Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates (6-4, 5-1) bounced back with a 48-28 victory over the Houston Cougars at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Shane Carden threw four touchdown passes in the first half and finished with 305 yards on 31-of-43 efficiency. Danny Webster was the recipient of three of Carden's four scoring passes and finished with six catches for 46 yards. Vintavious Cooper continued to produce out of the backfield, gaining a team-high 140 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries for his third consecutive 100-yard game. Derrel Johnson made an impact up front with two sacks and TFLs. East Carolina, which now is bowl eligible, plays its final road game of the season at Tulane next Saturday.
HOUSTON: The Cougars (4-5, 3-2, were held under 30 points for the first time since Sept. 15 as they fell 48-28 to ECU in Greenville. Houston gained 369 yards of total offense and allowed the Pirates to amass 550 yards. David Piland managed to throw for 341 yards and four touchdowns on 22-of-51 passing with one interception. Mark Roberts made a team-high five receptions for 62 yards with a score and Isaiah Sweeney reeled in three passes for 93 yards a touchdown. The conference's leading rusher, Charles Sims, only carried the ball five times for a total of 33 yards. Trevon Stewart anchored the defense with 21 total stops. The Cougars return to the Lone Star State to host Texas on Saturday.
MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd (4-5, 3-2) started their late rally for bowl eligibility by downing Memphis, 38-28, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Rakeem Cato registered his 500th career completion as Marshall gained 433 yards of total offense. Cato finished 34-of-44 for 341 yards and four TDs. Devon Johnson made the first touchdown catch of his career and Antavious Wilson gained a team- best 61 yards on seven receptions. MU's offense went 6-o-12 on third downs in the contest. Billy Mitchell recorded a team-high 13 tackles. The Herd head to Birmingham this weekend to battle UAB.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers (1-8, 1-4) lost their fourth game in a row as they were bested, 38-28, by the Marshall Thundering Herd in Huntington. Coach Justin Fuente's team had its second best offensive performance of the season with 372 yards of total offense, but two lost fumbles hindered the attack. Jacob Karam went 21-of-31 for 170 yards and a TD. Brandon Haynes paced the rushing attack with 60 yards on 22 carries. Memphis tries to end its losing skid when it returns home to host Tulane.
RICE: The Owls (4-6, 2-4) picked up their second consecutive victory by outlasting Tulane in a 49-47 shootout at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Rice amassed 482 yards of total offense as it held on to its 28-10 halftime lead for the win. Taylor McHargue went 12-of-20 for 259 yards through the air and also rushed for 60 yards and two sores. Charles Ross picked up 95 yards and a TD on 20 carries. Luke Turner dashed into the end zone twice in the fourth quarter to help seal the triumph. The Owls need to win both of their final two contests to become bowl eligible. The first of which is this Saturday at home against SMU.
SMU: The Mustangs (4-5, 3-2) were unable to stop the Knights' rushing attack which led to a 42-17 setback at UCF. SMU was shut down and held to 259 yards of total offense, while allowing UCF to pick up 396 yards including 244 on the ground. Zach Line moved into second place in school history by rushing for 96 yards. Graham Gilbert went 16-of-29 for 133 yards and was sacked three times. Gilbert managed to rush for two touchdowns. Jay Scott paced the defensive unit with 10 total stops. SMU returns home to host Southern Miss on Saturday.
SOUTHERN MISS: The Golden Eagles (0-9, 0-5) failed yet again as they were defeated 27-19 by the UAB Blazers in Hattiesburg. USM was held under 300 yards of total offense for the fourth time this season and turned the ball over three times in the loss. The Golden Eagles seemed the be on pace for their first win with a 16-0 halftime lead, but had a horrendous second half. Anthony Alford went 10-of-26 for 112 yards with an interception and rushed for 45 yards and a score on 14 carries. Jalen Richard gained a team-high 82 yards and a touchdown on nine attempts. Jamie Collins did his best on the defensive side of the ball with nine total stops, three sacks, four tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. The Golden Eagles try to end their nine-game losing slide on Saturday when they fly into the Lone Star State to play SMU.
TEXAS-EL PASO: The Miners (2-7, 1-4) had a bye week after losing to Houston, 45-35, on Nov. 11. They host UCF in the first of their final three games on Saturday.
TULANE: The Green Wave (2-7, 2-3) were highly productive on the offensive end but came up just short and dropped 49-47 decision to Rice in a shootout in the Big Easy. Tulane had its second highest offensive output with 476 yards and 47 points. Ryan Griffin set the school record for passing yards in a single game for the second consecutive week with 476 yards on 28-of-49 efficiency. Griffin also produced four touchdown passes and two interceptions. Rob Kelly pulled in eight receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown, Ryan Grant caught five passes for 176 yards, and Xavier Rush roped in five catches for 96 yards and a score. Ryan Travis made an impact on the defensive side of the ball by returning an interception 73 yards for six points. Tulane will try to rebound on Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium where it will take on Memphis.
TULSA: The Golden Hurricane (7-2, 5-0) had their seven-game winning streak snapped in a 19-15 loss at Arkansas. Tulsa led in the fourth quarter but could not counter Dennis Johnson's go-ahead touchdown run which put the Razorbacks up with 10:08 left to play. Cody Green went 22-of-37 for 222 yards and Trey Watts gained 81 yards on a touchdown on 19 carries. Senior safety Dexter McCoil improved his school record total of interceptions to 16 in the loss. Tulsa will try to protect its perfect as it travels to Houston to play the Cougars on Saturday.
UAB: The Blazers (2-7, 1-4) ended their three-game losing slide by completing a second half comeback against Southern Miss to claim a 27-19 victory. UAB won the second half 27-3 for its first league win of the year. Darris Reaves led the way by gaining a career-high 223 yards and two TDs on 35 carries. Austin Brown amassed 228 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-29 passing. Marvin Burdette paced the defense with 11 tackles and a forced fumble. UAB returns home to Legion Field to host Marshall on Saturday.
UCF: The Knights (7-2, 5-0) reeled off their fifth win in a row by knocking off SMU, 42-17, to remain on track to host the conference championship game. UCF was very efficient on third downs, converting 7-of-10. Blake Bortles produced three total touchdowns, completed 10-of-15 passes for 110 yards, and rushed for 33 yards. Latavius Murray eclipsed the century mark for the third game in a row by racking up 155 yards and two TDs on 23 carries. Former QB Jeff Godfrey threw a 28-yard touchdown pass on a trick play to Murray. Breshad Perriman made his first career touchdown reception in the win. The Knights will try to keep their one-game lead over ECU intact when they travel to El- Paso to face the Miners.