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CFB Week 11 Conference Notes: Conference USA

UPCOMING GAMES (ALL TIMES CT)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13
WKU at Rice (ESPN+) 1 pm

UAB at Marshall (CBSSN) 2:30 pm

FIU at Middle Tennessee (ESPN3) 2:30 pm

Florida Atlantic at Old Dominion (ESPN+) 2:30 pm

Southern Miss at UTSA (ESPN+) 2:30 pm

Charlotte at LA Tech (Stadium) 2:30 pm

UTEP at North Texas (ESPN+) 3 pm

 

A LOOK AT WEEK 11
As the regular season winds down, all 14 Conference USA teams are in action again in Week 11, all of which are conference matchups, and all of which are on Saturday. WKU and Rice open Saturday’s C-USA action at 1 p.m. CT in Houston on ESPN+. There are then five C-USA games kicking off in the 2:30 p.m. CT window, highlighted by UAB traveling to Huntington, West Virginia, to battle Marshall in a matchup of two 4-1 teams in conference play on CBS Sports Network. AP No. 15 UTSA returns home to host Southern Miss from the Alamodome on ESPN+, also at 2:30 p.m. CT in their quest to reach the 10-0 plateau and continue taking steps towards a potential West Division title. The final game of the day for Conference USA teams kicks off at 3 p.m. CT, as North Texas hosts UTEP in Denton, also on ESPN+.

WKU (5-4, 4-1 C-USA) has won four straight since opening the season at 1-4, and the Hilltoppers are in a tie atop the East Division with Marshall. They travel to Houston at 1 p.m. CT to take on Rice (3-6, 2-3 C-USA) live on ESPN+. WKU won comfortably last week at home against rival Middle Tennessee, 48- 21, on the strength of seven forced turnovers (six of which were interceptions). The nation’s leading passer, QB Bailey Zappe, totaled five touchdowns (four through the air) in the win, while the nation’s leading WR Jerreth Sterns, hauled in 11 more catches for 110 yards, surpassing the 100-catch mark for the season (104), a new program record. Rice, has  dropped two straight, both in overtime, since the big road win at UAB on Oct. 23, and fell 31-24 in overtime last week on the road at Charlotte despite RB Ari Broussard’s best efforts. The Rice running back carried 20 times for 186 yards and two scores.

UAB (6-3, 4-1 C-USA), hits the road with a trip to Huntington, West Virginia, to battle one of the two East Division leaders, Marshall (6-3, 4-1 C-USA), at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network. UAB stormed back from an early 21-7 deficit at home against Louisiana Tech to pick up a 52-38 win over the Bulldogs. Blazers RB DeWayne McBride had a career-high 210 yards and four touchdowns on just 14 carries (15.0 yards per carry) in the win. Marshall picked up an impressive 28-13 win on the road down in Boca Raton over Florida  Atlantic, ending the Owls’ 12-game home winning streak. Thundering Herd RB Rasheen Ali was the story again for Marshall on the offensive side of the ball, as he carried 18 times for 90 yards and two more scores. Ali is tied for the national lead in rushing  touchdowns with 17 in nine appearances.

Middle Tennessee (4-5, 2-3 C-USA) returns home to Murfreesboro to host FIU (1-8, 0-5 C-USA) with a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff on ESPN3. The Blue Raiders fell in their rivalry clash at WKU last week, 48-21, and struggled offensively without QB Chase Cunningham, who missed the game due to injury. Middle Tennessee quarterbacks threw six interceptions and the Blue Raiders turned it over seven times in the loss. They are, however, two wins shy of a sixth win and bowl eligibility as they welcome the Panthers, who have dropped eight straight. FIU fell at home to Old Dominion last week, 47-24.

Florida Atlantic (5-4, 3-2 C-USA) travels north to Norfolk, Virginia, to take on Old Dominion (3-6, 2-3 C-USA) at 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+. The Monarchs are fresh off a comfortable 47-24 win at FIU last week, ODU’s second straight victory. RB Blake Watson had a big day for the Monarchs, carrying 28 times for 158 yards and two scores. FAU fell 28-13 at home, head coach Willie Taggart’s first loss at home as the Owls’ head man. RB Johnny Ford was the only component of the FAU offense that really got going against the Herd, as Ford carried 13 times for 138 yards in a losing effort.

AP No. 15 UTSA (9-0, 5-0 C-USA) returns home to host Southern Miss (1-8, 0-5 C-USA) at 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+ in a battle of teams on the opposite ends of the specturm. The Roadrunners put in a strong performance last week in front of a national audience in the late game on ESPN2, comfortably defeating UTEP 44-23 in El Paso in front of a crowd of 31,000+ behind another big performance by UTSA’s big three offensively – QB Frank Harris, RB Sincere McCormick and WR Zakhari Franklin. The Golden Eagles dropped their eighth consecutive game, falling 38-14 at home to North Texas last week.

Charlotte (5-4, 3-2 C-USA) enters the week in search of win No. 6 on the season, and the 49ers travel to Ruston, Louisiana, to take on Louisiana Tech (2-7, 1-4 C-USA) at 2:30 p.m. CT on Stadium. Charlotte had an exciting overtime win on homecoming against the visiting Rice Owls, 31-24. QB Chris Reynolds returned to action after missing the previous week due to injury, and the program’s all-time leading passer completed 20-29 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, including the game-winner in overtime to freshman WR Elijah Spencer, from 25 yards out, his second touchdown grab on the day. The pair had hooked up in the final
1:14 to send the game to overtime as well, knotting things at 24-24. Louisiana Tech started fast in Birmingham, but ultimately ran out of gas in their upset bid over UAB, falling 52-38. Freshman QB J.D. Head earned his first collegiate start, filling in for the injured Austin Kendall.

North Texas (3-6, 2-3 C-USA) returns home to host UTEP (6-3, 3-2 C-USA) at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN+. The Mean Green picked up their second win in as many weeks, keeping their bowl eligibility hopes alive, beating Southern Miss 38-14 in Hattiesburg on the strength of a pair of defensive touchdowns. UTEP has dropped two straight, and fell 44-23 at home last week to UTSA.

 

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