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Conference USA Game Picks

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Week 5 saw the Houston Cougars escape El Paso to remain unbeaten, SMU and Marshall pick up big out of conference wins, UAB and Memphis narrowly miss out on out of conference road wins, and ECU continue to struggle. UTEP, SMU, and Tulsa all have the week off, but there's still plenty of action from around the league. Here are the Conference USA Game Picks for Week 6.

Mississippi St. Bulldogs (2-3) @ [11A] UAB Blazers (0-4, 0-2) 12:00 p.m. ET, Saturday October 8th

The Bulldogs entered the season as a preseason top 20 team, but after three competitive losses to Auburn, LSU, and Georgia, they find themselves in a tough spot. Last Saturday they lost at Georgia 24-10, and knocked off La Tech before that. The Blazers have been far from impressive thus far on the season, and continued to struggle last week dropping a close one at Troy 24-23. Looking at this game prior to the start of the season it may have seemed like UAB would've had a shot. Let's face it, they don't.

Projection: Mississippi St. 38, UAB 21

[11B] Memphis Tigers (1-4, 0-1) @ [9] Rice Owls (1-3, 0-1) 12:30 p.m. ET, Saturday October 8th

The Tigers come into this contest after a competitive game at Middle Tennessee. They lost that game 38-31, but it was actually the closest loss they've had all season. The Owls are coming off a game against Southern Miss in which they got absolutely dominated. Memphis ain't no Southern Miss, but the team they just lost to got beat at Purdue (Rice's only win) by 3. Rice should still pick up a win here, but I think the game will be a lot closer than most might expect.

Projection: Rice 31, Memphis 27

[3] Southern Miss Golden Eagles (4-1, 1-1) @ Navy Midshipmen (2-2) 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday October 8th

The Golden Eagles are finally starting to find their groove. They started the season a bit slow, but have reeled off three in a row, and it couldn't come at a better time as their toughest test happens to be this week. Southern Miss beat Rice on Saturday 48-24, but dominated more than the score shows. Navy is 2-2 on the season with easy wins over Western Kentucky and Delaware, and very close losses at No. 10 South Carolina at in OT last week against Air Force. I'd like to think Southern Miss has the power to just outscore Navy, but the Gamecocks barely did that on their home field.

Projection: Southern Miss 34, Navy 27

[8] East Carolina Pirates (1-3, 1-0) @ [1] Houston Cougars (5-0, 1-0) 7:00 p.m. ET, Saturday October 8th

The Pirates hopes for a successful season are quickly slipping down the drain as they are 1-3, and face Houston and Navy in two of the next three. They are coming off a home loss to a good North Carolina team 35-20. The score may not seem so bad, but the Pirates were down 28-3 at the half. Houston is coming off a victory over UTEP 49-42. UTEP is far from the best team in conference, but they showed how suspect UH's defense is. If East Carolina is gonna get going, this would be the game to do it. But, at this point it just seems like their taking steps backwards.

Projection: Houston 45, ECU 35

[6] Marshall Thundering Herd (2-3, 1-0) @ [4] UCF Knights (2-2) 7:00 p.m. ET, Saturday October 8th

The Thundering Herd are coming off a much needed win on the road at Louisville 17-13. The win over Louisville, along with one over Southern Miss, sandwiched two losses to Ohio and Virginia Tech. UCF is in desperate need of a win as after starting 2-0, they've dropped their last two against FIU and BYU. Both teams are very capable, but I'd like to think that UCF should win. Then again, they should've beat FIU and BYU so you just never know. One thing is for sure, a trip to Dallas to take on the Mustangs awaits the Knights, so if they don't win here things might get ugly in Orlando.

Projection: UCF 31, Marshall 20

Syracuse Orangemen (3-2) @ [10] Tulane Green Wave (2-3, 1-1) 8:00 p.m ET, Saturday October 8th

The Orangemen are coming off a 19-16 double OT loss to Rutgers. Four of their five games have been decided by 7 points or less, and three have gone into overtime. What is there to say about Tulane? The Green Wave have been far from competitive in their three losses, and have beat two pretty bad teams. Last week they lost 45-6 at a struggling Army team. I'd like to think that Tulane can win this game, but considering the way they've played the last two weeks when I've picked them, I don't know how I can pick them again.

Projection: Syracuse 28, Tulane 27