Conference USA Highlights From Weekend Football
It was an interesting weekend for Conference USA Football as we saw a very close contest between Florida Atlantic and Rice, as well as East Carolina battling a Carolinian rival in North Carolina. Here are the highlights from these two Conference USA football games from Saturday.
RICE vs FLORIDA ATLANTIC
Rice was able to score on a fumble and an interception to battle back from behind to defeat Florida Atlantic, 18-14.
Florida Atlantic was leading 14-12 late in the game. Bryce Callahan was able to pick off a pass by Greg Hankerson. Rice would go on to score with a Darik Dillard touchdown run three plays later.
In a similar situation, earlier in the fourth quarter, Rice’s Cody Bauer was able to score a touchdown on a fumble from Hankerson.
East Carolina vs North Carolina
East Carolina was able to best North Carolina on Saturday thanks to three touchdowns by quarterback Shan Carden and three ground scores. East Carolina won 55-31. It was their first win in Chapel Hill in almost four decades.
Not only had East Carolina struggled against North Carolina on the road in the past, but the Pirates have been unable to beat the Tar Heels over the last four seasons.
Vintavious Cooper ran for a career-high 186 yards for the Pirates. The Pirates never lost the lead in the game, sprinting off to an early 35-10 lead and never allowing the Tar Heels to close the gap by more than 14 points.
North Carolina struggled to get anything going on offense, which is quickly becoming a trend for the Tar Heels. Last week, they only compiled 62 yards in the second-half against Georgia Tech.
Meanwhile, East Carolina’s offense had a much needed good game to get back on track. A couple of weeks ago, Carden threw three interceptions and was sacked a total of seven times. In this game, Carden threw for 376 yards and ran 101 plays no-huddle. The quickened tempo seemed to work for the Pirates’ offense.
East Carolina leads the Conference USA East Division with an overall record of 3-1 with a 1-0 conference record. Middle Tennessee is close behind at 3-2 also with a 1-0 conference record. Over in the west, Rice is still behind Tulane, despite their win this week, which puts them at 2-2 overall, 1-0 in the division. Tulane has a 3-2 overall record and is 1-0 in the division.
Games to Look Forward to Next Week:
East Carolina @ Middle Tennessee, The top two teams in the CUSA East Division will square off at 2:30 p.m. CT. You can watch it on FSN.