Nov 29, 2008
East Carolina finally has an opponent for next Saturday's Conference USA Football Championship Game.
With its 38-35 victory at Marshall Saturday afternoon, coupled with Houston's 56-42 loss at Rice, Tulsa has punched its ticket to the fourth annual league title game. The Golden Hurricane (10-2, 7-1), the West Division winner, will meet the East Division champion Pirates (8-4, 6-2) on Saturday, December 6 at H.A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa. ESPN2 will televise the championship game live, beginning at 12 noon EST.
The game features a pair of programs who both earned Top 25 poll positions earlier this year as East Carolina knocked off nationally-ranked Virginia Tech and West Virginia to begin the season while the Golden Hurricane ran off eight straight wins to open the 2008 campaign.
East Carolina and Tulsa both enter the game with a pair of two-game winning streaks. The Pirates have won five of their last six games, which includes a 53-21 decision over UTEP in their regular season finale Friday, while the Golden Hurricane have bounced back after road losses to Arkansas and Houston with victories over Tulane and Marshall.
Tulsa, which will represent the West Division for the third time in four years, has the upper hand in the series between the two teams, winning five of seven all-time matchups - including Conference USA meetings in 2005 (45-13) and 2006 (31-10).
The Golden Hurricane have one of the top offenses in college football this season, topping the 45-point mark in eight games - including three games with more than 60 points. On the other hand, East Carolina leads the league in scoring defense (20.5 ppg) and ranks second in total defense (329.4 ypg).