It's a horse race in C-USA
By Christian Schmidt
Daily Cougar Staff
Tulane fell hard this weekend, to the best
team in Conference USA. The Louisville Cardinals destroyed the Green Wave,
defeating them 52-7 Saturday. Louisville's win ties the second-longest
conference-winning streak in C-USA's history. Southern Miss recorded 14
straight conference wins from October 1998 to November 2000.
Louisville quarterback Dave Ragone earned
C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors with his performance, his second
such award of the year.
Ragone played only three-quarters of the
Cardinals' lopsided win, but still managed to go 19-30 for 252 yards with
three passing touchdowns. Ragone
also ran for 56 yards and two rushing
UH continued its quest for a winless season
with another defeat. The Cougars lost 45-6 to future C-USA member South
South Florida got out to a fast start,
scoring 31 of its points in the first half. The Bulls, in only their fifth
season of collegiate football, were extremely
impressive in recording their sixth victory
of the year. They used a quick strike offense, recording only 21 minutes
and 10 seconds of possession, some
17 minutes fewer than the Cougars.
UH quarterback Nick Eddy completed just
41 percent of his passes before he suffered an ankle injury in the fourth
quarter that forced him to leave the
The Black Knights of Army lost in a hard-fought
battle to Air Force on Saturday. With the win, the Falcons wrapped up their
Trophy, their sixth in a row. The Commander-in-Chief
trophy goes to the service academy that wins the annual battles between
the Army, Navy and Air
Air Force free safety Larry Duncan wrapped
up the win for the Falcons with his 95-yard interception return for a touchdown
late in the fourth quarter.
The loss drops Army to 2-6 overall, 2-4
in conference play. Air Force is now 5-3 overall. Army's C.J. Young had
another outstanding game, recording 25
carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
Cincinnati defeated Connecticut 45-28 in
a non-conference match-up. The game featured two teams known primarily
for their men's basketball teams.
The Bearcats kept their bowl hopes alive
with the win, improving their record to 5-3 overall, 4-1 in conference.
The Bearcats opened up a 17-point lead
by halftime and never let the Huskies
get any closer than that in the second half.
Cincinnati place-kicker Jonathan Ruffin
got his sixth straight field goal and connected on six extra points in
the Bearcats' win over Connecticut. Ruffin
has now made 47 straight extra points
dating back to last year, including all 25 attempts this year.
East Carolina maintained its first-place
tie with Louisville at the top of C-USA when the Pirates defeated Texas
Christian 37-30 in the best game of the
weekend. East Carolina is now 5-3 overall,
4-0 in conference while the Horned Frogs drop to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in
East Carolina jumped out to a 20-3 lead
in the first quarter, only to watch TCU charge back with 27 points in the
third and fourth quarters. ECU running
back Leonard Henry's touchdown in the
fourth quarter sealed the victory.
Southern Mississippi dropped a 38-20 decision
to Penn State on Saturday. The Golden Eagles made their contribution to
Joe Paterno's career win total
in fine fashion, giving the venerable
Penn State coach his 325th career win.
The Nittany Lions ran out to a 38-7 lead
before Southern Miss scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to make the
score more respectable.
Southern Miss quarterback Jeff Kelly recorded
his 474th career completion, putting him second behind only Brett Favre.
Memphis and UAB both had the week off.
Only three teams in Division I-A have a
better record than the Louisville Cardinals. Strangely, though, 24 programs
are ranked ahead of the 8-1
Cardinals, including 12 teams with two
losses. Besides Louisville, the lowest-ranked team with eight or more wins
is 8-1 Washington State, ranked