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What's the C-USA Game of the Week? I think that's obvious.
Here's the Schedule:
|West Virginaa at Marshall
|UTEP at Houston
|Memphis at East Carolina
|Rice at North Texas
|Prairie View at Southern Miss
|Bowling Green v. Tulsa
|NC State at UCF
|UAB at SMU
|Mississippi at Tulane
Here are the Picks:
The Weaksauce Award
Southern Miss. Golden Eagles take this one because FCS Prairie View is coming to town. Look at the C-USA schedule; there aren't a lot of cupcakes this week. Can Austin Davis and Martevious Young get things clicking on offense after USM couldn't move the ball against South Carolina? It's Praire View! Expect USM to hit on all cylinders.
The Pick: USM 41, Prairie View 10
The Brave Soul Award
I pondered going WVU vs. Marshall but that's a rivalry game played every year. Doc Holliday earned his stripes at WVU; this isn't a typical money game bloodbath. So, Ole Miss going to Tulane gets the nod. The Green Wave barely beat Southeast Louisiana in Week 1. Expect Ole Miss to look like the New Orleans Saints at the Super Dome.
The Pick: Ole Miss 49, Tulane 10
Best Chance to Make C-USA Look Good
NC State at UCF: I'm not sold on Rob Calabrese even though UCF"s offense did look stellar (they played North Dakota State in Week 1). I think the fans want Jeff Godfrey and I think he's the QB of the future there so we'll see if we start to see more of him this week. UCF's defense, led by Bruce Miller, should be able to slow down the Wolfpack. But, can the Knights find the end zone? Last week NC State tore apart Western Carolina 48-7. The reason I think the Pack come out on top, in a close one, is because of better QB play. Russell Wilson had 306 yards last week and 4 touchdowns. The Knights, for the sake of the C-USA, need to keep this one close.
The Pick: NC State 35, UCF 24
The C-USA Game of the Week
No Brainer Here: UTEP at Houston. Last week, Joe Banyard and Vernon Frazier looked good against UAPB and Houston's rush defense struggled against Texas State. Banyard is much more agile than I had previously thought. Trevor Vittatoe was steady and got his senior campaign off to a solid start. Keenum? 274 yards and 5 TD's isn't too bad but he did toss 2 picks.
Keep This in Mind: Over Keenum's last three games, he's tossed 11 interceptions (Texas State 2, Air Force 6, East Carolina 3). Can UTEP's defense force him to toss a few more?
Call me a homer. Go ahead. I realize that the Miners didn't blast UAPB away in the first half last week. I also realize that UH turned it on to the tune of 55 unanswered en route to a beat down of similarly talented Texas State. Texas State scored the bulk of their 28 in garbage time, but I still think the Cougars defense is susceptible to the run. Conversely, we still don't know if UH can run the ball as well as they did last season without Charles Sims. No Cougar back carried more than 5 times last week but Bryce Beall was stellar with 5 carries for 48 yards (2 TD's).
The Key: UTEP's ground game. If it's a shoot-out, you have to like UH's odds unless Buckram plays and gives us the home run threat we desperately need. The Miners will have to ride Alex Solot & Company for long drives that slow the pace of the game because UH will put up some points. If the running game isn't clicking for UTEP, all eyes will be on Trevor Vittatoe. Can he help UTEP keep pace? I think he can.
UTEP 48, Houston 45
What's your pick?