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C-USA Players Of The Week: Carden & Jackson

By Veair Green



Tlsa linebacker Shawn Jackson disrupted Louisiana Tech in multiple ways Saturday and helped the defending conference champs win back some respect. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.
Tlsa linebacker Shawn Jackson disrupted Louisiana Tech in multiple ways Saturday and helped the defending conference champs win back some respect. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.


Down the stretch they come! With only one week left in C-USA, expect an exciting ending to this amazing season. In the finale, Marshall and ECU square off to decide who will be the East Division champion. Two of the best signal callers will go head-to-head in Shane Carden and Rakeem Cato.

In the West Division the picture is not as clear. Rice controls its own destiny, but UTSA and Tulane are waiting in the wings if they lose. Hold on for the ride, people. Oh, and Southern Miss lost again.

So who were this week’s big-time ballers?

Offense

Shane Carden, QB, ECU: 23/30, 255 passing yards, 5 total TDs vs. North Carolina State

Orleans Darkwa, RB, Tulane: 17 carries, 137 rushing yards, 1 TD vs. UTEP

Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane: 8 rec, 104 receiving yards, 2 TDs vs. UTEP (Tulane’s last game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome)

Jacquez Johnson, QB, FAU: 15/22, 321 receiving yards, 3 TDs, 79 rushing yards vs. New Mexico St. (fourth consecutive week he has led team in rushing)

Trey Watts, RB, Tulsa: 40 carries, 189 rushing yards, 3 TDs vs. La. Tech (career high in rushing yards)

Defense

Kevin Byard, DB, MTSU: 8 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD vs. Southern Miss (broke school record for interception return yards, 326)

Shawn Jackson, LB, Tulsa: 10 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 INT vs. La. Tech

Chris Rabb, DE, UAB: 11 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack vs. Rice

Marcus Trice, DB, North Texas: 9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 INT, 1 pass break up, 1 blocked kick vs. UTSA

Darnell Walker, DB, Tulsa: 4 tackles, 2 INT’s, 2 pass breakups vs. La. Tech

Offensive Player Of The Week

After losing a close decision last week, Shane Carden is the winner of this week’s Football.com C-USA Offensive Player of the Week. Carden’s performance helped the Pirates get victories over North Carolina and North Carolina State in the same season for the first time in school history.

After the historic win, ECU’s field general said, "It is something that we can look back after the year is over and kind of think about it more. But right now, we have a big game coming and have to think about that. We have to move on."

Marshall and ECU will be the biggest game in the conference this season and Carden’s play will determine who will come out on top.

Defensive Player Of The Week

Finally, one of the best linebackers in the conference wins this prestigious honor. Shawn Jackson has been the heart and soul of this Tulsa defense his entire career. This hasn’t been the season the defending conference champs had in mind, but you put on the tape and Jackson has shined all season. His 49-yard interception return in the third quarter helped set up a touchdown that put them up 17-7. 

When Jackson wasn’t playing the passing lanes he was rushing the quarterback with countless hurries and three sacks. Next week, the hometown kid from Tulsa plays his final home game and gets honored on Senior Day. For now, Shawn Jackson can enjoy being Football.com’s Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week.