Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

Week 2 C-USA - FAU vs. East Carolina & More

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 5, 2013


Week 2 Pac-12 Fearless Predictions - Florida Atlantic vs. East Carolina & More

Florida Atlantic (0-1) at East Carolina (1-0) Sept. 5, 7:30, Fox Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Florida Atlantic can use its first game as a Conference USA member as a measuring stick, facing East Division favorite East Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Thursday night. The Owls’ 2013 season began unceremoniously with 34-6 loss to Miami in a game that the staff hopes can be used as a building block for the balance of the season. The Pirates were tested by Old Dominion on Saturday, needing all four quarters to finally put away the Monarchs, 52-38. ECU will need to play better on defense to earn the league’s hardware in December.
Why Florida Atlantic Might Win: Week 1 proved that the East Carolina defense is going to keep a lot of opponents in games this fall. With the Pirates being especially vulnerable through the air, the Owls will want to feed their two best pass-catchers, WR William Dukes and TE Nexon Dorvilus. ECU won’t present the same challenges to Florida Atlantic that Miami did on Friday.
Why East Carolina Might Win: Save for maybe Marshall, no one in Conference USA houses a more explosive offense than the Pirates. QB Shane Carden was terrific in the Old Dominion win, connecting on 46-of-54 passes for 447 yards, five touchdowns and no picks. He spread the ball around, but WR Justin Hardy was his typically unstoppable self with 16 grabs for 191 yards.
Who To Watch Out For: If Florida Atlantic assigns too many resources to stopping Carden, RB Vintavious Cooper will make the Owls pay dearly. While the back had only 14 touches last week, he’s more than capable of hurting defenses if needed.

- FAU has its own underrated back, 210-pound former walk-on Jonathan Wallace, who’ll be needed to complement the passing game.

- The best defense for the East Carolina secondary is an improved pass rush. Weakside LB Derrell Johnson is one of those Pirates most likely to keep Florida Atlantic’s quarterbacks from setting their feet.
What Will Happen: Florida Atlantic doesn’t have its own version of Old Dominion QB Taylor Heinicke to keep pace with Carden on Thursday night. The Pirates will roll unimpeded through the Owls’ defense, building an insurmountable lead before halftime.
Prediction: East Carolina 42 … Florida Atlantic 20
Line: East Carolina -20.5 o/u: 54
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 1.5

UCF (1-0) at Florida International (0-1) Sept. 6, 8:00, CBS Sports Network

Why You Should Give A Hoot: UCF and Florida International renew their budding Sunshine State rivalry, which has seen the programs split the last two meetings. The Golden Panthers joined Conference USA just as the Knights were hightailing it to the American, making this a non-conference game for both. While UCF pummeled Akron, 38-7, in Week 1, FIU was being outclassed by Maryland on the road, 43-10.
Why UCF Might Win: The Golden Panthers had no answers for Terps QB C.J. Brown. They’ll struggle just as much to contain the balanced Knights offense led by QB Blake Bortles, RB Storm Johnson and a bevy of capable receivers. In a year when FIU’s top weapon, RB Kedrick Rhodes, was dismissed, it won’t have the pop to hang with UCF.
Why Florida International Might Win: The Panthers won’t stop the Knights cold, but they do possess the speed and range to create game-changing stops and turnovers. CB Sam Miller, LB Mike Wakefield and tackles Isame Faciane and Greg Hickman, in particular, are playmakers capable of sparking the home crowd.
Who To Watch Out For: Veteran Jake Medlock had all kinds of problems, eventually getting replaced by E.J. Hilliard. Life for the FIU quarterbacks gets no easier this week against the speed of UCF.

- Bortles is a big-time hurler, the kind that generates interest from NFL scouts. He’ll spread the ball around to Breshad Perriman, J.J. Worton and Rannell Hall.

- Seven new starters is seemingly no problem for the UCF D. LB Terrance Plummer was everywhere last Thursday, and DE Thomas Niles lived in the backfield.
What Will Happen: Facing rivals on the road is always dicey, but UCF will survive on the strength of its superior talent. Florida International is inept on offense, and its defense will come up short in the attempt to trip up Bortles and Johnson. The Knights will get to 2-0 without a lot of resistance.
Prediction: UCF 44 … Florida International 13
Line: UCF -24.5 o/u: 53
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) - 1.5

Oklahoma State (1-0) at UTSA (1-0) Sept. 7, 12:00, Fox Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Oklahoma State opened with a very impressive win over the weekend. Relatively speaking, so, too, did UTSA for that matter. The Cowboys roughed up Mississippi State in Houston, 21-3, showcasing more defense and general physicality than the program is accustomed. The win also provided a boost to the Big 12, which struggled as a whole in Week 1. UTSA is thrilled to be hosting Mike Gundy’s team in the Alamodome, a treat for the locals that usually only happens during the bowl season. The up-and-coming Roadrunners began life as a Conference USA member by rallying to beat New Mexico in Albuquerque last weekend.
Why Oklahoma State Might Win: The Cowboys can score. They always will under Gundy. It turns out they can play some defense, too. Oklahoma State kept Mississippi State out of the end zone on Saturday, a major achievement for coordinator Glenn Spencer’s D. The undersized UTSA O-line will have an especially rugged time of containing DT Calvin Barnett, DE Tyler Johnson and linebackers Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey.
Why UTSA Might Win: The Roadrunners have two key components needed to author a shocking, put-us-on-the-map victory, a veteran coach and a veteran quarterback. UTSA is led by Larry Coker, who won a national championship and spent a number of years coaching in Stillwater. Coker’s quarterback is gutsy senior Eric Soza. Soza led his team back from a 13-0 deficit last week, throwing two touchdown passes, while leading the team in rushing.
Who To Watch Out For: The trip to San Antonio gives Oklahoma State a chance to get its offense back on track. The Cowboys were uncharacteristically inept at reaching the end zone at Reliant Stadium.

- Gundy finally has his starting quarterback, sophomore J.W. Walsh, who’s at his most dangerous when he leaves the pocket and starts improvising.

- Oklahoma State’s top priority this week will be to get the passing game humming. Walsh and Clint Chelf were ineffective at maximizing the talents of receivers Josh Stewart, Tracy Moore and Charlie Moore.
What Will Happen: UTSA is weaving a very interesting story in San Antonio, but this is a step up in competition that’s well beyond the Roadrunners’ ability. Oklahoma State will combine more pop and execution on offense with that improved defense to advertise its versatility and might to future recruits from this region of Texas.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 48 … UTSA 13
Line: Oklahoma State -26.5 o/u: 60
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2

Middle Tennessee (1-0) at North Carolina (1-0) Sept. 7, 12:30, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: North Carolina went big-game hunting on the opening night of the 2013 season, but came up short in a 27-10 loss to South Carolina. The loss provided a measuring stick for head coach Larry Fedora, who can now take the necessary measures to right the wrongs and point the Tar Heels in the direction of ACC Coastal Division contention. Next up for Carolina is Middle Tennessee, the first time these programs have ever met. The Blue Raiders kicked off their 99th season in operation by jetting past Western Carolina, 45-24. The newest member of Conference USA has two more games before league play begins.
Why Middle Tennessee Might Win: Opponents can beat North Carolina up the middle this year, the result of losing DT Sylvester Williams and LB Kevin Reddick to the NFL. The Blue Raiders will test the soft underbelly of the Heels with a deep collection of running backs. Sophomore Jordan Parker is a rising star in Murfreesboro, kicking off his second year with 156 yards and a score on 22 carries.
Why North Carolina Might Win: Middle Tennessee had a few too many defensive lapses against Western Carolina. Things are about to get a whole lot tougher against North Carolina. The Heels boast a terrific offense, one that was muted in Columbia. Against a much weaker opponent, though, they’ll showcase all of their weapons. Bryn Renner is a polished passer, with access to terrific weapons, such as WR Quinshad Davis, speedy back Romar Morris and power runner A.J. Blue.
Who To Watch Out For: The quarterback duel between Renner and Logan Kilgore was going to be a good one, but the latter might be scratched with an injured shoulder. Redshirt freshman Austin Grammer has been taking first-team snaps in practice.

- The Blue Raiders O-line will need to get a consistent hat on Carolina DE Kareem Martin and ‘Bandit’ Norkeithus Otis. Otis was active in the opener, and he looks to be a great fit for the hybrid pass-rushing role.
What Will Happen: The dynamic of this matchup changed when Kilgore injured his shoulder in the opener. Without the senior calling out signals, the Blue Raiders could be rudderless on offense. Carolina, on the other hand, is set to soar now that the Gamecocks aren’t on the other sideline. Pencil in prolific days for Renner and Davis, with a couple of long sprints from Morris.
Prediction: North Carolina 40 … Middle Tennessee 14
Line: North Carolina -21.5 o/u: 67
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2

Southern Miss (0-1) at Nebraska (1-0) Sept. 7, 6:00, Big Ten Network

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Nebraska won a game over the weekend, yet squandered some traction at the same time. The Huskers probably lost some of their hearing as well after getting yelled at in practice by Bo Pelini for yielding 602 yards in a 37-34 victory over Wyoming. The defensive breakdowns resurfaced some of the problems that plagued the program at times during last season’s 10-win campaign. Nebraska will attempt to right the wrongs beginning with this week’s visit from Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles suffered their 13th straight loss on Saturday, blowing a fourth-quarter lead to Texas State in the debut of head coach Todd Monken in Hattiesburg.
Why Southern Miss Might Win: The Huskers have already shown that they’re vulnerable on defense, especially when the other guys take to the air. Does Southern Miss have an equivalent to Wyoming’s Brett Smith? No, but that won’t stop the Golden Eagles from instructing QB Allan Bridgford to test the Nebraska corners, with help from the receiving tandem of Rickey Bradley and Tyre’oune Holmes.
Why Nebraska Might Win: The D is a worry, so it’s a good thing that the Huskers can outgun opponents if needed. Nebraska boasts one of the Big Ten’s most potent offenses, blending a prolific ground game with the improving passing of Taylor Martinez. Overshadowed in the close call with Wyoming was the fact that the Huskers went for 375 yards on the ground, including 114 from Ameer Abdullah and 105 from Imani Cross. A subpar Southern Miss defense is not going to contain the diverse Nebraska attack.
Who To Watch Out For: The Huskers better build their defensive confidence now. Next up is a visit from UCLA and QB Brett Hundley, who’s a rung or two better than Smith.

- Tuck away the name of Nebraska LB Zaire Anderson. He played sparingly in Week 1, but he’s the type of playmaker who’ll warrant more snaps at weakside, this Saturday and beyond.

- The combination of Abdullah and the 225-pound Cross is going to frustrate defenses all year long. It’ll be an upset if Southern Miss can keep the Huskers below 300 yards rushing.
What Will Happen: There are legitimate worries about the Nebraska D, but they won’t impact the outcome of this week’s game. The Huskers are fortunate to have one more tune-up before the Bruins head to Lincoln. Big Red will control the tempo with its power running game, while having far fewer problems with the sputtering Southern Miss offense.
Prediction: Nebraska 47 … Southern Miss 14
Line: Nebraska -28.5 o/u: 60
Florida Atlantic (0-1) at East Carolina (1-0) Sept. 5, 7:30, Fox Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Florida Atlantic can use its first game as a Conference USA member as a measuring stick, facing East Division favorite East Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Thursday night. The Owls’ 2013 season began unceremoniously with 34-6 loss to Miami in a game that the staff hopes can be used as a building block for the balance of the season. The Pirates were tested by Old Dominion on Saturday, needing all four quarters to finally put away the Monarchs, 52-38. ECU will need to play better on defense to earn the league’s hardware in December.
Why Florida Atlantic Might Win: Week 1 proved that the East Carolina defense is going to keep a lot of opponents in games this fall. With the Pirates being especially vulnerable through the air, the Owls will want to feed their two best pass-catchers, WR William Dukes and TE Nexon Dorvilus. ECU won’t present the same challenges to Florida Atlantic that Miami did on Friday.
Why East Carolina Might Win: Save for maybe Marshall, no one in Conference USA houses a more explosive offense than the Pirates. QB Shane Carden was terrific in the Old Dominion win, connecting on 46-of-54 passes for 447 yards, five touchdowns and no picks. He spread the ball around, but WR Justin Hardy was his typically unstoppable self with 16 grabs for 191 yards.
Who To Watch Out For: If Florida Atlantic assigns too many resources to stopping Carden, RB Vintavious Cooper will make the Owls pay dearly. While the back had only 14 touches last week, he’s more than capable of hurting defenses if needed.

- FAU has its own underrated back, 210-pound former walk-on Jonathan Wallace, who’ll be needed to complement the passing game.

- The best defense for the East Carolina secondary is an improved pass rush. Weakside LB Derrell Johnson is one of those Pirates most likely to keep Florida Atlantic’s quarterbacks from setting their feet.
What Will Happen: Florida Atlantic doesn’t have its own version of Old Dominion QB Taylor Heinicke to keep pace with Carden on Thursday night. The Pirates will roll unimpeded through the Owls’ defense, building an insurmountable lead before halftime.
Prediction: East Carolina 42 … Florida Atlantic 20
Line: East Carolina -20.5 o/u: 54
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 1.5

UCF (1-0) at Florida International (0-1) Sept. 6, 8:00, CBS Sports Network

Why You Should Give A Hoot: UCF and Florida International renew their budding Sunshine State rivalry, which has seen the programs split the last two meetings. The Golden Panthers joined Conference USA just as the Knights were hightailing it to the American, making this a non-conference game for both. While UCF pummeled Akron, 38-7, in Week 1, FIU was being outclassed by Maryland on the road, 43-10.
Why UCF Might Win: The Golden Panthers had no answers for Terps QB C.J. Brown. They’ll struggle just as much to contain the balanced Knights offense led by QB Blake Bortles, RB Storm Johnson and a bevy of capable receivers. In a year when FIU’s top weapon, RB Kedrick Rhodes, was dismissed, it won’t have the pop to hang with UCF.
Why Florida International Might Win: The Panthers won’t stop the Knights cold, but they do possess the speed and range to create game-changing stops and turnovers. CB Sam Miller, LB Mike Wakefield and tackles Isame Faciane and Greg Hickman, in particular, are playmakers capable of sparking the home crowd.
Who To Watch Out For: Veteran Jake Medlock had all kinds of problems, eventually getting replaced by E.J. Hilliard. Life for the FIU quarterbacks gets no easier this week against the speed of UCF.

- Bortles is a big-time hurler, the kind that generates interest from NFL scouts. He’ll spread the ball around to Breshad Perriman, J.J. Worton and Rannell Hall.

- Seven new starters is seemingly no problem for the UCF D. LB Terrance Plummer was everywhere last Thursday, and DE Thomas Niles lived in the backfield.
What Will Happen: Facing rivals on the road is always dicey, but UCF will survive on the strength of its superior talent. Florida International is inept on offense, and its defense will come up short in the attempt to trip up Bortles and Johnson. The Knights will get to 2-0 without a lot of resistance.
Prediction: UCF 44 … Florida International 13
Line: UCF -24.5 o/u: 53
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) - 1.5

Oklahoma State (1-0) at UTSA (1-0) Sept. 7, 12:00, Fox Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Oklahoma State opened with a very impressive win over the weekend. Relatively speaking, so, too, did UTSA for that matter. The Cowboys roughed up Mississippi State in Houston, 21-3, showcasing more defense and general physicality than the program is accustomed. The win also provided a boost to the Big 12, which struggled as a whole in Week 1. UTSA is thrilled to be hosting Mike Gundy’s team in the Alamodome, a treat for the locals that usually only happens during the bowl season. The up-and-coming Roadrunners began life as a Conference USA member by rallying to beat New Mexico in Albuquerque last weekend.
Why Oklahoma State Might Win: The Cowboys can score. They always will under Gundy. It turns out they can play some defense, too. Oklahoma State kept Mississippi State out of the end zone on Saturday, a major achievement for coordinator Glenn Spencer’s D. The undersized UTSA O-line will have an especially rugged time of containing DT Calvin Barnett, DE Tyler Johnson and linebackers Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey.
Why UTSA Might Win: The Roadrunners have two key components needed to author a shocking, put-us-on-the-map victory, a veteran coach and a veteran quarterback. UTSA is led by Larry Coker, who won a national championship and spent a number of years coaching in Stillwater. Coker’s quarterback is gutsy senior Eric Soza. Soza led his team back from a 13-0 deficit last week, throwing two touchdown passes, while leading the team in rushing.
Who To Watch Out For: The trip to San Antonio gives Oklahoma State a chance to get its offense back on track. The Cowboys were uncharacteristically inept at reaching the end zone at Reliant Stadium.

- Gundy finally has his starting quarterback, sophomore J.W. Walsh, who’s at his most dangerous when he leaves the pocket and starts improvising.

- Oklahoma State’s top priority this week will be to get the passing game humming. Walsh and Clint Chelf were ineffective at maximizing the talents of receivers Josh Stewart, Tracy Moore and Charlie Moore.
What Will Happen: UTSA is weaving a very interesting story in San Antonio, but this is a step up in competition that’s well beyond the Roadrunners’ ability. Oklahoma State will combine more pop and execution on offense with that improved defense to advertise its versatility and might to future recruits from this region of Texas.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 48 … UTSA 13
Line: Oklahoma State -26.5 o/u: 60
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2

Middle Tennessee (1-0) at North Carolina (1-0) Sept. 7, 12:30, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: North Carolina went big-game hunting on the opening night of the 2013 season, but came up short in a 27-10 loss to South Carolina. The loss provided a measuring stick for head coach Larry Fedora, who can now take the necessary measures to right the wrongs and point the Tar Heels in the direction of ACC Coastal Division contention. Next up for Carolina is Middle Tennessee, the first time these programs have ever met. The Blue Raiders kicked off their 99th season in operation by jetting past Western Carolina, 45-24. The newest member of Conference USA has two more games before league play begins.
Why Middle Tennessee Might Win: Opponents can beat North Carolina up the middle this year, the result of losing DT Sylvester Williams and LB Kevin Reddick to the NFL. The Blue Raiders will test the soft underbelly of the Heels with a deep collection of running backs. Sophomore Jordan Parker is a rising star in Murfreesboro, kicking off his second year with 156 yards and a score on 22 carries.
Why North Carolina Might Win: Middle Tennessee had a few too many defensive lapses against Western Carolina. Things are about to get a whole lot tougher against North Carolina. The Heels boast a terrific offense, one that was muted in Columbia. Against a much weaker opponent, though, they’ll showcase all of their weapons. Bryn Renner is a polished passer, with access to terrific weapons, such as WR Quinshad Davis, speedy back Romar Morris and power runner A.J. Blue.
Who To Watch Out For: The quarterback duel between Renner and Logan Kilgore was going to be a good one, but the latter might be scratched with an injured shoulder. Redshirt freshman Austin Grammer has been taking first-team snaps in practice.

- The Blue Raiders O-line will need to get a consistent hat on Carolina DE Kareem Martin and ‘Bandit’ Norkeithus Otis. Otis was active in the opener, and he looks to be a great fit for the hybrid pass-rushing role.
What Will Happen: The dynamic of this matchup changed when Kilgore injured his shoulder in the opener. Without the senior calling out signals, the Blue Raiders could be rudderless on offense. Carolina, on the other hand, is set to soar now that the Gamecocks aren’t on the other sideline. Pencil in prolific days for Renner and Davis, with a couple of long sprints from Morris.
Prediction: North Carolina 40 … Middle Tennessee 14
Line: North Carolina -21.5 o/u: 67
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2

Southern Miss (0-1) at Nebraska (1-0) Sept. 7, 6:00, Big Ten Network

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Nebraska won a game over the weekend, yet squandered some traction at the same time. The Huskers probably lost some of their hearing as well after getting yelled at in practice by Bo Pelini for yielding 602 yards in a 37-34 victory over Wyoming. The defensive breakdowns resurfaced some of the problems that plagued the program at times during last season’s 10-win campaign. Nebraska will attempt to right the wrongs beginning with this week’s visit from Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles suffered their 13th straight loss on Saturday, blowing a fourth-quarter lead to Texas State in the debut of head coach Todd Monken in Hattiesburg.
Why Southern Miss Might Win: The Huskers have already shown that they’re vulnerable on defense, especially when the other guys take to the air. Does Southern Miss have an equivalent to Wyoming’s Brett Smith? No, but that won’t stop the Golden Eagles from instructing QB Allan Bridgford to test the Nebraska corners, with help from the receiving tandem of Rickey Bradley and Tyre’oune Holmes.
Why Nebraska Might Win: The D is a worry, so it’s a good thing that the Huskers can outgun opponents if needed. Nebraska boasts one of the Big Ten’s most potent offenses, blending a prolific ground game with the improving passing of Taylor Martinez. Overshadowed in the close call with Wyoming was the fact that the Huskers went for 375 yards on the ground, including 114 from Ameer Abdullah and 105 from Imani Cross. A subpar Southern Miss defense is not going to contain the diverse Nebraska attack.
Who To Watch Out For: The Huskers better build their defensive confidence now. Next up is a visit from UCLA and QB Brett Hundley, who’s a rung or two better than Smith.

- Tuck away the name of Nebraska LB Zaire Anderson. He played sparingly in Week 1, but he’s the type of playmaker who’ll warrant more snaps at weakside, this Saturday and beyond.

- The combination of Abdullah and the 225-pound Cross is going to frustrate defenses all year long. It’ll be an upset if Southern Miss can keep the Huskers below 300 yards rushing.
What Will Happen: There are legitimate worries about the Nebraska D, but they won’t impact the outcome of this week’s game. The Huskers are fortunate to have one more tune-up before the Bruins head to Lincoln. Big Red will control the tempo with its power running game, while having far fewer problems with the sputtering Southern Miss offense.
Prediction: Nebraska 47 … Southern Miss 14
Line: Nebraska -28.5 o/u: 60