C-USA Observations: Stock Down After Opening Weekend
By Dan Harralson
The first week is in the books for Conference USA teams.
Let's take a look at what went on throughout the conference.
1. Tulsa did not look well at all, but then again I picked the upset. [Editor's Note: Betting lines favored Bowling Green.] The Golden Hurricane traveled to Bowling Green and lost decisively, 34-7. It does not get much easier for Tulsa as the Golden Hurricane have a home date with Colorado State (which they should win) and then a game at Oklahoma. Still, I like Tulsa to win C-USA's Western Division and get things turned around.
2. The two most intriguing teams in Conference USA still are East Carolina and Marshall, in my opinion. Both teams took care of business and executed their identity — score points and win. Marshall defeated Miami (OH), 52-14. East Carolina beat future Conference USA foe, Old Dominion, 52-38. Both teams looked impressive offensively.
3. The most entertaining game of opening weekend goes to UAB and Troy. The Blazers lost a heartbreaker, 34-31, in overtime. The game may have ended in a loss for UAB, but it appears Garrick McGee has found an identity in the passing game as the season continues to unfold. UAB will need the passing game in its search for six wins.
4. The last diagnosis of opening weekend is not the prettiest for the conference. Louisiana Tech, Florida International, Rice and Florida Atlantic all lost games decisively on national TV.
5. The Rice loss to Texas A&M was obviously the most-watched Conference USA game of the weekend. Other than watching the Johnny Football act once again like an immature, self-proclaimed "20-year-old," I hope America noticed Rice is a sound football team. Rice head coach David Bailiff has a solid quarterback to run his system in Taylor McHargue. The Owls should springboard this momentum into their next game versus Kansas (Sept. 14).
Conference USA Scores
Bowling Green 34, Tulsa 7
Middle Tennessee State 45, Western Carolina 24
Tulane 34, Jackson State 7
Miami (FL) 34, FAU 6
Maryland 43, FIU 10
N.C. State 40, LA Tech 14
Texas A&M 52, Rice 31
ECU 52, Old Dominion 38
Marshall 52, Miami (OH) 14
North Texas 40, Idaho 6
Texas State 22, Southern Miss 15
Troy 34, UAB 31, OT
UTSA 21, New Mexico 13