Conference USA Media Days 2013: Schedule, Live Stream, TV Info and Expectations
The 2013 Conference USA Media Days will kick off on Wednesday in Irving, Texas.
Tulsa captured the West Division last season, going 11-3 (7-1 C-USA). That included a seven-game winning streak and a C-USA title.
Meanwhile, Central Florida grabbed the East Division, going 10-4 (7-1 C-USA). The Knights lost to the Golden Hurricane in overtime in the C-USA championship game, 33-27.
Here's a look at the schedule for the 2013 C-USA Media Days, complete with a look at the most noteworthy teams this offseason.
Where: Irving, Texas
When: Wednesday, July 24
Live Stream: ConferenceUSA.com, 10-11:30 CT (East Division), 1-2:15 CT (West Division)
East Carolina was picked by C-USA coaches to win the East Division in 2013-14, receiving 11 of 14 first-place votes, per KTUL.com.
The Pirates—who went 8-5 last season (7-1 C-USA)— are one of the most experienced teams in the nation this season, returning eight starters on offense and eight starters on defense.
They should continue to have an explosive offense after averaging 31.5 points per game last season (tied for 44th in the country), given quarterback Shane Carden, running back Vintavious Cooper and receiver Justin Hardy all return.
Of course, that defense will have to be much better to contend for the C-USA title this season. The Pirates allowed 31.6 points per game last season, 89th in the nation.
While East Carolina lost just four starters from last season, Rice lost only three.
That figures to bode well for the Owls, who made a remarkable turnaround in the second half of last season, winning six of their last seven games (with the sole loss being a four-point defeat to eventual C-USA champion Tulsa).
Rice's offense is imposing. The Owls averaged 31.8 points per contest last season, backed by dual-threat quarterback Taylor McHargue, receiver Jordan Taylor, and running backs Charles Ross and Turner Petersen.
On the other hand, a defense that ceded 30 points per game in 2012 will have to improve to make a legitimate run at the conference title.
Will Tulsa repeat as C-USA champions in 2013-14?
Tulsa sports five preseason C-USA award winners: linebacker Shawn Jackson, defensive back Marco Nelson, running back/punt returner Trey Watts, and offensive linemen Jake Alexander and Stetson Burnett.
Watts, named on the watch list for the 2013 Doak Walker Award (presented to the nation's top running back), rushed for over 1,000 yards and three touchdowns last season, while also returning a punt for a touchdown. He's part of an offense that averaged 34.7 points per game last season (30th in the nation).
Jackson posted 87 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, five pass deflections, two QB hurries and three forced fumbles last season.
Nelson registered 80 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble.
The Golden Hurricane allowed 23.6 points per game last season.
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