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Tulsa, UCF Eye C-USA Championship

With just three weeks of action left in the regular season, Tulsa and Central Florida have their gazes fixed firmly on the upcoming Conference USA Championship Game. But before either side can guarantee a sport, they’ll need to watch out for the likes of East Carolina, SMU and Houston.

Tulsa Falls to Arkansas, Looks Ahead to Houston

After losing to Arkansas last weekend, Tulsa looks to lock-up the C-USA West this week, but they'll need help from Southern Miss to do so.

Having failed to beat the Razorbacks since 1976, Tulsa headed into Saturday’s clash with Arkansas with the hope that the Fayetteville side’s poor play this season would translate to a Golden Hurricane win. It didn’t.

Despite managing to take a 15-13 lead, Tulsa (7-2, 5-0 C-USA) failed to hang on against the SEC side – still looking to become Bowl eligible this season – and ultimately fell 19-15. The Golden Hurricane has now lost 18 straight against Arkansas. The loss snaps a seven-game winning streak.

With the out-of-conference game now in the rearview mirror, Bill Blankenship’s side can now focus on its C-USA duties, starting with a trip this weekend to Robertson Stadium and a showdown with the Houston Cougars (4-5, 3-2 C-USA), who fell to East Carolina over the weekend.

A win for Tulsa coupled with a loss for Southern Methodist will give the Golden Hurricane the West title and secure a spot in the C-USA Championship Game on December 1.

However, SMU is facing the winless Southern Mississippi, so a loss is unlikely. What’s more, if Tulsa was to lose this one – a possibility considering the Golden Tide has lost five of its last seven to the Cougars – this race could go down to the last game of the regular season, fittingly enough when SMU hosts Tulsa.

Oddsmakers have Tulsa as a marginal favorite (-2½) on the road with the over/under at 69.

UCF Downs SMU, Readies For Miners

Latavius Murray and the UCF Knights are looking to take the C-USA East crown this season.

UCF (7-2, 5-0 C-USA) recorded a fifth straight victory over the weekend, dispatching of Southern Methodist (4-5, 3-2 C-USA) and remaining ahead of East Carolina for the lead in the East.

The Knights made the most of a 155-yard rushing performance by Latavius Murray, who went in for two touchdowns on the ground and one through the air. The Mustangs were unable to keep the game close, eventually losing 42-17, and falling behind Tulsa in the West.

Central Florida now prepares for a visit to El Paso to take on UTEP (2-7, 1-4 C-USA). A win over the West Division’s doormat would give the Knights a further lead over East Carolina with only two games remaining. UCF defeated the Pirates in Week 6, giving the Orlando side a major advantage in the race for the Championship Game.

UCF opened as 12-point favorites over the Pirates. The over/under is 51.

Around the Conference

Following last Saturday’ loss to UCF, the SMU hosts a Southern Mississippi (0-9, 0-5 C-USA) side still in search of its first win. Oddsmakers have the Mustangs as 12-point favorites with the over/under at 53.

After a 38-28 win over Memphis this past weekend, Marshall (4-5, 3-2 C-USA) is still in with an outside shot at winning the East. The Herd will need to run the board and hope both UCF and East Carolina slip up along the way. This weekend, Marshall visits UAB, who knocked off Southern Miss last Saturday. The Herd is 2½-point favorites, with the over/under at 74½.

The remaining game on the C-USA schedule this weekend features two teams with nothing left to play for but pride. Tulane (2-7, 2-3 C-USA) fell to Rice over the weekend while Memphis (1-8, 1-4 C-USA) was beaten by Marshall. The two sides meet at the Liberty Bowl, with the Green Tide favored (-1½) over the Tigers. The over/under is 56.

East Carolina (6-4, 5-1 S-USA) is idle this weekend, busy preparing for the final run-in, which includes games against Tulane and Marshall and a potential shot at the C-USA East title.

Rice (4-6, 2-4 C-USA) takes a bye week before closing out the season with games against SMU and UTEP.


Week 10 Results (in full)

Houston 28-48 East Carolina

Tulsa 15-19 Arkansas

Memphis 28-38 Marshall

Rice 49-47 Tulane

Southern Methodist 17-42 UCF

UAB 27-19 Southern Mississippi


Week 11 Schedule (in full)

Marshall (4-5, 3-2 C-USA) at UAB (2-7, 1-4 C-USA)

Tulsa (7-2, 5-0 C-USA) at Houston (4-5, 3-2 C-USA)

Tulane (2-7, 2-3 C-USA) at Memphis (1-8, 1-4 C-USA)

Southern Mississippi (0-9, 0-5 C-USA) at Southern Methodist (4-5, 3-2 C-USA)

UCF (7-2, 5-0 C-USA) at UTEP (2-7, 1-4 C-USA)

Rice (4-6, 2-4 C-USA) – Bye

East Carolina (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) – Bye

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