2015 Conference USA Schedule Breakdown

 
EAST

Charlotte
Sept. 3 at Georgia State
Sept. 12 Presbyterian
Sept. 19 at Middle Tennessee
Sept. 26 Florida Atlantic
Oct. 3 Temple
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 at Old Dominion
Oct. 24 Southern Miss
Oct. 31 Marshall
Nov. 7 at FIU
Nov. 14 UTSA
Nov. 21 at Kentucky
Nov. 28 at Rice

Non-Conference Games at Georgia State, at Kentucky, Presbyterian, Temple

Games vs. the West at Rice, Southern Miss, UTSA
5 Keys to the Schedule
– The 49ers kick off their inaugural season as an FBS member with a trip to the Georgia Dome to face Georgia State in a game tentatively slated for Sept. 3.
– Charlotte’s first-ever Conference USA game takes place on Sept. 19, with a visit to Murfreesboro to play Middle Tennessee.
– The highlight of the non-conference schedule is a Nov. 21 trek into SEC country to take a crack at upsetting Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium.
– The 49ers will rack up the frequent flyer miles in November, remaining home just once, while playing road games in Florida, Kentucky and Texas.
– The closest thing to a sure-thing will be the Sept. 12 visit from Presbyterian, an FCS school that’s served as an FBS speed bag in recent years.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Old Dominion. In a game destined to evolve into an East Division rivalry, the Monarchs are a year ahead of the 49ers in the race to become FBS-ready.

Florida Atlantic
Sept. 5 at Tulsa
Sept. 12 Miami
Sept. 19 Buffalo
Sept. 26 at Charlotte
Oct. 3 OPEN DATE
Oct. 10 Rice
Oct. 17 Marshall
Oct. 24 at UTEP
Oct. 31 FIU
Nov. 7 at WKU
Nov. 14 Middle Tennessee
Nov. 21 at Florida
Nov. 28 at Old Dominion

Non-Conference Games Buffalo, at Florida, Miami, at Tulsa

Games vs. the West Rice, at UTEP

5 Keys to the Schedule
– For the first time in Florida Atlantic’s FBS history, the team will be playing six home games in a season.
– The Owls are facing eight teams that were bowl eligible in 2014, and no FCS opponents appear on the upcoming slate of games.
– The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a Nov. 21 trip to Gainesville to play Florida and a Week 2 visit from Miami, a rare opportunity to host a Power Five program.
– After travelling to Charlotte on Sept. 26, the Owls will be home for a month, with a bye week preceding back-to-back visits from Rice and Marshall.
– Florida Atlantic hosts the annual rivalry game with Florida International on Halloween, looking to avenge last year’s 38-10 defeat.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane will open the season at home and eager to kick off the start of the Philip Montgomery era with a victory.

FIU
Sept. 5 at UCF
Sept. 12 at Indiana
Sept. 19 NC Central
Sept. 26 at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 3 at UMass
Oct. 10 UTEP
Oct. 17 at Middle Tennessee
Oct. 24 Old Dominion
Oct. 31 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 7 Charlotte
Nov. 14 at Marshall
Nov. 21 WKU
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE

Non-Conference Games at Indiana, at Massachusetts, NC Central, at UCF

Games vs. the West at Louisiana Tech, UTEP
5 Keys to the Schedule
– The Panthers play only five home games, including just one through the first week of October.
– FIU is playing just one FCS opponent, N.C. Central, in a game sandwiched between road trips to UCF, Indiana, Louisiana Tech and UMass.
– One of the Panthers’ seven road trips will be to Boca Raton to face a rival, Florida Atlantic, hell bent on payback for last season’s blowout loss.
– The lone bye week on the schedule comes at the worst possible time, Nov. 28, a week after the final regular season game has been played.
– Both of this year’s West Division opponents, Louisiana Tech and UTEP, participated in bowl games last season.
– WATCH OUT FOR … UMass. The Minutemen made strides in Mark Whipple’s return to Amherst, and receiver Tajae Sharpe is back for another year in what should be a high-end offense.

Marshall
Sept. 5 Purdue
Sept. 12 at Ohio
Sept. 19 Norfolk State
Sept. 26 at Kent State
Oct. 3 Old Dominion
Oct. 10 Southern Miss
Oct. 17 at Florida Atlantic
Oct. 24 North Texas
Oct. 31 at Charlotte
Nov. 7 at Middle Tennessee
Nov. 14 FIU
Nov. 21 OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 at WKU

Non-Conference Games at Kent State, Norfolk State, at Ohio, Purdue

Games vs. the West North Texas, Southern Miss

5 Keys to the Schedule
– The Herd will host a Big Ten opponent, Purdue, for the first time ever in the type of marquee matchup that the 2014 squad would liked to have played.
– For the first time since 2009, Marshall will play a game on Nov. 14, the anniversary of the Southern Airways 932 plane crash that took the lives of all 75 aboard.
– Conference USA fans must wait until Nov. 28 to see the rematch with Western Kentucky, which ended the Herd’s perfect season on the exact same date last year.
– The Herd catches an in-conference scheduling break by drawing undermanned Southern Miss and North Texas from the West Division.
– The season’s first two road trips will be to the state of Ohio to meet familiar MAC programs, Ohio and Kent State.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Florida International. The Golden Panthers were vastly underrated on D last year, and many key players return from both sides of the ball.

Middle Tennessee
Sept. 5 Jackson State
Sept. 12 at Alabama
Sept. 19 Charlotte
Sept. 26 at Illinois
Oct. 3 Vanderbilt
Oct. 10 at WKU
Oct. 17 FIU
Oct. 24 at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 31 OPEN DATE
Nov. 7 Marshall
Nov. 14 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 21 North Texas
Nov. 28 at UTSA

Non-Conference Games at Alabama, at Illinois, Jackson State, Vanderbilt

Games vs. the West at Louisiana Tech, North Texas, at UTSA
5 Keys to the Schedule
– The Blue Raiders will alternate a home game with a road trip every week of the year, beginning with a visit from Jackson State on the season’s opening weekend.
– Middle Tennessee’s two road games in September will be to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama and Champaign to meet with Illinois.
– One of the league’s thornier schedules of 2015 also features both of last year’s Conference USA Championship Game participants, Louisiana Tech and Marshall, in back-to-back games.
– For the second year in a row, Middle Tennessee will not get a bye week until after its eighth game, the Oct. 24 trip to Louisiana Tech.
– The Blue Raiders’ two meetings with West Division opponents take place on the final two weekends against teams that finished below .500 in 2014, North Texas and UTSA.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Vanderbilt. Sure, it’s in Murfreesboro, and the ‘Dores were dreadful last year, but Derek Mason has shaken up his staff, intent to turn things around in 2015.

Old Dominion
Sept. 5 at Eastern Michigan
Sept. 12 Norfolk State
Sept. 19 NC State
Sept. 26 Appalachian State
Oct. 3 at Marshall
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 Charlotte
Oct. 24 at FIU
Oct. 31 WKU
Nov. 7 at UTSA
Nov. 14 UTEP
Nov. 21 at Southern Miss
Nov. 28 Florida Atlantic

Non-Conference Games Appalachian State, at Eastern Michigan, Norfolk State, NC State

Games vs. the West at Southern Miss, UTEP, at UTSA
5 Keys to the Schedule
– For the second year in a row, the Monarchs open their Conference USA schedule at the defending league champ, Oct. 3 in Huntington versus Marshall.
– The schedule is built for a fast start, opening at Eastern Michigan before playing three consecutive home games against Norfolk State, NC State and Appalachian State.
– A well-placed off week on Oct. 10 intersects the schedule, providing the Monarchs with a breather before resuming the second half of the slate.
– After nearly upsetting NC State last September, Old Dominion gets another crack at the Pack, who’ll become the first Power Five school to ever visit S.B. Ballard Stadium.
– An Oct. 17 visit from Charlotte, the newest member of Conference USA, could be the start of a compelling rivalry of Mid-Atlantic schools.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Appalachian State. The Mountaineers, which finished last season on a six-game winning streak, are bullish on 2015 with the returns of young QB Taylor Lamb and RB Marcus Cox.

WKU
Sept. 5 at Vanderbilt
Sept. 12 Louisiana Tech
Sept. 19 at Indiana
Sept. 26 Miami Univ.
Oct. 3 at Rice
Oct. 10 Middle Tennessee
Oct. 17 at North Texas
Oct. 24 at LSU
Oct. 31 at Old Dominion
Nov. 7 Florida Atlantic
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at FIU
Nov. 28 Marshall

Non-Conference Games at Indiana, at LSU, Miami Univ., at Vanderbilt

Games vs. the West Louisiana Tech, at North Texas, at Rice
5 Keys to the Schedule
– Western Kentucky plays seven games away from home, but its two most important league contests with Louisiana Tech and Marshall will take place On the Hill.
– The Hilltoppers’ hopes of being crowned the king of the Group of Five are aided by three road games at Power Five opponents, Vandy on opening day, Indiana and LSU.
– Leading up to the crucial season-ending visit from Marshall, Western Kentucky will be off on Nov. 14 and traveling to FIU on Nov. 21.
– Western Kentucky could be a little weary once October comes to a close, having wrapped the month with three straight road contests at North Texas, LSU and Old Dominion.
– Every game this season will be played on Saturday, which could impinge upon the program’s ability to showcase QB Brandon Doughty and one of the most prolific offenses in the FBS.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Florida International. Not only are the Panthers a feisty and improving bunch, but they’re also hosting in Miami the week before Western Kentucky’s must-see sequel with Marshall.

WEST

Louisiana Tech
Sept. 5 Southern
Sept. 12 at WKU
Sept. 19 at Kansas State
Sept. 26 FIU
Oct. 3 Louisiana
Oct. 10 at UTSA
Oct. 17 at Miss State
Oct. 24 Middle Tennessee
Oct. 31 at Rice
Nov. 7 North Texas
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at UTEP
Nov. 28 Southern Miss

Non-Conference Games at Kansas State, Louisiana, at Mississippi State, Southern

Games vs. the East FIU, Middle Tennessee, at WKU
5 Keys to the Schedule
– The Bulldogs will get two high-profile non-conference tests versus Kansas State and Mississippi State, the latter against former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
– The defending West Division champs drew two of the tougher East Division opponents in 2015 with a Sept. 12 trip to Western Kentucky and a Sept. 26 visit from Middle Tennessee.
– There will be no rematch of last year’s Conference USA Championship Game with Marshall … unless, of course, both schools capture their respective divisions for a second straight year.
– Louisiana Tech better use the opener with Southern as a tune-up, because trips to Western Kentucky and Kansas State loom in the Week 2 and Week 3 on-deck circle, respectively.
– The Bulldogs will play 10 games in a row before finally earning an off week on Nov. 14.
– WATCH OUT FOR … UTSA. Larry Coker’s Roadrunners are always well-coached, especially on D, and the home team has won each meeting between these two programs.

North Texas
Sept. 5 OPEN DATE
Sept. 12 at SMU
Sept. 19 Rice
Sept. 26 at Iowa
Oct. 3 at Southern Miss
Oct. 10 Portland State
Oct. 17 WKU
Oct. 24 at Marshall
Oct. 31 UTSA
Nov. 7 at Louisiana Tech
Nov. 14 at Tennessee
Nov. 21 at Middle Tennessee
Nov. 28 UTEP

Non-Conference Games at Iowa, Portland State, at SMU, at Tennessee

Games vs. the East at Middle Tennessee, at Marshall
5 Keys to the Schedule
– North Texas is one of the few teams that won’t kick off the new campaign on Sept. 5, and will not enjoy a bye week during the regular season.
– The schedule features just five games in Denton, as well as a wicked three-game November road swing to Louisiana Tech, Tennessee and Middle Tennessee.
– Along with the trip to Knoxville on Nov. 14, the Mean Green will also trek to Iowa City on Sept. 26 to play Iowa of the Big Ten.
– All three of this year’s East Division opponents, Marshall, Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee, figure to be in contention to win their half of the conference.
– Before having to play the Hilltoppers and the Herd in consecutive games, North Texas will host FCS Portland State in a much-needed home game on Oct. 10.
– WATCH OUT FOR … SMU. The matchup takes place in Dallas, the Mustangs will have a game under their belt and new coach Chad Morris is using this offseason to turn things around on the Hilltop.

Rice
Sept. 5 Wagner
Sept. 12 at Texas
Sept. 19 at North Texas
Sept. 26 at Baylor
Oct. 3 WKU
Oct. 10 at Florida Atlantic
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 Army
Oct. 31 Louisiana Tech
Nov. 7 at UTEP
Nov. 14 Southern Miss
Nov. 21 at UTSA
Nov. 28 Charlotte

Non-Conference Games Army, at Baylor, at Texas, Wagner

Games vs. the East Charlotte, at Florida Atlantic, WKU

5 Keys to the Schedule
– Rice will leave the Lone Star State just once all year, travelling to Boca Raton to play Florida Atlantic on Oct. 10.
– The Owls should be able to close the regular season strong, since their final three games are with opponents that were under .500 a year ago, Southern Miss, UTSA and Charlotte.
– For the first time since 2010, the Owls will play six home game, beginning with an opening day visit from FCS Wagner.
– Following the opener, Rice won’t return home for a month, enduring a wicked three-game stretch that includes trips to Texas, North Texas and Baylor.
– The two toughest conference games on the schedule, West rival Louisiana Tech and Western Kentucky, will be staged in Houston at Rice Stadium.
– WATCH OUT FOR … UTEP. The Miners turned the corner in 2014, a trend that is expected to continue around the big-play ability of RB Aaron Jones.

Southern Miss
Sept. 5 Miss State
Sept. 12 Austin Peay
Sept. 19 at Texas State
Sept. 26 at Nebraska
Oct. 3 North Texas
Oct. 10 at Marshall
Oct. 17 UTSA
Oct. 24 at Charlotte
Oct. 31 UTEP
Nov. 7 OPEN DATE
Nov. 14 at Rice
Nov. 21 Old Dominion
Nov. 28 at Louisiana Tech

Non-Conference Games Austin Peay, Mississippi State, at Nebraska, at Texas State

Games vs. the East at Charlotte, at Marshall, Old Dominion
5 Keys to the Schedule
– Southern Miss gets two high-visibility chances to make a national splash, an opening day visit from Mississippi State and a trip to Lincoln to play Nebraska three weeks later.
– In between the games with the Bulldogs and the Huskers, the Golden Eagles get a chance to spruce up their record with more manageable games with Austin Peay and Texas State.
– The Golden Eagles will lock horns with Old Dominion and Charlotte, Conference USA’s two newest members, for the first time in school history.
– The team could be gassed by Halloween, with its off week not arriving until a week later on Nov. 7.
– The three most challenging conference games of the year, Marshall, Rice and Louisiana Tech, will all take place outside of Hattiesburg.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Texas State. The Bobcats are an up-and-comer out of the Sun Belt, buoyed by QB Tyler Jones, RB Robert Lowe and an offense that averaged 34 points per game in 2014.

UTEP
Sept. 5 at Arkansas
Sept. 12 at Texas Tech
Sept. 19 at New Mexico State
Sept. 26 Incarnate Word
Oct. 3 UTSA
Oct. 10 at FIU
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 Florida Atlantic
Oct. 31 at Southern Miss
Nov. 7 Rice
Nov. 14 at Old Dominion
Nov. 21 Louisiana Tech
Nov. 28 at North Texas

Non-Conference Games at Arkansas, Incarnate Word, at New Mexico State, at Texas Tech

Games vs. the East Florida Atlantic, at FIU, at Old Dominion
5 Keys to the Schedule
– The Miners will be one of the last FBS teams to play a home game in 2015, kicking off the new year with consecutive road games versus Arkansas, Texas Tech and New Mexico State.
– When UTEP finally returns back to El Paso, it ought to feast on Incarnate Word, the lone FCS opponent on the schedule.
– Both of the program’s cross-over road games with the East Division will be long trips, to Miami and Norfolk, Va. to play Florida International and Old Dominion, respectively.
– The Miners have won six in a row over rival New Mexico State in the Battle of I-10, but extending the streak to seven will require a victory in Las Cruces on Sept. 19.
– Both of the team’s key West Division showdowns with Rice and Louisiana Tech are in El Paso and sandwiched between conference road trips.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Old Dominion. Not only will this be one of UTEP’s longest trips of 2015, but it also comes the week after the Rice game and the week before Louisiana Tech heads to the Sun Bowl.

UTSA
Sept. 3 at Arizona
Sept. 12 Kansas State
Sept. 19 at Oklahoma State
Sept. 26 Colorado State
Oct. 3 at UTEP
Oct. 10 Louisiana Tech
Oct. 17 at Southern Miss
Oct. 24 OPEN DATE
Oct. 31 at North Texas
Nov. 7 Old Dominion
Nov. 14 at Charlotte
Nov. 21 Rice
Nov. 28 Middle Tennessee

Non-Conference Games at Arizona, Colorado State, Kansas State, at Oklahoma State

Games vs. the East at Charlotte, Old Dominion
5 Keys to the Schedule
– As is often the case, the Roadrunners will begin league play battle-tested, having faced Arizona, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Colorado State in September.
– UTSA hosts Louisiana Tech on Oct. 10, and will not return to the Alamodome again until Nov. 7, when Old Dominion comes to town.
– The schedule is built for a Roadrunner rally in November, with three of the final four games being staged in San Antonio.
– Only three of this season’s opponents finished 2014 with a losing record, Southern Miss, North Texas and Charlotte.
– The Roadrunners will begin the Conference USA portion of the schedule with an Oct. 3 venture to West Texas to meet UTEP in the Sun Bowl.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Charlotte. By the time the Miners journey east to the Queen City, Brad Lambert’s 49ers should be a lot more comfortable in their maiden season in Conference USA.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
Charlotte at Georgia State
UTSA at Arizona

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
Florida Atlantic at Tulsa
FIU at UCF
Southern at Louisiana Tech
Purdue at Marshall
Jackson State at Middle Tennessee
Old Dominion at Eastern Michigan
Wagner at Rice
Mississippi State at Southern Miss
UTEP at Arkansas
WKU at Vanderbilt

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
Presbyterian at Charlotte
Miami at Florida Atlantic
FIU at Indiana
Louisiana Tech at WKU
Marshall at Ohio
Middle Tennessee at Alabama
North Texas at SMU
Norfolk State at Old Dominion
Rice at Texas
Austin Peay at Southern Miss
UTEP at Texas Tech
Kansas State at UTSA

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Charlotte at Middle Tennessee
Buffalo at Florida Atlantic
N.C. Central at FIU
Louisiana Tech at Kansas State
Norfolk State at Marshall
Rice at North Texas
NC State at Old Dominion
Southern Miss at Texas State
UTEP at New Mexico State
UTSA at Oklahoma State
WKU at Indiana

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Florida Atlantic at Charlotte
FIU at Louisiana Tech
Marshall at Kent State
Middle Tennessee at Illinois
North Texas at Iowa
Appalachian State at Old Dominion
Rice at Baylor
Southern Miss at Nebraska
Incarnate Word at UTEP
Colorado State at UTSA
Miami Univ. at WKU
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3
Temple at Charlotte
FIU at Massachusetts
Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana Tech
Old Dominion at Marshall
Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee
North Texas at Southern Miss
WKU at Rice
UTSA at UTEP

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10
Rice at Florida Atlantic
UTEP at FIU
Louisiana Tech at UTSA
Southern Miss at Marshall
Middle Tennessee at WKU
Portland State at North Texas

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17
Charlotte at Old Dominion
Marshall at Florida Atlantic
FIU at Middle Tennessee
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State
WKU at North Texas
UTSA at Southern Miss

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24
Southern Miss at Charlotte
Florida Atlantic at UTEP
Old Dominion at FIU
Middle Tennessee at Louisiana Tech
North Texas at Marshall
Army at Rice
WKU at LSU

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31
Marshall at Charlotte
FIU at Florida Atlantic
Louisiana Tech at Rice
UTSA at North Texas
WKU at Old Dominion
UTEP at Southern Miss

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7

Charlotte at FIU
Florida Atlantic at WKU
North Texas at Louisiana Tech
Marshall at Middle Tennessee
Old Dominion at UTSA
Rice at UTEP

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14
UTSA at Charlotte
Middle Tennessee at Florida Atlantic
FIU at Marshall
North Texas at Tennessee
UTEP at Old Dominion
Southern Miss at Rice

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Charlotte at Kentucky
Florida Atlantic at Florida
WKU at FIU
Louisiana Tech at UTEP
North Texas at Middle Tennessee
Old Dominion at Southern Miss
Rice at UTSA

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28
Charlotte at Rice
Florida Atlantic at Old Dominion
Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech
Marshall at WKU
Middle Tennessee at UTSA
UTEP at North Texas
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5
C-USA Championship Game