Inside Marshall Sports

Conference USA notebook for 11/19

The division races have become boring. Louisiana Tech has wrapped up the West, and Western Kentucky has a bye week and a clinching game at Marshall — and the Hilltoppers will have clinched if Old Dominion spits the bit this week at Florida Atlantic.
So with a yawn, here we go:

Last week

Most notable

Louisiana Tech 63, Texas-San Antonio 35: Carlos Henderson caught three TD passes, giving him 16 to go with 1,179 yards on 61 catches. But Trent Taylor is topping him with 103 receptions for 1,343 yards and 10 TDs. First and fourth in the league in yardage, if you need it.

Rice 22, Charlotte 21: All hail the Rice Owls! They came back from a 21-0 deficit to record their first conference win. QB Tyler Stehling ran for 2 TDs and passed for another, gaining 372 total yards.

ODU 51, Southern Mississippi 35: I’m sure you had the Monarchs beating Marshall and Southern Miss back-to-back, right? With their top 2 QBs out, the Eagles burned freshman Keon Howard’s redshirt.

Marshall 42, Middle Tennessee 17: A refreshing result for a Marshall beat writer, believe me.

Hold your nose

Western Kentucky 45, North Texas 7: Mike White out-threw the Mean Green’s total offense, 316-232.

FAU 35, Texas-El Paso 32: Aaron Jones became UTEP’s all-time leading rusher (3,738), but the Miners have repeated squandered his efforts.

C-USA best results vs. P-5
Southern Miss 44, Kentucky 35
Arkansas 21, Louisiana Tech 20 (Tech had ball with lead in 4th quarter)
Arizona 32, UTSA 28 (Roadrunners led in 4th quarter)
Vanderbilt 31, Western Kentucky 30 (WKU went for 2 and the win)
Middle Tennessee 51, Missouri 45
Overall vs P-5: 2-18

Standings
East: WKU 6-1, Old Dominion 5-1, Charlotte 3-3, FIU 3-3, MTSU 3-3, Marshall 2-4, FAU 2-4
West: La Tech 6-1 (clinched), UTSA 4-3, Southern Miss 3-3, North Texas 2-4, UTEP 1-5, Rice 1-6

Bowl eligibility chart
Bowl tie-ins: New Mexico, Boca Raton, Bahamas, New Orleans, Hawaii, Heart of Dallas (6); secondary partnership with Independence Bowl
Eligible: WKU, ODU, MTSU, La. Tech (4)
Ineligible: Florida International, Marshall, FAU, Rice, UTEP.

Still fighting
UTSA 5-5: at Texas A&M, Charlotte
Southern Miss 5-5: at North Texas, La Tech
Charlotte 4-6: MTSU, UTSA
North Texas 4-6: Southern Miss, at UTEP

This week’s offerings, in order of interest (MU-FIU not included):

Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic, 6 p.m., Campus Insiders: Folks, the Monarchs are alive in the division race. They must take care of business and watch Western Kentucky lose to Marshall, but they’re alive.
LINE: ODU by 8. MONARCHS COME CLOSE TO TAKING A STEP BACK, OR DO SO OUTRIGHT.

Middle Tennessee at Charlotte, 2 p.m., ESPN3: You notice something about the improved 49ers? They haven’t won a league game at home.
LINE: MTSU by 4. BLUE RAIDERS WILL BE ANGRY.

Southern Miss at North Texas, 5:30 p.m., beIN Sports: With La Tech looming in the season finale, the Golden Eagles had better pick up win No. 6 here, freshman QB or not.
LINE: Off (USM’s QB issues).

UTSA at Texas A&M, noon, ESPN2/ESPNU: My usual smart-aleck remarks about SEC homecoming do not apply, as A&M does not organize a homecoming week.
LINE: A&M by 27. ROADRUNNERS SNEAK IN GARBAGE-TIME COVER.

UTEP at Rice, noon, ESPN3: For the West Division basement.
LINE: Pick ‘em. MINERS, I GUESS.

Last week vs. line: 2-3 (including MU game). Season: 33-42.