Conference USA Football Power Rankings: Week 2

Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

Week one showed some contenders and pretenders, the usual blow outs and some classic 4th quarter battles. Week 2 should provide the same, and our Miners get in the mix. Here is how the Rush stacks up C-USA after week one.

T-13. [8 pts] Florida Atlantic Owls - Last Week: @ Miami (FL) L 34-6, Up Next: @ ECU

The Owls had some success moving the football against a good Miami team on Saturday, but came away with little to show for it. They had 18 first down, compared to 20 for the Hurricanes, but they also saw drives of 12 plays and 16 plays translate into just three total points. They've still four more road games in their next five games so its going to be tough for this team to gain any momentum in the first half of the season.

MinerLeagueArod says: "Duke Johnson looked like Frank Gore and the Owls gave up 500 yards and have lost 14 of their last 28 games by at least 20 points".

T-13. [8 pts] Florida International Panthers - Last Week: @ Maryland L 43-10, vs. UCF

It was a rough start to the season for the Panthers as they fell to Maryland 43-10 in week one. Offensively, they were only able to manage nine first downs and just 171 yards of total offense, while the defense gave up 576 yards and 40 first half points. Needless to say, things will have to be sured up on both sides of the ball if they're going get things headed in the right direction.

Paydirtrenzo says:"Like the Owls, they got pummeled by an ACC team. The difference is Maryland is a lesser ACC team and the Panthers were held to just 171 yards total offense. Miserable performance."

12. [20 pts] Louisiana Tech Bulldogs - Last Week: @ North Carolina St L 40-14. vs. Lamar

The Bulldogs certainly did not pick up where they left off, starting the season with a pretty poor performance at North Carolina State over the weekend. The nation's top offense from a year ago managed 321 total yards, but was forced into seven three and outs, and was forced into three turnovers. They'll get a chance to rebound at home this week, but week one showed this simply isn't the same team.

Asalom says: "The transition wasn't so seamless in Skip Holtz debut. The offense struggled, and the defense was fairly ineffective. We can't write them off after just one week, but if they can't rebound against Lamar, it'll be a tough season for the Bulldogs."

11. [21 pts] Southern Miss. Golden Eagles - Last Week: vs. Texas St L 22-15, Up Next: @ #22 Nebraska

Things didn't look much different from 2012 for the Golden Eagles in week one. Despite out-gaining Texas State nearly 2 to 1, Southern Miss was able to muster only 12 points, committed six turnovers, and somehow just found a way to lose. A tough three game road stretch awaits them, so they could be facing an uphill battle just four weeks into the season.

PaydirtRenzo says: " The Golden Eagles continue the trend of last year's abysmal season. They outgained Texas State 400 to 215, but turnovers and a terrible rushing game doomed USM at home. The defense played great. The offense has already cost this team what should have been a win. "

10. [26 pts] UAB Blazers - Last Week: @ Troy W 34-31 OT, Up Next: @ #9 LSU

Entering the season, the Blazers seemed poised to turn that corner towards having a solid year. That seemed even more the case heading into the fourth quarter of Saturday's contest. But, the Blazers held form, gave up a 14 point lead, and finally fell in overtime. Its hard to say what they problem is in Birmingham, but this team just simply needs to find a way to help itself turn that corner, and giving up 14 point fourth quarter leads just isn't the way.

PaydirtRenzo says: "UAB vs Troy is always a good game and Saturday's matchup didn't disappoint. Losing in overtime to an in-state rival is nothing to hang your head for, but allowing almost 500 yards of total offense to Troy might be.."

9. [33 pts] Tulsa Golden Hurricane - Last Week: @ BGSU L 34-7, vs. Colorado St.

The Golden Hurricane entered 2013 with hopes of repeating what they did in 2012. However, Thursday's performance was hardly an encore. While the final score doesn't exactly do Tulsa justice, the truth is they just couldn't find an answer to Bowling Green's defense, and that's clearly shown in the stat sheet. This is still a team with a ton of offensive weapons, but performances like that of week one just won't get it done.

Asalom says: "Yes they got blown out, but Tulsa had a big fumble inside the 10 yard line late in the first half that could've completely changed the game. I realize they hardly look like their 2012 selves, but let's not forget they started that season with a similar performance."

T-7. [39 pts] UTSA Roadrunners - Last Week: vs. New Mexico W 21-13, Up Next: vs. #13 Oklahoma St.

The Roadrunners got their season off to a good start on Saturday, blanking New Mexico in the second half, and picking up a big 21-13 road win. Offensively, UTSA was efficient and balanced, and the defense did well to shut down a fairly effective run game. Things will only get harder from here though, and the next few weeks will say a lot more about this team.

MinerLeagueAROD says: "After an early fumble, Eric Soza settled the Runners down and hit 11 different receivers; UNM is clearly a one dimensional offense so we'll see their pass defense way more against the Pokes of Ok State."

T-7. [39 pts] UTEP Miners - Last Week: Bye, Up Next: vs. New Mexico

The Miners enjoyed an opening week bye in week one, and now have a few extra days and some game film to better prepare for New Mexico. For now, they continue to float around the middle of the pack.

MinerLeagueAROD says: "Time to fire up the lights in the Sun Bowl. I think El Paso will love the new attitude Coach Kugler has brought to this team, UTEP 34- UNM-17.

6. [41 pts] Tulane Green Wave - Last Week: VS Jackson State W 34-7, Up Next: vs. South Alabama

It was only Jackson State, but nonetheless it was a solid victory for a program that has struggled for quite some time. Despite being out-gained by the Tigers, the Wave were able to force them into six turnovers, and put this one away with ease. They've got a favorable stretch in the next few weeks so this team may be able to pick up a few more wins here early.

Paydirtrenzo says: "I know they only beat Jackson State, but Tulane still impressed. The Wave defense forced 6 turnovers and were about 5 minutes away from a shutout.

5. [46 pts] North Texas Mean Green - Last Week: VS Idaho W 40-6, Up Next: @ Ohio

The Mean Green allowed an early Idaho touchdown in Saturday's contest, but woke up from there and just ran away with it. UNT racked up nearly 600 yards of total offense, and finished the game with 40 unanswered points. The Mean Green will have a couple of testers ahead of them, but if they play anything like they did in week one they could be 3-0 before heading to Athens to take on Georgia.

Asalom says: "Besides Tulsa getting obliterated, the Mean Green were clearly the surprise of week 1. They've got a couple winnable games ahead of them, and looking ahead, their favorable schedule may actually give them an opportunity to compete in the west."

4. [48 pts] Middle Tennesse Blue Raiders - Last Week: vs. Western Carolina W 45-24, Up Next: @ North Carolina

The Blue Raiders started off the season with a sound 45-24 victory over Western Carolina. Their offense was balanced, but putting together those type of numbers against a better defense will show whether or not this is truly a good offensive team. With a game coming up against a tougher Carolina this week, we'll know a little more about this team in just a few days.

Paydirtrenzo says: "After one game, I still don't know too much about the Blue Raiders. They had a big game from sophomore running back Jordan Parker, but outside of that, nothing stands out in the box score."

3. [53 pts] Rice Owls - Last Week: vs. #7 Texas A&M L 52-31, Up Next: vs. Kansas

The Owls put up a solid effort against a top ten team in Texas A&M. They out-gained the Aggies 509 to 486, and were down only seven points at half in a very hostile environment. The Owls now have a couple of tough games ahead of them, but also a couple of games that they really need in order to stay out of an early hole.

Asalom says: "The Owls are clearly one of the better teams in C-USA. They may have lost by three touchdowns, but this was actually a close game. And, had Johnny football's suspension been anything but a joke, the Owls might have knocked off A&M."

2. [66 pts] Marshall Thundering Herd - Last Week: @ Miami (OH) W 52-14, vs. Gardner-Webb

The Herd did exactly what they were expected to do in week one, blowing out Miami (OH), 52-14. The offense racked up 591 yards of total offense and 34 first downs, while the defense, more importantly, held the Redhawks to just 239 yards and 9 first downs. The Marshall offense is clearly not an issue here, the only question is whether or not their defense can continue to play well for the duration of the season.

MinerLeagueAROD says: "Rakeem Cato threw for five TD's for the third time in his career and led to offense to 591 yards. Is it too early to name him MVP again?"

1. [67 pts] East Carolina Pirates - Last Week: vs Old Dominion W 52-38, Up Next: vs. Florida Atlantic

The Pirates opened up the season by taking care of a good Old Dominion team 52-38. Shane Carden was extremely impressive going 46-54 for 447 yards to go along with 5 touchdowns and no picks. The running game wasn't exactly clicking but if Carden is going like that, who needs to run the ball? The Pirates now have FAU before taking on Virginia Tech and North Carolina. The only thing here is can the defense improve a bit because the offense won't be able to outscore everyone.

Paydirtrenzo says: "Was more surprised with how well Old Dominion played ECU on the road. The Monarchs look like they could compete in C-USA right now. Whole lot of offense for ECU. Receiver Justin Hardy had 16 catches for 191 yards."

MinerLeagueAROD says: "Shane Carden set a school record with 447 yards passing yards when you hang 50 on someone you hope to pull your QB and starters but ODU fought hard and ECU looks suspect on D."

Asalom says: "Very impressive performance by Carden. The upcoming matchups against Va Tech and UNC will tell us a lot more, but with one week in the books, the Pirates, along with Marshall, look like the class of the league."

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