PonyStampede.com C-USA Predictions

While SMU has a important game against TCU this weekend, PonyStampede.com Conference USA reporter Martin Williams takes a look at some other games around the conference. Come inside to see what he expects to happen.


Memphis vs UCF

Why should you watch: Both teams need this game. The UCF Knights have a tortuous schedule with three Top 20 teams looming in the form of Miami (FL), Texas (in Austin) and Houston. The bottom line is that they need to win against a vulnerable Memphis team at home.

Why Memphis could win: Tyler Bass has put up decent numbers and WR Duke Calhoun is the second in the conference in receiving yards, while the Knights have given up 243 yards through the air this year. Also, the Knights are dead last in Conference USA in yards per scrimmage making for a good match-up against Memphis' defense that is giving up 389 yards a game. Memphis could be playing for Tommy West's job (amidst buyout rumors this week) as well as a chance to become bowl eligible.

Why UCF could win:UCF needs to win this game with three more potential losses on the schedule. The Knights have little room for error if they want to be a bowl team this year. Brynn Harvey has rushed for 80 yards a game thus far but has five TDs and is facing a Memphis defense that gives up 179 yards a game, which means he could have a breakout game. UCF is undefeated at home. Lawrence Young leads the defense with 34 total tackles and six tackles for loss.

Prediction- UCF pulls it out 24-21




Houston vs. UTEP

Why should you watch: Houston opens their Conference USA schedule against UTEP. This is the type of trap game coaches warn players about. Houston has a prime time offense that has averaged 43 points a game while this could be UTEP's chance at redemption after getting annihilated by Texas last week 64-7.

Why Houston could win: On paper, UTEP is overmatched in every phase of the game and Houston should have no trouble putting them away. Preseason C-USA player of the year Case Keenum is averaging an unreal 386 yards/game and preseason freshman of the year Bryce Beall balances the Cougar attack. This game means a lot more to the Cougars than the Miners as a Houston loss would effectively kill any BCS hopes while UTEP could find themselves in a bowl game even if they lose this weekend. . The Cougars like to start fast, outscoring opponents 45-7 in the first quarter this season. Houston could go for the knockout blow early here.

Why UTEP could win: The Miners don't put up a lot of points or yards, and haven't shown they can stop anyone: how could they have a chance against No. 12 Houston? Well, the game is at the Sun Bowl and UTEP has to be looking at redemption after getting pasted by Texas last week. UTEP has had a tough schedule but it gets easier from here on out with mainly C-USA foes, so this is not a must win for UTEP. Against Kansas and Texas, the Miners have looked like a Division II team (not there's anything wrong with that). The point is, they couldn't play any worse Saturday. With the pressure on Houston and none on UTEP, this could get interesting.

Expect Houston to roar out of the gate again, and the Miners will make the final score respectable

Prediction – Houston 41-24




Tulane vs. Army

Why should you watch:Tulane will be looking for its first win this year as they play old C-USA foe Army in West Point, NY.

Why Army could win: It's no secret that Army loves to run the ball, the Black Knights have averaged nearly 240 yards on the ground this season. Tulane can't stop the run, giving up over 200 yards a game this season. That spells trouble for the Green Wave.

Why Tulane could win: Tulane needs a win to start building a case for a bowl berth. If they will have a chance it will be through the air on the arm of QB Joe Kemp.

This will be a grind it out affair with Army running all over Tulane.

Prediction- Army 21-7


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