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C-USA Football: Games for Week of 10-10-2015

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Southern Miss will travel to Huntington, West Virginia for a key contest at Marshall Friday night to open this week’s Conference USA schedule.  The Golden Eagles are 3-2 and averaging 40.2 points per game, while the Thundering Herd are off to a 4-1 start and have won 17 of their last 18 games at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.  Southern Miss junior QB Nick Mullens has thrown for more than 300 yards in four of five outings this season and also has a pair of games with four touchdown passes, leading the Eagles to the number two-ranked passing attack in C-USA. That passing proficiency will be tested going against the league’s top-ranked passing defense in Marshall (162.2 yards per game through the air and only five TD passes in four outings). The Herd are also allowing a league-low 19.0 points per game, have picked off eight passes and returned two for touchdowns.

Five games are on Saturday’s slate, including four league matchups.

The league‘s most-played rivalry is renewed when Middle Tennessee makes the 100-mile trek to WKU. Offensively, this is a matchup of the league’s two most productive quarterbacks.  WKU senior QB Brandon Doughty topped the 400-yard passing mark for the fourth straight game and sixth time in his last seven outings last week, throwing for 409 yards and four touchdowns in the Hilltoppers 49-10 win at Rice. He threw for 343 of those in the first half and is averaging 336 yards passing in the opening 30 minutes over his last three games. Middle Tennessee redshirt freshman QB Brent Stockstill set the school’s single-game record for passing attempts with 51 against Vanderbilt, completing a career high 32 for 286 yards and a touchdown. Doughty ranks second in the FBS in passing yards (2,000) and third in touchdown passes (15), while Stockstill is ninth in yardage (1,507) and TD passes (13).

UTEP makes its first visit to FIU as both teams look to bounce back from disappointing losses last weekend. Sophomore LB Alvin Jones had 10 tackles against UTSA Saturday and accounted for a career-high three of the team’s five sacks, the most by a Miner since Jeremy Castillo registered three at Alabama during the 2001 season. Panthers sophomore RB Alex Gardner continues to develop as a dual threat, leading the team with 305 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground, while placing second on the squad with 26 receptions for 217 yards.

Rice travels outside the state of Texas for the only time this season when it plays at Florida Atlantic Saturday afternoon. Though both teams have talented senior quarterbacks, their offenses have been most productive when running the ball this season. The Rice Owls have a deep running corps and top the league in rushing offense at 199.4 yards per game with a league-best 13 rushing touchdowns. The FAU Owls, coming off a bye week, are fourth in the conference with 167.4 yards per outing on the ground, with Greg Howell placing sixth in C-USA with a 88.5 yard average.

West Division rivals Louisiana Tech and UTSA renew acquaintances in San Antonio as two of the league’s most productive running backs square off. Bulldogs senior Kenneth Dixon has now scored a touchdown in 33 of 41 career games (five short of Tim Tebow’s NCAA record), while he needs just seven rushing yards for 4,000. Roadrunners sophomore RB Jarveon Williams rushed for 133 yards and added 45 more receiving yards in last week’s win at UTEP. He set the school’s single-game record for rushing attempts with 28 and now has 303 yards and three touchdowns on the ground over the last two games. LA Tech has recorded at least 400 yards of offense in all five games this season, a first in program history. Meanwhile, the UTSA defense is coming off its best showing of the season, including returning a pair of interceptions for touchdowns.  

The lone non-conference game this week is Saturday’s homecoming contest for North Texas against Portland State. A week after gaining 74 yards on 14 carries at undefeated Iowa, Mean Green sophomore RB Jeffrey Wilson made his first start and finished with 136 yards on 22 carries at Southern Miss, the second 100-plus-yard game of his career and the most yards rushing for North Texas since Brandon Byrd had 251 against Tulsa in 2013. Portland State suffered its first loss of 2015 on Saturday, but owns a win at Pac-12 member Washington State earlier this season.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9

Southern Miss at Marshall (CBSSN) 7:00p

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10

UTEP at FIU (ASN) 12:00p

Middle Tennessee at WKU (FSN) 12:00p

Rice at Florida Atlantic (FCS) 2:30p

Portland State at North Texas (C-USA DN) 5:00p

Louisiana Tech at UTSA (ASN) 7:00p
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We have a new leader after last week's results. Kordas, Pony, and JaxOwl all got upset points. Kordas and Pony picked UMass over the Kitties, while JaxOwl regained his lost points from picking North Texas with his Vandy over Middle pick.


Here are last week's results:

1. Kordas 9 (receives 100 points for first place)

2. JaxOwl 8 (receives 80 for second)

3. Pony 8 (70 for third)

4. Leead 6 (60 for fourth)

5. Brandon 6 (50 for fifth)

6. Jack 5

7. Madison 4

8. Tal 2


Overall standings:

1. Kordas 380 points (47)

2. Jack 370 (46)

3. Leead 320 (42)

4. Pony 280 (42)

5. JaxOwl 260 (41)

6. Brandon 240 (38)

7. Madison 220 (36)

8. Tal 190 (30)


My picks this week:

Southern Miss

FIU

WKU

THE GOOD OWLS 27-21

North Texas

LaTech
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Dear peasants,

Here are my winning pick for the week

Marshall

FIU

WKU

The Owls will 100% will win…. i can pick that right…….. O…. i can't do that…. Fine, FAU will win 34-21

North Texas

La Tech

…… Looks like i will be looking at the tie breaker on this one right off the bat

Fraternally yours,

Matthew J. Kordas
Current point leader, Current tailgate chair, Local drunk  

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Marshall
FIU
WKU
FAU 28-17
Portland State (UPSET- or maybe not …)
La Tech
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Marshall
Fiu
Wku
FAU
north Texas 
La tech
34-28
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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9

Southern Miss at Marshall (CBSSN) 7:00p

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10

UTEP at FIU (ASN) 12:00p

Middle Tennessee at WKU (FSN) 12:00p

Rice 24 (Double Tiebreaker: Dennis Parks with at least 1 TD) at Florida Atlantic 31 (FCS) 2:30p

Portland State at North Texas (C-USA DN) 5:00p

Louisiana Tech at UTSA (ASN) 7:00p
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Marshall

UTEP

WKU

Florida Atlantic (24-13)

North Texas

 Louisiana Tech

These picks were approved by Misses JaxOwl
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Marshall
FIU
WKU
FAU 24-21
Portland St
LA Tech
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FINAL:

Southern Miss 10 at Marshall 31
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Marshall D very good but the O WAY below last few years level. Will be a good and probably low scoring game vs. them!
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