C-USA football: Quick look at Saturday’s games

September 13, 2013 

And then there were two.

East Carolina and Marshall head into Saturday as the league’s only remaining unbeaten teams.

C-USA still is looking for that elusive win against a Bowl Championship Series school, but its teams had a better showing last week than in Week 1.

Alabama-Birmingham scored 17 at No.9 Louisiana State and Texas-San Antonio put up 35 against No.13 Oklahoma State.

Saturday, the Pirates take their shot against visiting Virginia Tech, and will do so with an apparent edge at quarterback.

Junior Shane Carden ranks 17th in the nation with 638 passing yards through two games. He’s tied for sixth with seven touchdown passes.

“They’ve got our attention and have got our respect,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer told reporters. “They’re a very, very explosive football team.”

Hokies fifth-year senior quarterback Logan Thomas has been more miss than hit, though most of his early troubles came in a season-opening 5-for-26 performance against No.1 Alabama. Thomas rebounded last week but still threw two interceptions in a 45-3 win against Western Carolina.

Stage fright shouldn’t be an issue. ECU is 6-13 against ACC teams, beginning in 2005, and is playing Virginia . Tech for the sixth time in seven seasons. ECU won in 2008 and gave the Hokies a scare in 2011 before a fourth-quarter TD gave Beamer his 200th win. Thomas made his second career start in that game but was held to 91 passing yards.

“We understand the importance of just getting a win against a big team and what it can do for our program,” Carden told the Associated Press. “At the same time, if you come in and you’re thinking, ‘ACC opponent, we’ve got to put all these in extra plays in and we’ve got to play way above ourselves,’ you’re going to go out there and you’re not going to play well.”

Elsewhere it’s tough sledding: Tulsa visits No.14 Oklahoma and Rice welcomes Kansas in a pair of C-USA vs. Big 12 matchups. Southern Miss, losers of 14 consecutive games, visits Arkansas as part of a three-game road trip that started at then-No. 22 Nebraska last week and will end at traditionally-tough Boise State on Sept.28. And Texas-San Antonio travels to Arizona, which is 2-0 and receiving votes in the AP and coaches’ polls.

Chris Wright

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service