has run for 400 yards (200.0/game) and five touchdowns. He is the nation’s active career leader in yards per carry at 7.4.

DEFENSE
LB NOAH WILDER, UAB
Redshirt Senior, Bessemer, Alabama
Wilder recorded a career-high 18 tackles against the nation’s second-ranked offense in leading UAB to a 35-21 victory over Georgia Southern last week. Wilder was all over the field and helped the Blazers keep GSU to 160 yards under their season average. In the process, Wilder moved into UAB’s Top 10 for career tackles and now has 262. He leads C-USA in tackles per game this season at 11.3 (34 total).

SPECIAL TEAMS
KR, KAYLON HORTON, NORTH TEXAS
Junior, Houston, Texas
Horton had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for his fourth career touchdown (two punt returns, one kick return, one receiving) and his
first with the Mean Green. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a UNT player since Deion Hair-Griffin had a 96-yard touchdown on August 31, 2019, against Abilene Christian. Horton’s 99-yard touchdown is tied for the fourth-longest kick return for a touchdown in UNT history and the fourth-longest return by any FBS player this season. The return was the second career kickoff return for Horton, with the first coming while at Tarleton State in 2020. Horton is now one of only 20 players in FBS with two or more career kick return touchdowns.

QUICK HITTERS
A LOOK AT WEEK 4
For the second straight week, 10 of the 11 Conference USA teams are in action in Week 4. There is one game on Friday night, as UTEP hosts Boise State, and an eight-game slate for Saturday, which includes one conference matchup – between FIU and WKU. UAB, fresh off a win over Gerogia Southern, is on its lone bye of the 2022 season.

UTEP (1-3), is coming off a loss at New Mexico last week and the Miners return home to host Boise State (2-1), who knocked off UT-Martin 30-7 at home last week. The game kicks off the weekend on Friday night at 8 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network. UTEP WR Tyrin Smith had an eight-catch, 183-yard performance at New Mexico and has 27 catches for 437 yards and two scores to lead the Miners aerial attack.

There are a quartet of games involving C-USA teams that kick off on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT – the first of which is a league contest between FIU (1-1, 0-0 C-USA) and WKU (2-1, 0-0 C-USA) in Bowling Green on CBS Sports Network. FIU was on a bye last week following a Week 2 loss at Texas State, while WKU dropped a heartbreaker last week, 33-30 in overtime at Indiana. WKU QB Austin Reed has completed 69.2% of his passes for 876 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions through his first three games as a Hilltopper.

Next, also at 2:30 p.m. CT, Middle Tennessee (2-1) travels to South Beach to take on No. 25 Miami on the ACC Network. The Blue Raiders have been dominant in their past two games, both wins, against Colorado State (34-19) and Tennessee State (49-6). Miami fell 17-9 last week at Texas A&M. UTSA (1-2) returns home this week after falling last week at then-No. 21 Texas, 41-20 in Austin. The Roadrunners performed well at Texas and were tied with the Longhorns 17-17 at halftime before Texas pulled away late. UTSA hosts Texas Southern (1-2) at 2:30 p.m. CT on Stadium. The Tigers beat Southern on the road 24-0 last week, after losing 59-27 at North Texas back in Week 2.

Speaking of North Texas (2-2), the Mean Green are also in action during the 2:30 p.m. CT window, on ESPN+, looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss last week at UNLV (58-27). North Texas is on the road again, taking on Memphis (2-1), who held off Arkansas State 44-32 at home last week.

Rice (2-1) makes the cross-town trip to take on Houston (1-2) at 5 p.m. CT on ESPN+ in another head-to-head battle with an American Athletic Conference foe. The Owls enter play coming off an impressive 33-21 win at home last week over Louisiana, putting a halt to the Ragin’ Cajuns 15-game winning streak, the longest such streak in the nation. Houston on the other hand, fell 48-30 last week at home to the surprising Kansas Jayhawks.

Louisiana Tech (1-2) travels to Mobile, Alabama, to take on South Alabama (2-1) at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN+ on Saturday night following the Bulldogs’ 48-20 loss at No. 5 Clemson last week. South Alabama dropped their contest at UCLA, courtesy of a game-winning field goal by the Bruins as time expired.

Florida Atlantic (2-2) hits the road to battle Purdue (1-2) on Saturday night in West Lafayette, Indiana, at 6:30 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network. FAU fell to in-state foe UCF (40-14), while Purdue lost late in the fourth quarter, 32-29 at Syracuse, of a see-saw affair.

Also at 6:30 p.m. CT, Charlotte (1-3) travels to take on South Carolina (1-2) on ESPNU. The 49ers saw QB Chris Reynolds return from injury to lead the 49ers to a thrilling 42-41 win on the road at Georgia State, while South Carolina fell 48-7 at home to No. 1 Georgia. In terms of common opponents, the Gamecocks knocked off Georgia State 35-14 in Columbia. Reynolds was named to the Manning Award Stars of the Week list and the Davey O’Brien Great 8 List.

C-USA GOES 3-0 AGAINST SUN BELT
Conference USA went a perfect 3-0 in its head-to-head matchups with Sun Belt opposition. UAB took down Georgia Southern (35-21), who knocked off Nebraska last week in Lincoln, while Charlotte picked up its first win of the season with a thrilling 42-41 win at Georgia State and Rice ended Louisiana’s 15-game winning streak, which was the longest active winning streak in the FBS with a 33-21 win over the Ragin’ Cajuns in Houston.

MCBRIDE, WILDER LEAD UAB TO WIN OVER GEORGIA SOUTHERN
UAB (2-1) picked up a big win over Sun Belt foe Georgia Southern, 35-21, on Saturday afternoon in Birmingham. RB DeWayne McBride was incredible for the Blazers, carrying 28 times for 223 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Defensively, LB Noah Wilder recorded a game and career-high 18 tackles (nine solo) with a quarterback hurry and a pass break-up in the victory for the Blazers’ defense, who has allowed just 14.0 points per game through their first three.

CHARLOTTE PICKS UP FIRST WIN IN THRILLER AT GEORGIA STATE
Charlotte (1-3) had a familiar face return in QB Chris Reynolds, who missed the past two-plus games due to injury – and it paid immediate dividends for the 49ers. Charlotte came back to knock off Sun Belt foe Georgia State, 42-41 thanks to a Reynolds pass to WR Grant DuBose with just 17 seconds remaining. Reynolds finished his game completing 31-43 for 401 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception. DuBose hauled in eight passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Four different 49ers caught touchdowns, as Reynolds spread the ball to
seven different receivers.

RICE ENDS LONGEST ACTIVE FBS WINNING STREAK, BEATS LOUISIANA 33-21
Rice (2-1) picked up a big win at home, 33-21, over Louisiana, who entered play having won 15 straight games dating back to the 2021 season, which was the nation’s longest active winning streak (FBS). WR Luke McCaffrey, who transitioned from quarterback in the offseason, led the way with 10 catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns for the Owls in the win. Rice outgained the Ragin’ Cajuns 449-175 in the game, locking things down defensively.

WKU DROPS HEARTBREAKER AT INDIANA
WKU (2-1) fell for the first time in 2022, 33-30 in overtime at Indiana, despite a big performance by QB Austin Reed. The West Florida transfer completed 33-43 passes for 329 yards with three total touchdowns and one interceptions. RB Kye Robichaux also had a nice day offensively for the Hilltoppers, carrying 14 times for 135 yards.

MIDDLE ROLLS OVER TENNESSEE STATE
Middle Tennessee (2-1) opened its home slate with a comfortable 49-6 win over FCS foe Tennessee State on Saturday night. RB Frank Peasant carried 13 times for 122 yards and three scores. The Blue Raiders have bounced back nicely after a disappointing start to the season with a pair of comfortable wins, over Colorado State (on the road) and today over Tennessee State.

LA TECH’S GREAT GESTURE
Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie and his program were brought into the national spotlight following their game at No. 5 Clemson last week by Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney following the game. Swinney complimented Cumbie and his program for their gesture towards Clemson DT Brian Bresee and his family, following the tragic passing of Brian’s younger sister, Ella. Cumbie donned an “Ella Strong” shirt during pregame warmups, as well as Cumbie and the team handwriting letters to Bresee and his family sending their condolences.

HARRIS IN THE TOP-FIVE IN TOTAL OFFENSE
UTSA QB Frank Harris ranks fifth in the FBS in total offense (349.7 yards per game). The redshirt senior ranks 13th nationally in passing yards per game (348.0). Harris is also fifth nationally in completions per game (28.0).

TAKEAWAYTOPS

WKU enters Week 4 tied for the national lead in turnovers forced (11 in three games), alongside Liberty and Nevada. The Hilltoppers are second nationally in interceptions with seven. WKU has brought two of their 11 forced turnovers back for touchdowns (both interceptions), which ranks second in the FBS.

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