I-A College Football
 
 
                  ***** Conference USA News and Notes *****
 
 Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
 
 EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates (3-1) ended a 38-year drought without a win at
 Kenan Stadium as they defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels, 55-31, in their
 second to last non-conference game of the season. Shane Carden threw for 376
 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-47 efficiency and scored on three short
 runs as well. Vintavious Cooper rushed for 186 yards and also led the Pirates
 with eight receptions for 70 yards. Lance Ray had 84 yards and two touchdowns
 on five receptions. ECU erupted for 603 yards of total offense and converted
 on all eight red zone opportunities. The Pirates will look to carry their
 momentum over to C-USA action as they visit Middle Tennessee on Saturday. They
 will conclude their non-conference slate at NC State on Nov. 23.
 
 FIU: The Panthers (0-4) had a bye week following their 72-0 loss at
 Louisville. They will make their C-USA debut at Southern Miss on Saturday.
 
 FLORIDA ATLANTIC: In the first battle of the Owls, FAU (1-4) fell to 0-3 in
 conference play as it suffered an 18-14 setback to Rice in Houston. FAU held a
 14-6 lead with 6:07 remaining before Rice scored two late touchdowns to
 wrestle away control of the contest. Greg Hankerson completed 22-of-46 passes
 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jonathan Wallace led
 the way with 73 rushing yards, while William Dukes (72 yards) and Darion
 Howard (68 yards) were each reliable targets for Hankerson in the team's
 second consecutive loss. FAU will look to end its slump on Saturday when it
 visits UAB.
 
 LOUISIANA TECH: The Bulldogs (1-4) lost for the third time in a row as Army
 rushed for 414 yards and five touchdowns en route to a 35-16 decision at the
 Cotton Bowl in the inaugural Heart of Dallas Classic Saturday. Louisiana Tech
 compiled 377 offensive yards and went 6-of-12 on third-down conversions in the
 game, but turned the ball over twice without registering a takeaway. Ryan
 Higgins amassed 320 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 20-of-36
 passing. Kenneth Dixon scored his 29th career rushing touchdown as he
 contributed 71 yards on 16 carries. Andrew Guillot was the leading receiver
 with 123 yards and a touchdown on five catches. Now with their non-conference
 schedule in the books, the Bulldogs will try to improve their 0-1 C-USA record
 on Saturday when they face Texas-El Paso at the Sun Bowl.
 
 MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd (2-2) had the week off following their
 heartbreaking overtime loss to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. They will play
 their first home game since Sept. 7 on Saturday when they host Texas-San
 Antonio at Joan C. Edwards Stadium for their conference opener.
 
 MIDDLE TENNESSEE: The Blue Raiders (3-2) took a 10-7 lead into the second
 quarter but they were held scoreless the rest of the way and lost, 37-10, to
 BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday. The Cougars gained 486 yards of total
 offense and limited MT to just 212 total yards. The Blue Raiders suffered the
 double-digit deficit despite forcing five turnovers on the night. Sophomore
 linebacker T.T. Barber led the team in tackles for the fifth time this season
 as he registered a career-best 15 stops, a sack and a forced fumble. Logan
 Kilgore completed 13-of-31 passes for 82 yards with a touchdown and an
 interception. MT looks to improve to 2-0 in conference play on Saturday when
 it hosts East Carolina.
 
 NORTH TEXAS: The Mean Green (2-2) had an open week after closing out their
 non- conference schedule with a 45-21 loss at Georgia. They will play their
 first league game as a member of the C-USA on Saturday at Tulane.
 
 RICE: In the first battle of the Owls, Rice (2-2) overcame a late deficit to
 claim an 18-14 victory over FAU in its conference opener in Houston. Rice only
 produced six points on a pair of field goals by Chris Boswell through the
 first 55 minutes of the contest and trailed 14-6 with five minutes left to
 play. Cody Bauer scored on a seven-yard fumble recovery, but Taylor McGargue's
 incomplete pass on the conversion try left the hosts trailing by two. Bryce
 Callahan recorded an interception to return the ball to Rice's offense and
 Daris Dillard put it ahead with a 20-yard touchdown run with only 3:35
 remaining. Taylor McHargue was ineffective under center, completing just 7-
 of-25 passes for 69 yards and an interception, but he also led the team with
 71 rushing yards. Dillard finished with 62 yards on 11 carries. Rice won
 despite gaining just 273 yards of offense and converting a meager 3-of-16
 third down attempts. It will play its first road C-USA game this Saturday at
 Tulsa.
 
 SOUTHERN MISS: The Golden Eagles (0-4) lost their 16th game in a row dating
 back to the beginning of the 2012 season as they were routed, 60-7, by Boise
 State on Saturday. The 60 points allowed was the most USM has surrendered in a
 game since 1987. USM was held to 266 yards of total offense and turned the
 ball over three times, while the Broncos amassed 545 offensive yards. The
 Golden Eagles converted only 2-of-13 third-down plays. Allan Bridgford went
 18-of-30 for 143 yards with one touchdown against a pair of interceptions.
 Kendrick Hardy paced USM on the ground with 80 yards on 10 carries. Boise
 State scored on all nine of its red zone trips (seven TDs). The Golden Eagles
 will return home to play their first conference game of the season versus FIU.
 
 TEXAS-EL PASO: The Miners (1-3) overcame a 21-point deficit with a red hot
 start to the second half, but ran out of steam and lost, 59-42, to Colorado
 State at Hughes Stadium. Despite the loss, Jameill Showers had a strong
 showing, completing 26-of-43 passes for 365 yards and five touchdowns. Jordan
 Leslie caught three passes en route to 130 yards and two touchdowns. Eric
 Tomlinson reeled in a team-high eight receptions for 75 yards and a score
 while Aaron Jones gained 94 yards on 23 rushes. After going into halftime
 trailing, 28-7, UTEP scored a touchdown 11 seconds into the third quarter as
 Leslie hauled in a 75-yard pass from Showers. The junior wideout caught a 45-
 yard touchdown pass less than two minutes later to bring the Miners within
 seven points. The Rams responded with 24 unanswered points to put it out of
 reach. The Miners hope to end their two-game losing slide and climb back to
 the .500 mark in the conference standings on Saturday when they face Louisiana
 Tech at the Sun Bowl.
 
 TULANE: The Green Wave (3-2) put together a strong all-around performance as
 they coasted to a 31-14 victory over ULM in their non-conference finale at
 Malone Stadium. Tulane tallied a season-high 253 rushing yards and its defense
 recorded five takeaways. The aerial attack was limited as Nick Montana
 completed only 7-of-20 pass attempts for 65 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Grant
 turned his two catches into 43 yards and six points. Orleans Darkwa compiled a
 season-high 118 yards on 17 carries. Rob Kelley produced 76 yards on 16
 attempts. Jordan Batiste did a terrific job on the defensive side of the ball,
 registering eight tackles, a forced fumble, one interception and a single
 sack. The Green Wave, who have not won consecutive games since 2009, will take
 on North Texas in Louisiana on Saturday.
 
 TULSA: The Golden Hurricane (1-3) were buried by 24 consecutive Cyclones'
 points in their 38-21 loss to Iowa State at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Cody Green
 passed for 237 yards and two touchdowns but fumbled twice in the opening half
 and was intercepted late as Tulsa was attempting a comeback. Trey Watts ran
 for 38 yards and a touchdown and Thomas Roberson caught six balls for 63 yards
 and a pair of scores. The loss ended an eight-game home winning streak and
 marked just the third loss at home under coach Bill Blankenship. Shawn Jackson
 paced the Golden Hurricane defense with 14 tackles. Tulsa will begin its
 defense of the C-USA title on Saturday when it hosts Rice.
 
 TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO: The Roadrunners (2-3) played their instate rival even
 through the first 30 minutes before unraveling after halftime in a 59-28 loss
 to Houston at the Alamodome. UTSA took some momentum into the intermission as
 Eric Soza completed a touchdown pass to Earon Holmes late in the second
 quarter to tie the score at 21. The Cougars took control and outscored UTSA,
 28-0, in the fourth quarter to deny Larry Coker's squad its first home win of
 the campaign. Soza completed 29-of-40 passes for 316 yards, two touchdowns and
 three interceptions. Kam Jones had four receptions for 77 yards and a
 touchdown, while David Glasco II rushed for 28 yards and a score on nine
 carries. UTSA has a tough upcoming matchup as it visits Joan C. Edwards
 Stadium to play Marshall in week six.
 
 UAB: The Blazers (1-3) ended their non-conference schedule on a sour note as
 they were dispatched, 52-24, by Vanderbilt on the road. The Commodores scored
 touchdowns on all six red zone opportunities and generated 540 yards of total
 offense, compared to 362 for UAB. Jonathan Perry threw for 155 yards, two
 touchdowns and an interception on 9-of-16 passing off the bench. Starting QB
 Austin Brown threw for just 51 yards and an interception on 10-of-20
 efficiency before getting pulled. Jordan Howard carried the ball nine times
 for 92 yards to lead UAB on the ground. Jamarcus Nelson caught five balls for
 69 yards, while Darius Powell finished with five receptions for 56 yards and a
 touchdown. UAB will return home to tangle with FAU in its C-USA opener this
 week.
 
 
 
 09/30 11:08:59 ET

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