Non-conference record: 9-14
Non-conference record vs. FBS opponents: 7-14
Non-conference record vs. FBS automatic qualifiers: 0-8
C-USA in the polls: AP Writers – None; USA Today Coaches – East Carolina, ARV
Steward Butler – How does the Marshall running back top his 17-carry, 107-yard performance versus Miami (Ohio)? By gaining 151 yards and scoring three touchdowns on just nine carries against Gardner-Webb. Butler’s running like a man possessed and the Marshall ground game is better than it’s been in years. And that’s without 2012 C-USA freshman of the year Kevin Grooms taking a carry as he continues recovering from an ankle sprain. But he’ll likely be fighting for carries with Butler when he does come back.
Nick Montana – It looks like Joe’s kid finally found a home in New Orleans. He has 471 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception after two games as the Green Wave’s starting quarterback. With him under center, Tulane might have a shot in some games. That plus gets canceled out by a big minus on the other side of the ball (more on that below).
FIU – Can you name a bigger grease fire in college football? Outscored 81-10 in its first two games versus Maryland and UCF (and outgained 966-344 in the process), I might pick the Panthers over Bethune-Cookman. Might. And, sure enough, Sun-Sentinel reporter Dieter Kurtenbach says the Panthers are a 2.5-point home dog to the Wildcats. Remember, after B-C, FIU gets Louisville as its non-conference finale. It’s going to be a long, long inaugural C-USA season in Miami.
Tulane’s defense – Gave up 465 yard of total offense and 41 points to Sun Belt opponent South Alabama, a college football team since 2009 and a full-fledged FBS team since this season. Soon to be the new face of the American Athletic Conference, everybody! Hope American Commissioner Mike Aresco likes those trips to the French Quarter.
Number of the Week: 0 – The total wins C-USA teams have over FBS automatic qualifier opponents after two weeks and eight tries. But one of the conference’s best chances at an AQ win comes this Saturday – Rice hosts Kansas.
Redd’s C-USA Title Game Prediction Destined to Fail: Rice at Marshall