Photo courtesy of Marshall Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates (5-3, 4-1) earned their second win in a row as they came out on top of a 42-35 shootout at UAB. The team gained a season-high 600 total yards of offense and also had its highest scoring output of the year in the victory. Shane Carden continued to thrive under center and set a new career-high with 386 yards on 23-of-35 passing. Carden also completed touchdown passes to Justin Hardy and Vintavious Cooper in the contest. Cooper also rushed for 172 yards and two scores, while Hardy finished 132 yards and six receptions. ECU takes a step out of conference action on Saturday when it hosts the Navy Midshipmen.
HOUSTON: The Cougars (3-4, 2-1) turned the ball over nine times, had their three-game winning streak snapped, and suffered their first league loss of the season as they were downed, 72-42, by SMU on Thursday. Houston gained 560 yards of total offense and limited the Mustangs to 384, but SMU produced three defensive and nine total TDs. David Piland threw for 180 yards on 15-of-25 passing with two picks before being sidelined with an injury late in the first half. Crawford Jones stepped in and completed 17-of-33 attempts for 252 yards and three scores. Charles Sims eclipsed the century mark in Houston's previous three games, but he was held to 54 by SMU. Sims did manage to tally 114 receiving yards and score four total TDs. The Cougars return home to host Texas-El Paso on Saturday.
MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd (3-4, 2-1) ended their two-game losing slide with a 59-24 rout of Southern Miss in Hattiesburg. The offense used a balanced attack to produce a season-high 629 totals yards. MU's defense limited the Golden Eagles to 331 yards, which is the fewest by any opponent this season. Rakeem Cato continued his impressive sophomore campaign by passing for 340 yards and three touchdowns on 31-of-42 efficiency. Tommy Shuler made 11 catches for 111 yards and two touchdown receptions to register his first career multi-score game. Kevin Grooms racked up 119 yards and scored twice on 12 carries. The Herd will try to carry their momentum into Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Saturday for their matchup with UCF.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers (1-6, 1-2) suffered their second consecutive loss as they were buried 35-17 by UCF at home. Memphis did manage to produce over 300 yards of total offense for just third time this season (361), but turned the ball over three times. Jacob Karam completed 20-of-28 attempts for 121 yards with a touchdown and interception. Jai Steib and Brandon Hayes shared the bulk of the rushing responsibilities. Steib gained 88 yards on 13 carries and Hayes tallied 83 on 17 attempts. Justin Fuente will look for his second career victory as a head coach when he leads his team to Texas to face SMU this weekend.
RICE: The Owls (2-6, 0-4) let a fourth quarter lead slip away as they were bested, 27-24, by Tulsa at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Rice never trailed until the final moments of the game. Its loss was its 14th straight in Conference USA road games. Taylor McHargue struggled under center, throwing for only 147 yards, a touchdown, and an interception on 15-of-35 passing. Luke Turner gained 102 yards on 15 carries and Sam McGuffie reeled in a game-high eight catches for 62 yards. McGuffie also scored on a blocked punt return. Julius White made eight total stops, one tackle for loss, and an interception. The Owls continue their search for their first league win when they host Southern Miss on Saturday.
SMU: The Mustangs (3-4, 2-1) broke an 82-year old school record for points in a game as they conquered Houston, 72-42, on Thursday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. SMU also recorded nine takeaways and now leads the nation with 25 total forced turnovers. Garrett Gilbert threw for 265 yards and four TDs, Darius Johnson caught nine passes for 110 yards with two scores, and Zach Line rushed for 113 yards and two TDs on 22 carries. The Mustangs go for their third win in four outings on Saturday when they host Memphis.
SOUTHERN MISS: The seventh try ended much like the previous six as the Golden Eagles (0-7, 0-3) are still winless after suffering a 59-24 setback to Marshall on Saturday. Southern Miss tallied just 331 yards of total offense against the Thundering Herd, while the USM defense allowed 629 yards to MU. The Golden Eagles are 0-7 for the first time since 1976. Anthony Alford managed just 65 yards on 9-of-21 passing and Kendrick Hardy gained a team-high 50 yards on the ground. USM will chase its first victory on Saturday when it heads to the Lone Star State to take on Rice.
TEXAS-EL PASO: The Miners (2-6, 1-3) earned their first league win and snapped a four-game losing streak with a 24-20 victory at home over Tulane. UTEP amassed 445 yards of total offense, which is its second highest total of the season. Nick Lamaison guided the offense by passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-16 efficiency before leaving in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. Carson Meger stepped in and went 9-of-14 for 71 yards. Michael Edwards caught both scoring passes and finished with 82 yards on a game-high seven receptions. UTEP will try to string together wins for the first time this season when it heads to Robertson Stadium for a C-USA battle with Houston on Saturday.
TULANE: One game after snapping the longest losing streak in the FBS, the Green Wave (1-6, 1-2) were unable to score in the second half in a 24-20 loss to Texas-El Paso. Tulane did produce a season-high 440 yards of total offense against UTEP. Orleans Darkwa finished with 61 yards on 14 carries, which is the highest total by any player on the team this season. Ryan Griffin was decent under center, completing 28-of-44 passes for 363 yards and two scores. Ryan Grant (115 yards, six catches, one TD) and Justyn Shackleford (130 yards, six catches, one TD) were Griffin's favorite targets in the contest. The Green Wave will try to avoid another losing streak this weekend when they host UAB in New Orleans.
TULSA: The Golden Hurricane (7-1, 5-0) extended their winning streak to seven games and remained perfect in league play with a 28-24 come from behind victory over Rice. Tulsa rushed for 235 yards on 43 carries. Alex Singleton rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. Ja'Terian Douglas moved the chains consistently by rushing for 169 yards and a touchdown on only 17 carries. Douglas made the play of the day when he broke away for a 75-yard run to set up Singleton's game-winning plunge. Dexter McCoil anchored the defense with 13 tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception. Keyarris Garrett also had a big day with three receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown. The Golden Hurricane have a bye this week and return to action on Nov. 3 when they go on the road for a non-conference matchup at Arkansas.
UAB: In a game that featured four lead changes, the Blazers came out on the losing end of a 42-35 shootout against East Carolina. UAB amassed just over 400 yards of total offense, but it was a one-dimensional attack, with the team collecting just 82 of those yards on the ground. Still, tailback Darrin Reaves was responsible for two TDs on the ground. The team fell to 1-6 overall and remained winless in conference play despite a solid performance by quarterback Austin Brown, who completed 22-of-37 passes, for 319 yards and three touchdowns. The Blazers take a two-game losing streak on the road this week, as they head to the Big Easy for Conference USA action against Tulane.
UCF: The Knights (5-2, 3-0) picked up their third win in a row and stayed perfect in league action with a 35-17 road triumph over Memphis. UCF rushed for 229 yards and forced three turnovers to power the win. Latavius Murray picked up 192 yards and two TDs on 23 carries. Blake Bortles connected on 15- of-26 attempts for 122 yards and two scores. UCF stays on the road this week as it heads to Huntington, West Virginia to challenge Marshall.