C-USA Football: Games for Week of 11-14-15
Five league games and one non-conference contest make up this Saturday’s schedule, beginning with a trio of games at 12:00p EST.
Middle Tennessee travels down to Boca Raton to battle Florida Atlantic. The Blue Raiders are coming off a thrilling and important triple-overtime victory over Marshall and will look to even its record at 5-5. Under head coach Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee has enjoyed success down the final stretch of the season in November. Over its last 28 games in the month of November, the Blue Raiders are 19-9 and have won nine of their last 12. Freshman QB Brent Stockstill broke the Middle Tennessee single-season passing yards record with 343 against Marshall. The total gives Stockstill 2,798 yards for the season and he is 13th in the FBS with 21 touchdown passes. Florida Atlantic senior WR Jenson Stoshak made four grabs for 101 yards and a touchdown at WKU last Saturday for his fourth 100-yard game of the season.
A pair of teams coming off big wins last week meet looking to keep their postseason hopes moving forward when UTEP visits Old Dominion. Since preseason All-Conference USA running back Aaron Jones went down in week two, the Miners have turned to a number of different runners to replace him. Last week, senior RB Jeremiah Laufasa stepped up, rushing for 79 of his career-best 92 yards in the second half, including 52 on the game-winning drive that culminated in a 24-yard field goal by Jay Mattox in a 24-21 victory over Rice. Old Dominion used a career passing day from junior RB David Washington (378 yards) and another 100-yard day from sophomore Ray Lawry to post a 36-31 win at UTSA to move within two victories of bowl-eligibility in their first season of eligibility. Lawry is the first Monarch to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
North Texas will travel to Tennessee to face the Volunteers for just the second time in school history. Mean Green senior WR Carlos Harris had five receptions last week to pass Johnny Quinn and move into second all-time at North Texas with 189 career catches to He also caught his team-leading seventh TD pass of the season.
UTSA will meet Charlotte for the first time. These two young programs are eager to back into the win column. Roadrunners sophomore RB Tyrell Clay has been hot lately, reaching the end zone twice last Saturday vs. Old Dominion and scoring three times in the last two weeks. 49ers junior WR Austin Duke had three touchdown catches at FIU, tying a school-record and an FIU Stadium record for TD receptions. He now has 20 career scores.
Southern Miss battles Rice in a key West Division contest. The Golden Eagles offense has gone from scoring 19 points per game in 2014, to 35.7 points per game this season. That’s an increase of nearly 17 points, the third-largest point differential (+16.7) increase among FBS teams this year. The Golden Eagle defense is allowing 12.7 fewer points per game on average this season than it did a year ago, the fifth-best improvement in the country through nine games. The Owls have won 14 consecutive November home games at Rice Stadium dating back to 2008 and a 15th straight would move them closer to a fourth consecutive bowl appearance.
Rounding out Saturday’s action is FIU making its first visit to Marshall after the Thundering Herd won each of the last two years over the Panthers in Miami. FIU needs to win one of its final two games to reach bowl-eligibility for the first time since 2011. Senior DT Mike Wakefield tied the school record with four sacks last week, the most by a Conference USA player this season. Marshall freshman QB Chase Litton has passed for 832 yards the last two games, with junior WR Davonte Allen catching 20 passes for 344 of those yards.
WKU (8-2) and Marshall (8-2) have reached bowl-eligibility in the East Division, with West Division members Louisiana Tech (7-3) and Southern Miss (6-3) also eligible. FIU is one win from bowl-eligibility, while Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, Rice and UTEP need two victories. C-USA has seven guaranteed bowl spots for the 2015 season.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Middle Tenn. at Fla. Atlantic (ASN) 12:00p
North Texas at Tennessee (SECN) 12:00p
UTEP at Old Dominion (FSN) 12:00p
UTSA at Charlotte (FCS) 2:00p
Southern Miss at Rice (ASN) 3:30p
FIU at Marshall (FSN) 3:30p
Old Dominion 24-17