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State schools football preview capsules

UCF at Marshall, 4:30 (BHSN): The Knights (2-7, 1-4) are in last place in the C-USA East Division after last week's 17-6 loss to Southern Miss. The offense continues to struggle ranked last in Division I-A in total offense (234.33 yards per game), but QB Rob Calabrese had his third 100-yard passing game of the season (12-for-30, 141 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions). The defense has played well, ranked 49th in Division I-A in total defense (343 ypg). Marshall (4-5, 3-2) has lost four of its last five, including last week's 19-16 loss to East Carolina in overtime. Thundering Herd senior Darius Passmore is ranked 15th in I-A with 94.78 receiving yards per game.

Florida Atlantic vs. La.-Lafayette, 4: The Owls (4-5, 2-2) have won three straight and take on the Sun Belt frontrunning Ragin' Cajuns (5-4, 4-0). FAU is coming off a 46-13 win against North Texas, and despite strong recent play the Owls appear a long shot to win the conference. But a win today would help. FAU's offense is averaging 376.89 yards per game, and QB Rusty Smith has thrown for 2,043 yards, 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Louisiana-Lafayette has won four of its last five but is coming off a 37-24 loss to Texas El-Paso.

Bethune-Cookman vs. Howard, 4: The Wildcats (7-2, 4-2) are two games out of first in the MEAC entering today's game against last-place Howard. B-CU continues to pound defenses with a rushing attack ranked 11th in Division I-AA (221.56 yards per game). B-CU's defense also is strong limiting opponents to an average of 15.56 points per game (seventh in I-AA). The Bison have lost five straight.

Florida A&M vs. Hampton, 3: The Rattlers (7-3, 3-3 MEAC) have two big games in a row, starting today against the Pirates (5-4, 4-2) before next weekend's Florida Classic in Orlando. FAMU coach Joe Taylor faces his former team this week for the first time since departing last winter for Tallahassee. Hampton got off to a 5-1 start but has lost three straight. FAMU has won four of its last five, including last week's 45-7 win at N.C. A&T. ESPN's College GameDay will be on site to recognize football players from historically black colleges and universities.

Izzy Gould, Times staff writer

State schools football preview capsules 11/14/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 14, 2008 8:31pm]
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