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Conference USA Game Picks

In Conference USA action this weekend, Houston takes on Tulane in New Orleans (tonight), UTEP and East Carolina face off for positioning in the bowl eligibility race, UCF and Marshall try to pick up wins at Southern Miss and Tulsa, UAB and Memphis square off in the battle of 10th, and Rice and SMU have tough out of conference games against Northwestern and Navy. Let's take a look at this week's Conference USA Game Picks.

[1] #11 Houston Cougars (9-0, 5-0) @ [12] Tulane Green Wave (2-8, 1-5) 8:00 p.m. ET, Thursday November 10th

The Cougars have been able to coast on cruise control throughout the season, passing for nearly 460 yards and putting up 53 points a game. Needless to say, not many have been able to hang with them. The Green Wave lost their coach a few weeks back, and have now lost 7 in a row to fall to 2-8. No home field advantage can help Tulane in this one.

Projection: Houston 59, Tulane 10

[9] Rice Owls (3-6, 2-4) @ Northwestern Wildcats (4-5) 12:00 p.m. ET, Saturday November 12th

The Owls are coming off their best performance of the season at home against UTEP. Their offense seemed unstoppable, but it should be a different animal on the road at a decent Big Ten squad. Northwestern is only 4-5 on the season, but they are coming off a road win against then #10 Nebraska. Good luck to the Owls.

Projection: Northwestern 34, Rice 17

[5] Marshall Thundering Herd (4-5, 3-2) @ [3] Tulsa Golden Hurricane (6-3, 5-0) 12:00 p.m. ET, Saturday November 12th

The Thundering Herd have been up and down all season, but are currently riding high after their 59-14 demolition of UAB two weeks ago. They had the week off to prepare, but now face an extremely tough Tulsa team. The Hurricane have reeled off 5 in a row, including a 38-7 beat down of SMU, and a 24-17 road win at UCF last week. I just don't see this young Marshall team pulling the upset.

Projection: Tulsa 31, Marshall 21

Navy Midshipmen (3-6) @ [4] SMU Mustangs (6-3, 4-2) 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday November 12th

The Midshipmen are in somewhat of a down year, but still average over 300 yards a game on the ground, and more than 31 points. Most recently, they dropped Troy 42-14. The Mustangs hit somewhat of a skid recently dropping games to Southern Miss and Tulsa in consecutive weeks. They rebounded from that last against Tulane 45-24. This should be a close one, but the home team gets the nod.

Projection: SMU 34, Navy 31

[10] UAB Blazers (1-8, 1-5) @ [11] Memphis Tigers (2-7, 1-4) 4:15 p.m. ET, Saturday November 12th

The Battle for 10th has finally arrived. The Blazers picked up their first win over UCF three weeks ago, but have dropped games to Marshall (59-14) and Houston (56-13) in the last two. Two weeks ago the Tigers picked up a road win at Tulane, but followed that up with a 41-0 loss at UCF. The Blazers just have more talent.

Projection: UAB 28, Memphis 20

[7] UCF Knights (4-5, 2-3) @ [2] #22 Southern Miss Golden Eagles (8-1, 4-1) 8:00 p.m. ET, Saturday November 12th

The Knights are a good team, but nowhere near the caliber of the 2010 squad. They've got the defense to keep themselves in just about any game, but don't have the offensive firepower to win them. Last week they dropped Memphis 41-0. The Golden Eagles are absolutely rolling. Seven wins in a row, a no. 22 ranking in the BCS, and no one has been within 18 points of them since weeks 4. Southern Miss puts UCF one loss closer to missing a bowl.

Projection: Southern Miss 38, UCF 24

[6] ECU Pirates (4-5, 3-2) @ [8] UTEP Miners (4-5, 1-4) 8:00 p.m. ET, Saturday November 12th

The Pirates are fresh off a 48-28 loss at home to Southern Miss. They salvaged their season with three wins in a row before that, but still need two more wins to ensure this season is not a failure. After being 4-3 two weeks ago, the Miners are now 4-5, and in desperate need of win. They are coming off an extremely disappointing loss to Rice, and now need 2 out 3 to make it to a bowl. Both teams are very capable, but I've got the Miners.

Projection: UTEP 34, ECU 28