What happened in all the Week 2 Conference USA games? Where are all the teams ranked, and what’s the quick take on each game? Check out the Conference USA rankings and analysis.
Conference USA Week 2 Rankings, Predictions & Quick Takes
How are the Conference USA picks so far? SU: 19-3, ATS: 6-8
1. Western Kentucky (1-1)
Final Score: Alabama 38, WKU 10
Prediction: Alabama 41, WKU 13, Alabama -28.5
Up Next: at Miami Univ.
Quick Take: It’s Alabama. Don’t judge the offensive issues on anything other than simply facing a defense that’s going to stop everyone cold. As good as Mike White was in the opener against Rice, that’s how lousy he was against Alabama completing just 10-of-24 passes, and forget about running in Tuscaloosa. On the positive side, the defense was impressive against the Tide ground game allowing just 124 yards and two scores.
2. Southern Miss (2-0)
Final Score: Southern Miss 56, Savannah State 0
Prediction: Southern Miss 70, Savannah State 7
Up Next: Troy
Quick Take: The offense took it easy on Savannah State, taking the foot off the gas after the first half. The damage was done with Nick Mullens throwing for 216 yards and three touchdowns with a pick. Ito Smith only needed eight carries to do 128 yards and a score, and George Payne ran for 116 yards. It wasn’t hard to get the win considering the D allowed just 41 total yards.
3. Middle Tennessee (1-1)
Final Score: Vanderbilt 47, Middle Tennessee 24
Prediction: Middle Tennessee 26, Vanderbilt 24, Vandy -5.5
Up Next: at Bowling Green
Quick Take: If you had said before the game that Brent Stockstill would throw for 399 yards and three scores, and the Blue Raiders would outgain the Commodores 495 yards to 344 and only be a -1 in turnover margin, you would’ve figured they’d pulled out the upset. It was a strange game with Ralph Webb and the Vandy ground game taking over, but Middle Tennessee’s offense worked.
4. Louisiana Tech (1-1)
Final Score: Louisiana Tech 43, South Carolina State 24
Prediction: Louisiana Tech 45, SC State 3
Up Next: at Texas Tech
Quick Take: The Bulldogs gave up a few garbage time points, but they were fine. The ground game averaged seven yards per pop and Ryan Higgins threw for 409 yards and four touchdowns with Trent Taylor putting up a special performance catching 11 passes for 178 yards and three scores. The O is getting going, and it had better be ready with Texas Tech up next.
5. Marshall (1-0)
Final Score: Marshall 62, Morgan State 0
Prediction: Marshall 65, Morgan State 6
Up Next: Akron
Quick Take: That’s how you ease your way into a season. After starting a week later than just about everyone, the Herd got a light scrimmage with Chase Litton throwing six touchdown passes on 13 completions. Everyone got to have some fun in the ugly blowout with an almost perfect distribution of work. The only issue – third downs. The O converted just 2-of-11 chances, but was 3-for-3 on fourth down.
6. Florida Atlantic (1-1)
Final Score: Miami 38, Florida Atlantic 10
Prediction: Miami 37, Florida Atlantic 16, Miami -24.5
Up Next: at Kansas State
Quick Take: The Owls couldn’t take advantage of the various mistakes and miscues from the Hurricanes early on. Gregory Howell ran well with 75 yards, but the defense couldn’t hold up against the power of the Miami ground attack. There are offensive weapons, and there’s hope if there’s more downfield passing, but the Owls were outclassed over the last three quarters.
Final Score: Maryland 41, FIU 14
Prediction: Maryland 37, Florida International 20, Maryland -10
Up Next: at UMass
Quick Take: Maryland was sharp, and FIU was out of its comfort zone right away. This isn’t a team built to bomb away quite yet. Alex Gardner ran for 109 yards and a score, but the passing game didn’t have enough pop down the field to keep up the pace. FIU has to win the turnover battle and can’t make mistakes against a team as good as the Terps – and it has to be able to throw better.
8. UTEP (1-1)
Final Score: Texas 41, UTEP 7
Prediction: Texas 47. UTEP 17, Texas -29.5
Up Next: Army
Quick Take: UTEP was going to be overmatched anyway, but not having QB Zack Greenlee didn’t help. The defense was the big issue against the loaded Longhorn attack – mostly against the pass with the run defense doing an okay job. Aaron Jones ran for 123 yards and a score, but he couldn’t overcome the problems with the passing game.
9. UTSA (1-1)
Final Score: Colorado State 23, UTSA 14
Prediction: Colorado State 45, UTSA 17, CSU -12
Up Next: Arizona State
Quick Take: The offense simply didn’t take advantage of the opportunities. The Colorado State passing game was a nightmare, but the running game took over against the UTSA D. One problem – the Roadrunner O was worse, finishing with -1 yard on 34 carries. The offensive line couldn’t keep the Rams out of the backfield.
10. Old Dominion (1-1)
Final Score: Appalachian State 31, Old Dominion 7
Prediction: Appalachian State 31, Old Dominion 17, ASU -21
Up Next: at NC State
Quick Take: Old Dominion could never find any sort of positive momentum because it couldn’t keep the chains moving. The Monarchs converted just one of six third down chances, while ASU converted four of five shots. Raw Lawry ran for 119 yards and a score, but outside of his 27-yard touchdown dash, the yards didn’t translate into points – the offense wasted the effort.
11. Rice (0-2)
Final Score: Army 31, Rice 14
Prediction: Army 27, Rice 23, Army -10
Up Next: Baylor
Quick Take: Army’s ground game owned the game and the clock – keeping the ball for over 40 minutes – but the Rice offense helped turn the game into a rout. The Owls converted just 1-of-10 third down chances and turned it over two times. There weren’t enough long marches, and there weren’t enough scoring chances to get back in the game.
12. Charlotte (1-1)
Final Score: Charlotte 47, Elon 14
Prediction: Charlotte 40, Elon 10
Up Next: Eastern Michigan
Quick Take: That’s how you bounce back from a trouncing against Louisville. The 49ers got a nice passing day out of Kevin Olsen with three touchdown throws, while the running game averaged 6.6 yards per pop. The defense gave up 419 yards, but made up for it with three takeaways.
13. North Texas (1-1)
Final Score: North Texas 41, Bethune-Cookman 20
Prediction: North Texas 44, Bethune-Cookman 10
Up Next: at Florida
Quick Take: The new offense started to rumble with the ground game cranking out 329 yards and four touchdowns, but the passing attack is going to be an issue. Mason Fine was okay, but combined with Alec Morris the Mean Green completed 15-of-33 passes for 121 yards and a pick.