Photo courtesy of Central Florida Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates (4-3, 3-1) rode a strong performance by QB Shane Carden to a 41-7 victory over the Memphis Tigers. Carden set career-highs with 308 passing yards and five touchdowns in the contest. Justin Hardy caught six passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns and Justin Jones made five receptions for 80 yards and three scores. ECU's defense showed up to play as well, holding Memphis to 281 total yards of offense. The Pirates will try to string together wins for the first time this season when they visit UAB on Saturday.
HOUSTON: The Cougars (3-3, 2-0) gained 566 yards of total offense on their way to a 39-17 win over the UAB Blazers. The victory was the third in a row for Houston after its disappointing 0-3 start. David Piland passed for 362 yards and a touchdown without an interception and Charles Sims tallied 133 yards on 26 carries. Houston's defense recorded a season-high eight sacks in the win. The Cougars came into the game with just 12 through the first five games. Phillip Steward anchored the defense with 13 total tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and an interception. The Cougars return to action on Thursday when they face instate rival SMU.
MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd (2-4, 1-1) had a bye week. They will be aiming to snap a two-game losing streak on Saturday when they visit Hattiesburg to square off with Southern Miss.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers (1-5, 1-1) took a step backwards as they suffered a 41-7 setback to ECU in Greenville just one week after the first win of coach Justin Fuente's career. Memphis had its offense halted by the Pirates, as it gained just 281 yards in the contest. Jacob Karam completed 14-of-23 passes for 153 yards. Marcus Rucker caught seven passes for 88 yards, but the rushing attack was non-existent. The Tigers will try to bounce back this weekend when they host the UCF Knights.
RICE: The Owls (2-5, 0-3) stepped out of conference action to take down Texas- San Antonio, 34-14, and snap a four-game losing slide. Rice tied its season- high with 301 rushing yards and gained 27 first downs in the contest. Charles Ross rushed the ball 16 times for 117 yards and Taylor McHargue added 68 yards and two scores. McHargue also passed for 144 yards but tossed an interception. The Owls seek their first C-USA triumph this Saturday when they head to Tulsa to play the Golden Hurricane.
SMU: The Mustangs (2-4, 1-1) suffered their first loss in league play of the season as they were upset, 27-26, by the previously winless Tulane Green Wave in a thriller. SMU scored 20 straight points to overcome a 20-6 halftime deficit, but had it spoiled by a last minute game-winning drive by the Green Wave's offense. Graham Gilbert completed 25-of-51 attempts for 275 yards and two touchdowns, but he also tossed one interception. Zach Line gained a season- high 177 yards on 28 carries. Jeremy Johnson caught 11 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown as the Mustangs fell for the third time in their last four outings. SMU has a brief time to recover from the loss as it takes the field Thursday for a matchup with Houston.
SOUTHERN MISS: Despite a spirited effort, the Golden Eagles (0-6, 0-2) failed to pick up their first win as they lost, 38-31, to UCF in double overtime. USM rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but could not stop UCF's Latavius Murray from scoring twice in the extra sessions. Anthony Alford completed 14-of-27 pass attempts for 165 yards but also threw a pair of interceptions. Alford also had 71 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns on the ground. Jalen Richard had 87 yards rushing and two scores. The Golden Eagles host Marshall on Saturday.
TEXAS-EL PASO: The Miners (1-6, 0-3) suffered their fourth loss in a row on Thursday when they were bested, 33-11, by Tulsa. UTEP trailed just 6-3 at halftime before being outscored 20-0 in the third frame. Not only did UTEP lose the game, it also lost its starting QB to a hamstring injury in the bout. Nick Lamaison passed for 119 yards on 11-for-19 passing before being sidelined in the third quarter. Carson Meger took over and completed 16-of-23 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown but also had two costly turnovers. Jordan Leslie caught 10 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown.
TULANE: The Green Wave (1-5, 1-1) snapped their 15-game losing streak in a thrilling manner as Ryan Griffin tossed the go-ahead touchdown pass to Ryan Kelly with 35 seconds remaining. It was the first win for coach Curtis Johnson. Tulane posted a season-high of 342 yards of total offense in the game. Griffin returned from an injury that kept him sidelined the past three weeks, to throw for 302 yards and three touchdowns. Kelly finished with 64 yards and two touchdowns on four catches. Marc Edwards had a team-high 96 receiving yards and a touchdown on just two receptions. Tulane tied a season- best with three sacks on the day. Senior DE Austen Jacks had a career-high 2.0 sacks. Johnson and his squad will try to string together wins when they head to the Lone Star State to take on Texas-El Paso on Saturday.
TULSA: The Golden Hurricane (6-1, 4-0) picked up their sixth consecutive win as they downed Texas-El Paso, 33-11, on Thursday. Ja'Terian Douglas finished with 128 yards and a touchdown and Alex Singleton had 96 yards and two touchdowns. Cody Green completed 13-of-22 passes for 198 yards. Thomas Roberson led in receiving with three catches for 62 yards. Tulsa outscored UTEP 20-0 in the third quarter to build a sizeable advantage. Tulsa out gained UTEP on the ground by a 281-31 margin. The Miners were just 3-for-14 on third down and 1- for-3 in the red zone. Linebacker DeAundre Brown had a career best three sacks and senior defensive end Jared St. John had two sacks. The Golden Hurricane host Rice this Saturday.
UAB: The Blazers (1-5, 0-2) were defeated, 39-17, as they were unable to slow down Houston's offense at Robertson Stadium last time out. UAB allowed a season-high 566 yards of total offense in the loss. Austin Brown completed 20- of-43 passes for 302 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Jamarcus Nelson tallied a team-high 106 yards on six receptions. Marvin Burdette recorded a season-high 17 tackles to lead the Blazers' defensive unit. UAB will be seeking its first win over an FBS program in 2012 when it hosts ECU on Saturday.
UCF: The Knights (4-2, 2-0) hung on for a 38-31 double overtime victory over Southern Miss after giving up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. Latavius Murray rushed into the end zone in both overtimes and the Knights' defense held the Golden Eagles out in the second extra period to secure the victory. Storm Johnson rushed for 94 yards and Murray added 52. Blake Bortles completed 27-of-40 passes for 272 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. J.J. Worton caught eight passes for 117 yards as the Knights won back-to-back games for the first time this season. UCF will try to make it three in a row on Saturday when it travels to Memphis to battle the Tigers.