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East and West collide in Week 10 C-USA clashes

A pair of encountered between east and west highlight this week’s action in Conference USA. First up, Houston travels to East Carolina (12 PM ET) for a matchup that could eliminate either side from the title hunt. Afterward, Southern Methodist makes the journey to Orlando to take on the UCF Knights (7 PM ET), currently unbeaten in conference play.

Houston at East Carolina

Charles Sims and the Houston Cougars will need a win over East Carolina if they're to remain in the hunt for the conference championship.

Houston (4-4, 3-1 C-USA) makes the trip east to Greenville, N.C., on Saturday looking to gain ground on Tulsa in C-USA’s Western Division. After a tough start to the season, the Cougars have gone on to win four of the last five games, a trend that started with a 35-14 win over Rice in the Bayou Bucket Classic.

Meanwhile, East Carolina (5-4, 4-1 C-USA) is one in the loss column behind UCF for the lead in the Eastern Division. The Pirates were pummeled last weekend by a Navy team that tallied 512 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, on the way to 563 yards total and 56 points.

A loss for Houston on Saturday will effectively extinguish their hopes of playing in the Conference USA Championship Game on Dec. 1. For East Carolina, a loss might not completely wipeout its chances of a title, but it won’t be far off.

The Cougars will look to take advantage of a passing game that ranks seventh in the country (340.1 YPG). The Pirates have conceded 91 points over the past two games, suggesting they’re susceptible to being hit big.

Houston enters the game as favorites (-3½) with the over/under at 68.

Southern Methodist at UCF

The Southern Methodist Mustangs need a win over Central Florida to gain ground on division-leading Tulane.

In the second of this weekend’s big East-West clashes, Southern Methodist (4-4, 3-1 C-USA) will look to hand UCF (6-2, 4-0 C-USA) its first conference loss of the season.

The Knights have won four straight, all conference games. Last week saw a 54-17 demolition of Marshall in which offense, defense and special teams all played their part.

The Mustangs meanwhile have won three of the last four, losing only to conference-leading Tulane. A convincing 44-13 win over Memphis last week was orchestrated by quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who threw for 353 yards and a touchdown.

Both sides are looking to charge towards the C-USA title before departing for the Big East next year.

Central Florida enters the game as 10-point favorites with the over/under at 51.

Around the Conference

After a loss to Iowa State in Week 1, Tulsa (7-1, 5-0 C-USA) has gone on to become the pick of the conference. This weekend, the Golden Hurricane gets a taste of the big time, albeit a big time that features a struggling Arkansas (3-5, 2-3 SEC) side. Tulsa enters as underdog (+9) but will be able to look at Razorback losses to Louisiana-Monroe and Rutgers for motivation. A win in this one will really set the T-Town side up going down the stretch. The over/under is 64.

In the Western Division, Rice (3-6, 1-4 C-USA) travels to Tulane (2-6, 2-2 C-USA). The Green Wave has won two of its last three, following a horrific start to the year. The Owls have also won two of the last three, but have fared poorly against conference opposition. Still, Rice is favorite (-5½) with the over/under at 64.

In the Eastern Division, Memphis (1-7, 1-3 C-USA) visits Marshall (3-5, 2-2 C-USA) in a matchup of sides desperately in need of a win. The Tigers have won just one game this season and are in the midst of a three-game losing streak. The Herd has lost three of the last four. Memphis’ shortcomings see the side enter the came as 20-point underdogs. The over/under is 66.

Finally, in another battle at the wrong end of the Eastern Division standings, UAB (1-7, 0-4 C-USA) looks to prevent Southern Mississippi (0-8, 0-4 C-USA) from recording its first win of the season. Despite being winless, the Golden Eagles are favorites (-3) heading into this one. The over/under is 63.


Week 10 C-USA Schedule (in full)

Houston (4-4, 3-1 C-USA) at East Carolina (5-4, 4-1 C-USA)

Tulsa (7-1, 5-0 C-USA) at Arkansas (3-5, 2-3 SEC)

Memphis (1-7, 1-3 C-USA) at Marshall (3-5, 2-2 C-USA)

Rice (3-6, 1-4 C-USA) at Tulane (2-6, 2-2 C-USA)

Southern Methodist (4-4, 3-1 C-USA) at UCF (6-2, 4-0 C-USA)

UAB (1-7, 0-4 C-USA) at Southern Miss (0-8, 0-4 C-USA)

UTEP (2-7, 1-4 C-USA) (Bye)

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