Photo courtesy of Marshall Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates were overmatched by their ACC counterpart on Saturday as they dropped a 27-6 decision to the North Carolina Tar Heels in an in-state battle in Chapel Hill. The loss dropped the team to 2-2 overall this season. In his second career start, Shane Carden completed 17 of his 30 passes for 124 yards, while being sacked seven times. One of the sacks caused a costly fumble in the third quarter which helped the Tar Heels run away with the game. ECU failed to get into the end zone and converted only 5-of-16 third down tries. The Pirates lost their 13th straight game when scoring 20 points or less. The defense did manage to stop a five-game streak by not giving up a score on its opponent's opening drive. Coach Ruffin McNeill announced on Sunday night that senior wideout Dayon Arrington was dismissed from the team for an arrest early Sunday morning after previously being suspended for team rule violations. The Pirates return to C-USA action this weekend, where they will try to improve to 2-0 in league action when they host Texas-El Paso.
HOUSTON: The winless Cougars had the week off after a 37-6 loss at UCLA on Sept. 15. Houston opens up its conference season this weekend with a Lone Star State showdown against the Rice Owls.
MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd picked up their first win in the state of Texas in school history, snapping an eight-game losing streak in the Lone Star State. It did not come easy however, as Marshall and Rice went into double overtime before the Herd escaped with a 54-51 victory. The win improved MU's record to 2-2 and 1-0 within the Conference USA standings. Although the Herd have been torching opponents through the air this season, they relied on a potent rushing attack to get by the Owls. Kevin Grooms rushed with 103 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner. Steward Butler dashed for a game-high 166 yards and a touchdown and Remi Watson picked up 84 yards and two touchdowns. The three-headed rushing attack came after the team's starting running back, Travon Van, changed his position to defensive back the night before the contest. Rakeem Cato, who entered the contest leading the nation in total offense per game, completed 28-of-39 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Marshall steps out of league play for the final time this weekend as it stampedes into Big Ten territory to face the Purdue Boilermakers.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers lost their eighth game in a row dating back to last season over the weekend as they fell, 48-30, to the Duke Blue Devils in the first- ever meeting between the schools. First year coach Justin Fuente saw his career and current team's record drop to 0-4 as it gave up 500 yards of total offense to Duke. It was the third straight game the Tigers allowed their opponent to eclipse the 30-point mark. Memphis failed to produce offensively once again as Jacob Karam completed 13-of-22 passes for only 81 yards. Carl Harris led the team with 31 rushing yards, while filling in for the injured Jerrell Rhodes. The Tigers have a bye week to prepare for their Conference USA opener on Oct. 6 versus Rice.
RICE: Although they saw their record drop to 1-3, the Owls delivered another spirited effort in their 54-51 double overtime loss to Marshall. Rice went head-to-head with the Thundering Herd as the teams combined for over 1,200 yards of total offensive in the slugfest. Rice was led by Taylor McHargue, who brought the team back from a 10-point deficit in the final four minutes to send the game into overtime. McHargue became just the second player in school history to top 450 yards of total offense by finishing with 467. He threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 153. McHargue left the game with a shoulder injury after breaking away for a 47-yard run, which put Rice in position to tie the game. Driphus Jackson replaced McHargue and forced a second overtime with his first career TD. However, he was unable to duplicate that success in the second overtime, leading to a field goal which gave the Herd the opportunity to score a game-winning touchdown. Sam McGuffie scored two touchdowns and finished with a career-high 109 receiving yards. Rice's defense was torched by MU's rushing attack, but held the nation's top passing attack well under its average. The Owls will try to make their C-USA record 1-1 this weekend when they square off with Houston at Reliant Stadium.
SMU: Following a 48-3 loss to Texas A&M on Sept. 15, the Mustangs had a bye week. SMU returns to action against its fourth straight opponent from the state of Texas on Saturday when it hosts the TCU Horned Frogs for a non- conference bout.
SOUTHERN MISS: The Golden Eagles dropped their third game in a row to start the season as they were defeated, 42-17, by the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in a non-conference clash at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Three different quarterbacks saw action for USM as it was held to 264 yards of total offense. Chris Campbell started the game for Southern Miss but completed just 2-of-5 passes for 15 yards before leaving the game with an injury. Anthony Alford, who made his first career start last week against East Carolina, relieved Campbell but saw similar results. The true freshman threw for 14 yards on 2-of-7 passing and carried the ball nine times for 28 yards and a touchdown. Ricky Lloyd replaced Alford late in the third quarter and completed 4-of-5 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown, but lost a fumble. USM is 0-3 for the first time since 1976. The Golden Eagles will look for their first win of the season when they return to Hattiesburg on Saturday to take on the Louisville Cardinals.
TEXAS-EL PASO: The Miners fell to 0-17 in road games versus BCS opponents as they lost, 37-26, to the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison. The loss dropped UTEP's record to 1-3 for the season. Nick Lamaison led the Miners by passing for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Lamaison has now thrown 127 passes this season without an interception. Michael Edwards was the recipient of both touchdown passes and finished with 151 yards. Freshman running back Xay Williams produced the first touchdown run of his career and a season-best 53 yards. UTEP held a 6-2 lead at the end of the first period, but Wisconsin's rushing attack gained steam in the second quarter to help the Badgers build a 23-9 advantage by halftime. The Miners went 4-for-4 on fourth down conversions in the losing effort. Coach Mike Price will try to refocus his team as it begins its Conference USA season on Saturday in Greenville against the East Carolina Pirates.
TULANE: The Green Wave extended its FBS leading losing streak to 13 games as they were shutout, 39-0, by the Ole Miss Rebels at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tulane managed to generate just 159 yards of total offense with freshman quarterback Devin Powell making his first career start. Powell was sacked three times and threw three interceptions while the team managed just 14 yards on 29 carries. Ole Miss gained 303 yards on the ground and averaged 5.9 yards per play against the Green Wave's defense in the contest. First year coach Curtis Johnson will seek his first career win when his squad hosts the dangerous ULM Warhawks on Saturday.
TULSA: The Golden Hurricane rallied from 13 points down to top Fresno State, 27-26, in a non-conference battle at H.A. Chapman Stadium. The victory was the third in a row and improved Tulsa to 3-1 overall. Cody Green struggled for Tulsa (3-1), completing only 13-of-37 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. Jordan James had a breakout performance with four catches for 84 yards. Alex Singleton led the team's rushing attack with 56 yards on 18 carries, while Thomas Roberson had three catches for 65 yards and the game-winning score. Shawn Jackson had a strong showing with 11 tackles and a forced fumble. Tulsa's defense came up big down the stretch by not allowing the Bulldogs to pass the 50-yard line in the final quarter of the game.
UAB: The Blazers played much better in their second straight matchup versus a ranked opponent, but still lost, 29-15, to the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. The defeat was the third in as many games for UAB this season. Austin Brown threw for 196 yards and an interception on 21-of-35 passing. Darrin Reaves rushed for 72 yards on 16 carries in the setback and Ty Long made 3-of-4 field goal attempts. The Blazers put the Buckeyes on upset alert as they cut their deficit to 21-15 early in the fourth quarter with a field goal by Long, but Braxton Miller rushed for a touchdown and two-point conversion to put it out of reach. UAB gained 403 yards of total offense and held its ranked opponent to 347 in the contest. The Blazers open up their conference slate this weekend when they return home to host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
UCF: Following a 33-20 victory over FIU on Sept. 15, the Knights were idle for week four. UCF returns to the gridiron with the intent of improving to 3-1 on Saturday when the Knights welcome Missouri to Orlando for non-conference action.