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Conference USA Football Week Nine Recap

NCAA Football: Marshall at Southern Mississippi Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Western Kentucky 52 FAU 3

WKU put up 661 yards of total offense as they easily rolled over FAU on the road. WKU quarterback Mike White threw for 307 yards, and three touchdowns, leading a balanced attack that could not be stopped. FAU only managed 202 yards of total yards of offense and has now lost seven straight. WKU improves to 6-3 overall, and 4-1 in C-USA play with a one game lead in the C-USA East. WKU will host FIU next week, while FAU visits Rice.

Middle Tennessee 42 FIU 35

D.J. Sanders broke up a 35-all tie with 1:22 left in the game with a 48-yard pick six to lift MTSU over FIU. The Blue Raiders jumped out to a 21-0 lead but Alex McGough tossed three touchdowns and 307 yards in the game to keep the Panthers fighting. MTSU struggled on third down all night, but still saw a solid performance from running back I’Tavius Mathers who ran for 148 yards and a touchdown. Brent Stockstill threw four touchdown passes for the Blue Raiders. Despite out-gaining Middle 517-466, three FIU turnovers ended up being the difference in their upset bid. Middle Tennessee is now in second place in the C-USA East with a 3-1 record, becoming bowl eligible at 6-2 overall and will host UTSA next week. FIU drops to 3-2 in conference play and travels to WKU.

LA Tech 61 Rice 16

It got ugly quick in Ruston, with LA Tech whooping up on Rice. The Bulldogs led 41-0 at halftime, and became bowl eligible with their fourth straight win. LA Tech amassed 735 yards of offense, throwing for 434, and running for another 301. Rice drops to 1-7 overall, and winless in five C-USA games. LA Tech sits at the top of the C-USA West and will head to Denton to face North Texas next week.

Southern Miss 24 Marshall 14

Southern Miss grabbed control of the game late in the fourth quarter with an Ito Smith 40-yard touchdown run to hold off Marshall. Smith went for 140 yards on the ground, while Nick Mullens threw for 300 yards to improve the Golden Eagles to 5-3 overall, and a 3-1 second place record in the C-USA West. Smith’s touchdown run gave USM a 24-7 lead with 4:23 to go, Marshall averaged just 4.9 yards per play in the game, and was 1-of-13 on third downs. The Herd drop to 2-6 overall and face Old Dominion on the road next week. Southern Miss will host Charlotte next week.

UTSA 31 North Texas 17

UTSA’s defense set the tone in the first half, and Runners ground game closed things out in the second half. Jalen Rhodes ran for 74 yards and two touchdowns, while Jarveon Williams added 74 yards on 18 carries. Rhodes’ first touchdown put UTSA ahead 24-7 with five minutes left in the third quarter. His second stretched UTSA’s lead to 31-10 with 9:51 left in the game. Mason Fine threw two interceptions, but scrambled for 91 yards and a touchdown. UTSA bounces back to 4-4 overall, and 3-2 in conference play. North Texas drops to 4-4, and 2-2 in C-USA play.

Old Dominion 31 UTEP 21

Big plays from Old Dominion, and inept UTEP offense put the Monarchs one step closer to bowl eligibility. The Monarchs led 31-13 with 12:05 left after a 77-yard catch, and run by Jonathan Duhart that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Ray Lawry. Lawry ran for 131 yards and touchdowns, Duhart caught five passes for 155 yards. David Washington threw for 262 yards and two scores. Aaron Jones ran for 94 yards, but the Miners passing only netted 204 yards on 37 attempts. UTEP drops with 2-6 overall and will host FCS Houston Baptist next week. Old Dominion improves to 5-3, and 3-1 overall with Marshall coming into Norfolk next week.