Keeping Score

C-USA Top 5: League again appears top heavy

Southern Miss free safety D'nerius Antoine can't believe he dropped a pick six against Savannah State Saturday in Hattiesburg.
Southern Miss free safety D'nerius Antoine can't believe he dropped a pick six against Savannah State Saturday in Hattiesburg. ttisbell@sunherald.com

There are only two remaining undefeated teams in Conference USA in week three and one of them has played one game.

This is not unusual for C-USA considering how tough the non-conference schedules are for most teams. Again, we congratulate Marshall for joining in on the fun this season by scheduling Louisville and Pittsburgh.

Southern Miss is 2-0 while Marshall is 1-0 after stomping FCS Morgan State 62-0 in the season opener on Saturday.

At the moment, it appears as if there are four quality teams in C-USA – Southern Miss, Western Kentucky, Marshall and Louisiana Tech.

The No. 5 team is very much up in the air, but Middle Tennessee did itself no favors by playing badly in a 47-24 loss at Vanderbilt on Saturday. If the Blue Raiders give up 47 points to Vandy, it's hard to see them standing up against some of the better offenses in C-USA.

To the Top 5:

1. Southern Miss (2-0): The Golden Eagles essentially had a bye week with a 56-0 win over Savannah State. It's about to get much tougher this Saturday with Troy coming to town for what appears to be a nice early season test for USM. As the lone C-USA team with two wins, the Eagles deserve to hold this spot for the second consecutive week.

2. Western Kentucky (1-1): There's no shame in losing 38-10 at Alabama and that's what happened to the Hilltoppers last week. This week, WKU travels to Miami-Ohio. On Sept. 24, WKU gets its shot at Vanderbilt in Bowling Green. Quarterback Mike White had to leave last week's game against Alabama, but head coach Jeff Brohm sounds confident he will play this week.

3. Marshall (1-0): The Thundering Herd have had some issues in recent years against MAC competition and a home game against Akron awaits on Saturday. We'll find out a great deal about Marshall over the next three weeks with Louisville coming to Huntington on Sept. 24 and a road game set for Oct. 1 at Pittsburgh.

4. Louisiana Tech (1-1): The Bulldogs travel to Texas Tech on Saturday, providing one of C-USA's best remaining opportunities at an upset over a Power 5 program. Texas Tech can score in bunches, but its defense can also give up points in bunches. The edge goes to the Red Raiders, but we'll see if Ryan Higgins can put up big numbers on the road.

5. UTEP (1-1): The Miners hold onto this spot, but not by much. UTEP's 41-7 loss at Texas last week isn't much to be proud of. UTEP hosts Army Saturday before a big West Division bout against Southern Miss on Sept. 24 in El Paso.

C-USA schedule

Friday's games

Baylor at Rice, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Arizona State at UTSA, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Saturday's games

MTSU at Bowling Breen, 11 ap.m. (ESPN3)

Akron at Marshall, 11 a.m. (ASN)

FAU at Kansas State, 1:30 p.m. (FSN)

WKU at Miami-Ohio, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

FIU at Massachusetts, 2:30 p.m. (ASN)

Eastern Michigan at Charlotte, 5 p.m.

Old Dominion at North Carolina State, 5 p.m. (ESPN3)

Louisiana Tech at Texas Tech, 6 p.m. (FSN)

Troy at Southern Miss, 6 p.m. (beIN SPORTS)

Army at UTEP, 6 p.m.

North Texas at Florida, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

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