C-USA Players Of The Week: Carden & Letman
By Veair Green
As the season winds down, the picture is becoming clearer.
One thing is for sure ... Tulane was jinxed by my story "Trick or Treat: Conference USA Style." Ever since that was posted the Green Wave have turned into the Sour Patch Kids, have lost two straight games and no longer control their destiny in the Western Division.
Another game that stuck out to me was the beatdown Marshall put on UAB in Legion Field. The Thundering Herd's running backs lived up to their nickname and rumbled all over the Blazers defense to the tune of 381 rushing yards.
Steward Butler (139), Essray Taliaferro (118) and Kevin Grooms (109) each gained 100 yards, averaged nine yards per carry and all scored a touchdown. Ouch! So what other players shined this week in C-USA?
Brandin Boyd, RB, North Texas: 18 carries, 202 rushing yards, 2 TDs vs. UTEP
Shane Carden, QB, ECU: 34/50, 384 passing yards, 7 total TDs vs. Tulsa (school record for touchdowns in a single game)
Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech: 25 carries, 207 rushing yards, 1 TD vs. Southern Mississippi
Isaiah Jones, WR, ECU: 8 rec., 104 receiving yards, 2 TDs vs. Tulsa
DaShaun Amos, DB, ECU vs. Tulsa: 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD vs. Tulsa (100-yard interception return for touchdown)
Adairius Barnes, DB, Louisiana Tech: 2 INTs vs. Southern Mississippi
Taj Letman, S, Marshall: 11 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 pass breakups vs. UAB
Offensive Player Of The Week
This guy is becoming a regular on the website.
You guessed it, Shane Carden is Football.com's Offensive Player of the Week. As it stands, the ECU quarterback is the frontrunner for the Conference USA Heisman Trophy. Carden broke the school record for most touchdowns in a game with seven. The stud quarterback doesn't play favorites as his five passing scores to four different receivers. With this performance, Carden may have put the final nail in the coffin for Tulsa's chance to repeat as conference champs. Unlike the Golden Wave, Carden and ECU is living up to the preseason hype. The chances of turning that preseason hype into postseason glory if Carden keeps this up.
Defensive Player Of The Week
With two picks, the easy choice for player of week could be Barnes from Louisiana Tech.
I disagree. Barnes played a great game, but he loses some style points because he played against the worst team in the conference and maybe the country. So this week's Football.com Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week is Taj Letman of Marshall. Chuck Heater has the defense looking tough and Letman is one of the reasons.
Letman was all over the field as a safety, stopping both the run and the pass. Not only did they hold UAB to 14 points, but Letman and his defense was on the field for almost 27 minutes as the Blazers dominated the time of possession and could do nothing. The big reason Letman gets this honor is efforts helped get Marshall bowl eligible. That has more value. Great job Mr. Letman.