Conference USA 2007 Spring Games Wrapup
Posted May 2, 2007

Quick looks at what happened in all the Conference USA spring games

By John Harris
2007 Preseason Lookaheads - Conference USA

East Carolina – In the annual spring game in Greenville, ECU beat the Pirates 20-13 on a 77 yard throw from quarterback Rob Kass to receiver Jamar Bryant.  Kass completed six of his 11 throws for ECU and two touchdowns, including the aforementioned throw to Bryant.  Running back Chris Johnson ran for 93 yards on 20 carries for victorious ECU.

– The Kevin Kolb era ended in December after four tremendous seasons; so many of those in attendance at the Red and White spring game focused on starting quarterback candidates Blake Joseph and Case Keenum.  Joseph was more accurate, completing 16 of 23 for 148 yards, while Keenum completed only four throws.  However, two of those throws from Keenum went for scores – a 44 yard toss to running back Chris Gilbert and a 60 yarder to receiver Donnie Avery.

Marshall – After a pick-six by White defensive back Chuck Roberts, the Green team registered 43 unanswered points to win the annual Green-White spring game 43-6.  The offensive star for the victorious White team was tight end Cody Slate, who had six catches for 157 yards and a touchdown.  Quarterback Bernard Morris bounced back from that initial pick and completed 11 of 19 for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

Memphis – Defense early, offense late.  The annual Blue and Gray spring game was the best of both worlds.  Defensive MVP Greg Terrell had two sacks and three tackles for a loss as his defense took control of the game early, but the offense, led by quarterback Martin Hankins and receiver Carlos Singleton, scored three times late in the game.  Singleton caught two touchdown passes on two of those late touchdown drives.

Rice – As head coach David Bailiff made his debut in the annual Blue and Gray spring game, the Gray/defense made its presence known late in the game, coming up with three key sacks to beat the Blue/offense 26-18.  The offense was led by a healthy Chase Clement who completed 17 of 27 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown.

SMU – The Red squad put up 31 first half points in a 31-7 victory over the Blue in the annual Red-Blue scrimmage in Dallas.  Quarterbacks Justin Willis and Corey Slater threw for four touchdowns to lead the Red, while wide receiver Zach Zimmerman was on the receiving end of two of those touchdown throws.  Defenders Adrian Dizer and Anthony Sowe had two sacks apiece to lead the defensive effort.

Tulane – The Bob Toledo era in New Orleans got off to a solid start with the final spring scrimmage at the school’s on-campus facility.  Running back Ade Tuyo provided a boost to the offense rushing for 9.0 yards per carry and the only touchdown of the day – a 44 yard highlight reel jaunt.  The defense had its moments as well, registering five sacks and a blocked field goal.

Tulsa – New head coach Todd Graham may have once been Tulsa’s defensive coordinator, but it was the offense that showed off in the annual spring game.  Led by All-CUSA candidate Paul Smith, who threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns, the offense dominated the defense 88-35, scoring seven touchdowns and gaining 635 total yards in the process.

UTEP – In a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated, the White hammered the Blue 60-0 in the annual Blue-White spring game.  The White was led by quarterback Trevor Vittatoe, who threw two touchdowns against the Blue defense in his bid to replace departed quarterback Jordan Palmer.  Running back Marcus Thomas led the way on the ground for the White, picking up 69 yards and two touchdowns.

UAB – The Blazers were able to stay dry during their spring game, and the game stayed competitive as a result.  The number one offense/number two defense beat the number two offense/number one defense 22-16 in a game that featured the on-going starting quarterback duel between Joseph Webb and Sam Hunt.  The results were mixed at game’s end – Webb completed less than 50% of his throws, while Hunt threw three picks.

– In the final scrimmage of the 2007 spring, the Knights’ defense put on a show for the fans in attendance.  The defense pounced on four offensive turnovers and sacked Knight quarterbacks three times, as the offense struggled holding on to the ball.  Quarterback Kyle Israel completed 17 of his 34 throws for 113 yards, a touchdown and a pick.


Related Stories
Safety: A Strength Of The Defense In 2007
 -by  May 1, 2007
Pirates in Top Four for One of NC's Best DB's
 -by  May 3, 2007
Corner Situation Looks Better Than Thought
 -by  May 3, 2007