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2014 Conference USA Roundup: Week 2

Sept. 6 Texas Tech 30, at UTEP 26 
And You Care Because … Texas Tech seemed to be able to get a little breathing room in the third quarter on Bradley Marquez’s second of three touchdown grabs of the game, but UTEP kept pushing with Jeremiah Laufasa running for a 24-yard score and Aaron Jones coming up with his second touchdown run of the game scoring from nine yards out with just over five minutes to play for a 26-23 Miner lead. Davis Webb led the Red Raiders 75 yards in seven plays with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Marquez with 2:32 to play to finally take the lead for good. 
What Else? Texas Tech QB Davis Webb only completed 17-of-31 passes for 278 yards and three scores. Bradley Marquez caught three passes for 33 yards and three scores. 
– Texas Tech RB Justin Stockton ran eight passes for 135 yards and a 75-yard touchdown. 
– UTEP controlled the clock and the game holding the ball for 39 minutes to Texas Tech’s 21. 
– UTEP RB Aaron Jones ran 23 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns. 
Game Rating: A 

Sept. 6 at NC State 46, Old Dominion 34 
And You Care Because … Jacoby Brissett threw two touchdown passes and Shadrach Thornton ran for three touchdowns including a 23-yarder to put the game away late in the fourth as NC State had to fight to get by. It was a nip and tuck game with each team having an answer for the other until the Wolfpack took control with a Stephen Louis 16-yard touchdown catch late in the third and a ten-yard scoring dash from Matt Dayes early in the fourth, but ODU wouldn’t go away with Taylor Heinicke throwing his second touchdown pass of the day, finding Antonio Vaughan for a nine-yard score with just under six minutes to go. NC State answered going 37 yards in five plays with Thornton finally putting the nail in the coffin. 
What Else? NC State QB Jacoby Brissett completed 21-of-29 passes for 253 yards and two scores, and ran seven times for 45 yards. 
– ODU QB Taylor Heinicke completed 35-of-49 passes for 274 yards and two scores with a pick, and Ray Lawry ran 14 times for 71 yards and three scores. 
– NC State RB Shadrach Thornton ran 14 times for 86 yards and three touchdowns, and Matt Dayes added 13 carries for 79 yards and a score. 
– Old Dominion gained 504 yards, NC State 495. 
Game Rating: A- 

Sept. 4 at Arizona 26, UTSA 23 
And You Care Because … Arizona survived a battle with ten third quarter points on field goals from 44 and 28 yards out by Casey Skowron, and had to hold on in the final minutes. UTSA took a 16-14 lead in the first half on a safety, but Arizona scored 13 straight points for a ten-point lead. The Roadrunners came back with a three-yard David Glasco II touchdown run midway through the fourth, but the Wildcat held on. 
What Else? The two teams kept stalling in key moments. They combined to convert 7-of-27 third down chances. 
– UTSA was held to 121 yards rushing on 39 carries with two scores, while Arizona’s Nick Wilson ran 30 times for 174 yards and a touchdown. 
– Arizona PK Casey Skowron hit four field goals from 38, 23, 44 and 28 yards out. 
– Arizona QB Anu Solomon completed 17-of-32 passes for 231 yards and a score, hitting Cayleb Jones for a 85-yard score on the team’s first play from scrimmage.
Game Rating: B 

Sept. 6 at Mississippi State 47, UAB 34 
And You Care Because … It wasn’t pretty, but there was lots and lots of offense with UAB coming up with 548 yards and Mississippi State 516, but a Bulldog 21-point run help take the game over in the third quarter. UAB wouldn’t go away, with Josh Magee catching an 81-yard touchdown pass and Quincy Perdue coming up with a 75-yard scoring play. 
What Else? MSU’s Dak Prescott completed 12-of-25 passes for 211 yards and four scores, and ran 18 times for 111 yards and a score. Josh Robinson added 20 carries for 124 yards and a score. 
– UAB quarterbacks completed just 16-of-34 passes, but they went for 435 yards and three scores with a pick. 
– UAB’s Jamarcus Nelson caught five passes for 144 yards and a score, and Josh Magee caught two passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. 
– Mississippi State had major problems in the secondary and with poor tackling, and the kicking game was an issue with two missed extra points. 
Game Rating: B 

Sept. 6 at Illinois 42, WKU 34 
And You Care Because … Illinois scored 21 straight points in the fourth quarter helped by a 62-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hardee followed up by a 77-yard pick six from Taylor Barton, and closed out with a one-yard Donovonn Young scoring play. WKU held 17-7 lead and took a 27-21 lead into the fourth quarter highlighted by a 95-yard fumble return for a score from Wonderful Terry in the third quarter, but the offense couldn’t mount a late rally to answer. 
What Else? In a battle of quarterbacks, Illinois’ Wes Lunt completed 35-of-50 passes for 456 yards and three touchdowns with a pick, while WKU’s Brandon Doughty completed 28-of-48 passes for 297 yards and two scores with a pick. 
– WKU LB Nick Holt led all tacklers with 12 stops and two tackles for loss. 
– The Illinois running game was stuffed. The offense fell on the passing of Lunt, but there wasn’t much to help him out with just 64 yards on 35 carries. 
– Illinois controlled the game in the second half, holding on to the ball for 21:50 
Game Rating: B 

Sept. 6 at Minnesota 35, Middle Tennessee 24 
And You Care Because … Minnesota jumped out to a 28-0 first half lead on short touchdown runs from Donnell Kirkwood and David Cobb, a 27-yard Maxx Williams scoring grab, and a pick six from Jalen Myrick, but Middle Tennessee made it interesting with a 17-pount third quarter helped by Reggie Whatley touchdown runs from 44 and 12 yards out, but a 48-yard Cobb scoring dash put the game away. 
What Else? Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner completed 5-of-11 passes for 67 yards and a score with a pick, and he ran five times for 32 yards, but he suffered a slight knee injury late in the game. 
– David Cobb ran 29 times for 220 yards and two scores, but the Gophers had a hard time getting the ground game going in the second half to grind out the game – they didn’t put it away easily enough. 
– Middle Tennessee’s offense perked up. Austin Grammer only completed 22-of-38 passes, but he threw for 255 yards with a score and three picks. 
– Minnesota was outgained 445 yards to 351. 
Game Rating: C 

Sept. 6 Louisiana Tech 48, at Louisiana-Lafayette 20 
And You Care Because … Kenneth Dixon opened up the scoring with a bang running for a 99-yard score in the first quarter and added a 32-yard touchdown run in the fourth on the way to a 41-7 Bulldog lead. Cody Sokol threw two touchdown passes and Xavier Woods added a 46-yard interception return for a score – ULL couldn’t keep up. The Ragin’ Cajuns tuned the ball over three times, but they moved the ball a bit with quarterbacks Terrance Broadway and Brooks Haack combining to complete 29-of-44 passes for 237 yards and two scores with a pick. Dixon ran 12 times for 184 yards and two scores for Tech, and Cody Sokol completed 22-of-33 passes for 295 yards and two scores. 
Game Rating: C- 

Sept. 6 at Alabama 41, Florida Atlantic 0 
And You Care Because … Alabama did whatever it wanted, getting up 21-0 in the first quarter on two Blake Sims touchdown passes and a seven-yard scoring run. Jake Coker came in and connected with Jalston Fowler for a three-yard touchdown late in the first half, and Adam Griffith nailed two field goals. The game was called halfway through the fourth due to lightning. 
What Else? The quarterback battle for Alabama might have been settled with Blake Sims completed 11-of-13 passes for 214 yards and two scores, and running three times for 14 yards and a score. Jacob Coker wasn’t bad, but completing 15-of-24 passes for 292 yards and a score, but Sims was better. 
– Amari Cooper was unstoppable, catching 13 passes for 189 yards and a score. Healthy, compared to early last year, he’s looking unstoppable. 
– FAU wasn’t able to do anything to keep the chains moving, converting on just two of ten third down chances and getting stuffed for 145 yards of total offense. 
– Owl LB Andrae Kirk had a nice day making seven tackles and a sack, but for the most part, FAU wasn’t able to provide any pressure. 
Game Rating: D 

Sept. 6 at Florida International 34, Wagner 3 
And You Care Because … True freshman quarterback Alex McGough threw two touchdown passes, and E.J. Hilliard completed 14-of-15 throws for 169 yards as FIU rolled without a problem against a punchless Wagner team. FIU turned it over three times, but the defense only allowed a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter and was never threatened. Alex Gardner ran 15 times for 138 yards for the Golden Panthers. 
Game Rating: D 

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