The college football season kicked off this past week with all current and future Conference USA members in action.
The Marshall Thundering Herd took on the Miami (OH) RedHawks in a match-up of former MAC foes. This game was tied at half, but Marshall went on to score 38 unanswered points in the 2nd half to win the game 52-14.
The winless streak continues in Hattiesburg, as the Southern Miss Golden Eagles were defeated by the Texas State Bobcats by a score of 22-15. After posting an 0-12 record last season, Southern Miss will be hard-pressed to get a victory in their next three outings as they face #18 Nebraska, Arkansas and Boise State all on the road.
The North Texas Mean Green made their first game as Conference USA members a memorable one, as they throttled the Idaho Vandals, 40-6.
Rice had the dubious task of trying to upset #7 Texas A&M. The Aggies, who were only led by Johnny Manziel for less than a half, proved to be too much for the Owls as they ran to a 52-31 victory in College Station.
Another Conference USA newcomer also earned a victory in their debut. The UTSA Roadrunners came back to score 14 unanswered points in the 2nd half to defeat the New Mexico Lobos, 21-13 on the road.
In what was the most heartbreaking Conference USA loss of the weekend, the UAB Blazers lost in OT on the road to in-state rival Troy by a score of 34-31. The Blazers took a 31-17 lead into the 4th quarter but the Trojans proceeded to score the final 17 points of the contest to earn the victory.
Current and future Conference USA members took to the field in Greenville this past weekend as the East Carolina Pirates hosted the Old Dominion Monarchs. As many expected, this game turned into a shootout with the Pirates outlasting the Monarchs in the 4th quarter to earn the victory, 52-38.
Defending Conference USA champions Tulsa were on the road to start their season against the Bowling Green Falcons. The Golden Hurricane were plagued with inconsistent quarterback play and were blown out by the Falcons by a score of 34-7.
Middle Tennessee opened their inaugural Conference USA season by facing the Western Carolina Catamounts of the SoCon. The Blue Raiders lost their starting quarterback Logan Kilgore to injury during the game, but managed to hold off WCU by a score of 45-24.
Tulane, in their final Conference USA season, also welcomed an FCS opponent into the Superdome as they dismantled the Jackson State Tigers by the score of 34-7.
New Conference USA member Florida Atlantic was no match for in-state foe Miami (FL), as they fell on the road to the Hurricanes by a score of 34-6.
The FIU Golden Panthers didn’t fare much better than their Boca Raton counterparts, as they traveled to Maryland and were blown out by the Terrapins 43-10.
Head Coach Skip Holtz returned to somewhat familiar territory, as his Louisiana Tech Bulldogs traveled to Raleigh to face the NC State Wolfpack. The rebuilding Bulldogs were no match for the Wolfpack as they were defeated 40-14 in Carter-Finley Stadium.
Future Conference USA member Western Kentucky was also in action on Saturday. The Hilltoppers traveled to Nashville for a neutral-site contest versus the Kentucky Wildcats of the SEC. In this match-up of new coaching staffs it was Bobby Petrino and the Hilltoppers that hung on for the hard-fought victory, 35-26. It is the second straight season in which Western Kentucky has defeated the Wildcats.
Total Record: (8-8)
Topics: Charlotte 49ers, Charlotte 49ers Football, Conference USA, East Carolina, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UTSA, Western Kentucky