Carden vs. Montana Highlight Saturday's C-USA Action
By Dan Harralson
It's the second straight week of conference games aplenty for C-USA. Six games to be exact, all within the conference.
ECU (4-1, 2-0) traveling to the Big Easy headlines Saturday's games. Both teams, ECU and Tulane, are playing well, which equates to exceeding expectations for Tulane (4-2, 2-0). Second-year head coach, Curtis Johnson has the program going in the right direction.
This year's Green Wave team already has two road wins after a winless 2012 away from New Orleans, beating in-state foes Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Monroe, and Tulane is thinking bowl game. They should. The Green Wave have not been bowling since the 2002 Hawaii Bowl when they defeated Hawaii, 36-28, and have made just 10 bowl appearances all-time. Three of Tulane's final four games are winnable and the Green Wave need to come out victorious in two: at FAU, at UTSA and home against UTEP.
As far as this week's game, it should be a quarterback clinic with ECU's Shane Carden going against Tulane's Nick Montana. Tulane, through six games, ranks 84th overall in giving up yards through the air. The Green Wave are giving up 250.8 passing yards per game. ECU's pass defense is worse, ranking 110th and giving up 289.8 yards a game.
So what gives? The difference in pass defenses may be a Montana or Carden deep ball. Montana has completed at least one 20-yard pass in each game this season except last week. He missed it by one yard with a 19-yard reception.
Many in the media, including Football.com, perceived Carden and Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato as the conference's best and good enough to be in the Top 25 nationally. Carden has produced, entering Saturday's game with 1,537 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. Carden has completed 73.4 percent of his passes. That's unbelievable on 214 attempts.
It should be a good one in New Orleans. The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday and unfortunately won't appear on national TV.