Inside C-USA

A review of the happenings in C-USA through September 14th.


ARMY (0-2, 0-0): Trailing 29-7 with six minutes remaining on Saturday afternoon to Rutgers, starting QB Zac Dahman was pulled in favor of Matt Silva, who led a strong comeback that fell short as the Black Knights lost 36-21 to the Scarlet Knights. WR Lamar Mason led the Cadets in receiving, catching 5 balls for 52 yards in front of the home crowd. Next weekend, Army will host Tulane on Saturday afternoon to kickoff their conference schedule.
Head Coach Todd Berry on the play of the defense: "We're playing well on defense and our confidence is building, but we still have to eliminate those big plays."

Gino Guidugli (UC)
CINCINNATI (2-0, 1-0): In an ugly game on Saturday in Morgantown, WV, 51,189 fans watched the Bearcats and their beloved West Virginia Mountaineers combine for 14 total fumbles (10 turnovers overall) in a 15-13 UC victory over their Big East foe for the first time in school history. Sophomore K Chet Ervin was the key for Cincinnati with his 3 field goals and 10 field-controlling punts. QB Gino Guidugli finished 17-25 for 146 yards and a touchdown pass. On Saturday, the Bearcats will host the Owls of Temple in Nippert Stadium.
Head Coach Rick Minter on the win over WVU: "We are pleased about winning the ballgame in harsh conditions. Our defense is held to a higher standard (with a goal of no more than 100 yards per game rushing) and the guys are playing hard."

EAST CAROLINA (0-3, 0-1): After being outscored 88-10 in the first two weeks of the season, things didn't get any better on Saturday evening for the Pirates as they traveled to Coral Gables, FL to take on the 2nd-ranked Hurricanes of Miami. Trailing only 17-3 through 3 quarters, ECU gave up 21 points in the final frame as they ultimately fell 38-3. On the bright spot, RB Marvin Townes recorded a season-high 70 yards on 16 carries for East Carolina. This Saturday, the Pirates will continue their road trip when they visit in-state foe Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.
Head Coach John Thompson on the 4th quarter vs. Miami and QB Desmond Robinson: "We've got to finish and play 60 minutes. We imploded that last quarter, but did make some improvements overall… We feel confident in Desmond and he will get better through the season."

HOUSTON (2-1, 0-0): Despite going a lackluster 8-18 for 157 yards, Cougar QB Kevin Kolb rushed 14 times for 92 yards and a touchdown as Houston beat Louisiana-Lafayette 21-14 on Saturday. The Cougar defense put a great amount of pressure on ULL QB Jerry Babb, allowing only 57 passing yards and sacking the Cajun quarterback two times. This Saturday, Mississippi State of the Southeastern Conference will make the trek to John O'Quinn Field for a primetime game against UH.

LOUISVILLE (2-0, 0-0): Coming off a 13-day layoff from their upset win at Kentucky, the Cardinals proved on Saturday that they will be a force to be reckoned with in Conference USA this season as they took apart Big East foe Syracuse 30-20 at the Carrier Dome. QB Stefan LeFors had 266 yards passing and threw 3 touchdown strikes in the convincing win. RB Eric Shelton had 24 rushes for 135 yards to lead the Cardinal running attack in a solid overall team performance. This Saturday afternoon, UofL will open their home schedule as they take their undefeated record into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to face Texas-El Paso.
Head Coach Bobby Petrino on the win at Syracuse: "It was a good game for us. The offense scored every possession except one in the first half."
On K Nate Smith and P Brent Moody: "They are playing very efficiently… It was good to see the special teams step up in place of Wade Tydlacka."

DeAngelo Williams (UM)
MEMPHIS (2-1, 0-1): The Tigers took the trip to Hattiesburg, MS on Saturday afternoon when they opened their C-USA schedule against the Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi. RB DeAngelo Williams had 28 carries for 158 yards, but Memphis committed 6 turnovers and couldn't battle back in a 23-6 loss. This was the first game for UM against their former coach, Rip Scherer, who is in his first year as the offensive coordinator at USM. The Tigers have a week off this week as they start to prepare for Arkansas State's trip to the Liberty Bowl on September 27 and the rest of the C-USA schedule.

SOUTH FLORIDA (1-1, 0-0): The Bulls are in the middle of their 21-day layoff after their win last Saturday against Nicholls State, 27-17. However, this week, USF learned that EPSN's College Gameday weekly road show will be in West Point, NY for the Bulls' first C-USA game ever at Army on September 27. Two years ago, Gameday visited Colorado Springs, CO for the Army-Air Force game in the Military Show honoring the servicemen and women of our country.
Head Coach Jim Leavitt on the extended layoff: "We had some good practices this week. The guys want to play and we've got to make the most of it."
On College Gameday: "I think it's going to be great not only for us, but for Army and all of Conference USA."

SOUTHERN MISS (2-1, 2-0): In the rivalry known as the "Black and Blue Battle" between the Golden Eagles and Memphis on Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium, the USM defense controlled the game, forcing 6 Tiger turnovers in a 23-6 win. LB Michael Boley led the team with 15 tackles, and preseason All-American LB Rod Davis contributed 11 more to the cause. The Eagles have this week off, but won't rest for a minute as they start to prepare for a Thursday night primetime match-up with the Cornhuskers of Nebraska on September 25.
Head Coach Jeff Bower on the 6 forced turnovers against Memphis: "That was probably the biggest part of the game. We had really good field position because of it, and were able to punt it inside the 10 (yard line) on a few occasions."

TEXAS CHRISTIAN (2-0, 1-0): Coming off a solid 17-3 win last Saturday over Navy, the Horned Frogs learned this week that 5th-year senior RB Ricky Madison is lost for the season after suffering a knee injury during that game against Navy. Madison started 8 games in 2002 and was also named Most Valuable Player during the Frogs' Liberty Bowl victory over Colorado State. Sophomore RB Lonta Hobbs has been moved up to the starting lineup when TCU takes on Vanderbilt Saturday in Fort Worth.
Head Coach Gary Patterson on the Associated Press ranking: "All we tried to do was be 2-0. With the short week, we were a tired team, but we'll be ready on Saturday."

TULANE (2-1, 0-1): On Saturday night in the Superdome, the Green Wave came back from a 28-14 hole in the final period to beat the Bulldogs of Mississippi State 31-28 off K Brett Pepper's 32-yard field goal with 6 seconds left, snapping Tulane's 24-game losing streak against SEC opponents. QB J.P. Losman went 29-47 for 349 yards and 4 touchdowns. Senior RB Mewelde Moore passed former Houston RB Ketric Sanford with 92 yards to become Conference USA's all-time leading rusher with 3,683 yards for his career. The Green Wave look to build on their 2-game winning streak this Saturday when they face Army in Michie Stadium.
Head Coach Chris Scelfo on Tulane's first win over the SEC since 1979: "We didn't have all the mistakes that we had last week and didn't turn the ball over. I don't think the kids got rattled and played smart and finished the game."

UAB (1-2, 0-1): K Nick Hayes rang up 9 points on 3 field goals, but that was the only points scored by the Blazers as they fell to I-A Independent Troy State 20-9 on Saturday afternoon in Birmingham. The UAB offense helped the Trojans by committing 5 turnovers and the defense didn't do much better as they allowed Troy State to run for 256 rushing yards. The Blazers will have a tough test on Saturday as they travel to Columbia, SC to face the Gamecocks of South Carolina.


THREE STARS: Mississippi State (0-2, 0-0) vs. Houston (2-1, 0-0) (Saturday, 8:00 PM)

TWO STARS: Alabama-Birmingham (1-2, 0-1) vs. South Carolina (2-1, 0-1) (Saturday, 7:00 PM)

ONE STAR: Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-2) vs. Texas Christian (2-0, 1-0) (Saturday, 7:00 PM)

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