Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
EAST CAROLINA: Shane Carden accounted for a school-record seven total touchdowns as the Pirates (7-2, 5-1) powered their way to a 58-24 victory over Tulsa at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Carden completed 34-of-50 attempts for 383 yards and five touchdowns, while also rushing into the end zone twice. Justin Hardy made 10 receptions for 99 yards and a score, which gave him a new school record of 23 career touchdown catches. He also surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards on the season to become the first Pirate to accomplish that feat twice. ECU racked up 505 total yards of offense and limited Tulsa to 363 total yards. The defense forced a total of four turnovers, including DaShaun Amos's interception that he returned 100 yards for a touchdown as time expired to put an exclamation mark on the rout. The Pirates' win helped them remain one of four teams in the C-USA with just a single loss in league play. They will try to keep pace in the East Division race on Saturday when they host UAB.
FIU: The Panthers (1-8, 1-4) committed three costly turnovers that helped Middle Tennessee run off to a 48-0 win at Floyd Stadium on Saturday. E.J. Hilliard threw for 133 yards and an interception on 10-of-15 passing for FIU while Lamarq Caldwell had 48 yards on 14 carries. The Panthers were limited to only 233 yards of total offense and surrendered 556 total yards to the Blue Raiders, who managed to take a 24-0 lead into the halftime break. FIU also missed two field goal attempts, which caused it to be shutout for the third time this season. The Panthers will try to snap their four-game losing streak on Saturday when they challenge Texas-El Paso on the road.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC: The Owls (3-6, 2-4) had a bye week following their 34-17 win over Tulane on Nov. 2. They will return to action on Saturday when they visit Southern Miss. FAU will need to win its three remaining games to become bowl eligible.
LOUISIANA TECH: Kenneth Dixon rushed for a season-high 207 yards to help lead the Bulldogs (4-5, 3-2) to a 36-13 triumph over Southern Miss at Joe Aillet Stadium. Dixon did his damage on 25 carries and scored a touchdown to boost the team to back-to-back wins for the first time all season. Scotty Young completed 22-of-37 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Trent Taylor tallied six receptions for 51 yards and a score. Louisiana Tech outgained USM on the ground, 311-59. Hunter Lee and Dixon both scored touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. The Bulldogs are now two wins shy of bowl eligibility with three games remaining on their schedule. They will try to pick up a crucial decision next week at Rice.
MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd (6-3, 4-1) had three players compile over 100 rushing yards for the first time in school history as they completed a 56-14 rout of UAB at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Steward Butler (139), Essray Taliaferro (118) and Kevin Grooms (108) all surpassed the century mark on the ground to help Marshall rack up 657 yards of total offense. Taliaferro scored two rushing touchdowns while Butler, Grooms and Rakeem Cato all registered a single rushing score. Cato finished 14-of-20 for 276 yards and three passing touchdowns to break Chad Pennington's school record with 27 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Tommy Shuler made six grabs for 100 yards and a score while Jermaine Holmes anchored the defensive unit with 12 tackles. The Herd's win kept them just a half-game behind ECU in the East Division standings and they will try to keep pace on Thursday when they visit Tulsa.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE: Logan Kilgore threw for 269 yards and accounted for two total touchdowns as the Blue Raiders (6-4, 4-2) rolled up a 48-0 victory over FIU at Floyd Stadium. The win made Middle Tennessee bowl eligible after a 3-4 start to the season. Kilgore completed 17-of-20 pass attempts and had a touchdown through the air and on the ground. Shane Tucker tallied 95 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. Tavarres Jefferson had four receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown. MTSU racked up 556 yards of offense in total while limiting the Panthers to only 233 net yards. The Blue Raiders also held a sizeable, 28-10, advantage in first downs. They will have a bye week before their Nov. 23 trip to Hattiesburg where they will face Southern Miss.
NORTH TEXAS: Brandin Byrd rushed for a career-high 202 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 carries as the Mean Green (7-3, 5-1) rolled past Texas- El Paso for a 41-7 victory at Apogee Stadium. Derek Thompson threw for 154 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-24 passing. Drew Miller caught three passes for 44 yards to lead North Texas to its fifth consecutive win. The team racked up 471 total yards of offense in the game, while UTEP produced just 184 total yards. The defense registered eight sacks for a loss of 54 yards and allowed the Miners to move the chains only 13 times. The Mean Green will have an open week before they host UTSA on Nov. 23.
RICE: The Owls (6-3, 5-1) had an open week following their first loss to a league rival of the 2013 season. Rice will try to bounce back on Saturday when it hosts Louisiana Tech.
SOUTHERN MISS: The longest active losing streak in the FBS grew to 21 games as the Golden Eagles (0-9, 0-5) left Joe Aillet Stadium after a 36-13 loss to Louisiana Tech on Saturday. Nick Mullens continued to experience growing pains as he threw for 298 yards on 25-of-51 passing with a touchdown, while getting picked off three times. Tyre Bracken hauled in seven passes for 81 yards. The passing attack did not get much help as Louisiana Tech outgained USM on the ground, 311-59. The Bulldogs built their lead to 30 points before the Golden Eagles scored a late touchdown to slightly narrow the margin. USM will hope to avoid its 22nd loss in a row on Saturday when it hosts Florida Atlantic.
TEXAS-EL PASO: Spencer Leftwich made his first career start for the struggling Miners (1-8, 0-5), but a quarterback change did not lead to better results as they were dealt a 41-7 loss by North Texas at Apogee Stadium. Leftwich finished with 128 yards passing, with a touchdown and an interception, on 14- of-20 passing. He was given an unfriendly welcome to college football by the Mean Green, who sacked him eight times. Jordan Leslie reeled in five catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. The Miners were limited to only 56 yards on 42 carries for an average of 1.3 yards per rushing attempt. They also allowed the Mean Green to rack up 471 yards of total offense. UTEP will look to end its seven-game losing streak on Saturday when it hosts FIU.
TULANE: The Green Wave (6-4, 4-2) suffered their second loss in as many games as UTSA kicker Sean Ianno connected on a game-winning field goal from 34 yards away with only seconds remaining to give the Roadrunners a 10-7 victory at the Alamodome. Tulane committed a season-high 14 penalties for 111 yards in the setback. Nick Montana threw for 199 yards on 18-of-33 efficiency, but was also intercepted twice and couldn't establish a sustained offense. Orleans Darkwa carried the ball a game-high 20 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. The Green Wave's defense limited UTSA to only 309 yards of total offense and only 15 first downs. Dominique Robertson had a big time performance in the losing effort with 11 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Tulane have a bye this weekend before it returns to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to host Texas-El Paso on Nov. 23.
TULSA: Filling in for the injured Cody Green, Dane Evans failed to impress under center as Tulsa (2-7, 1-4) was handed a 58-24 loss by East Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Evans finished 14-of-33 for 142 yards with one touchdown against a pair of interceptions. Trey Watts racked up 120 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries and also led the team in receiving with 48 yards and a score on four grabs. The Golden Hurricane turned the ball over four times and allowed ECU to gain 505 yards of total offense. Will Barrow had a strong showing on the defensive side of the ball with 11 tackles, a forced fumble and a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown, which marked the first defensive score of the season for the team. The loss ended the team's nine-game winning streak versus C-USA East Division rivals. Tulsa will return to action on Thursday when it hosts Marshall.
TX-SAN ANTONIO: Sean Ianno connected on a game-winning field goal from 34 yards away with only seconds remaining to give the Roadrunners (5-5, 4-2) a 10-7 victory over Tulane at the Alamodome. UTSA struggled offensively, racking up only 309 yards of total offense, but its defense registered three takeaways to keep the Green Wave at bay. Eric Soza completed 10-of-25 passes for 183 yards for the Roadrunners, who won their third straight game and the first- ever meeting between the two schools. Brandon Armstrong rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Steven Kurfehs led the defensive effort with 11 tackles and a forced fumble as the team set a season-low with only seven points allowed. UTSA will try to become bowl eligible when it visits North Texas on Nov. 23 after a bye week.
UAB: The Blazers (2-7, 1-4) tallied 464 total offensive yards and 22 first downs, but still suffered a lopsided, 56-14 setback to Marshall at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Jordan Howard gained 123 yards on 22 carries, while Darrin Reaves produced 98 yards and a score on 24 totes. Reaves also led the team in receiving with 47 yards and a touchdown on three catches. Jonathan Perry finished 10-of-17 passing for 176 yards and a score. UAB's defense surrendered 657 yards of total offense to the Thundering Herd in the loss. The Blazers will try to bounce back on Saturday when they visit ECU.