Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Charlotte Projected to Finish Fourth in CUSA East Division

DALLAS (July 19, 2021) – A panel of media members that cover Conference USA schools forecast a rematch of the 2020 C-USA Championship Game, selecting Marshall and last year’s conference champions, UAB to win their divisions, respectively.

The Thundering Herd, who went 7-3 and 4-1 in C-USA play in 2020, welcome back nine starters on offense and four more on the defensive side of the ball, including QB Grant Wells, who was the C-USA Freshman of the Year last season. Wells threw for 2,091 yards and 18 touchdowns in 10 appearances, helping guide Marshall to the East Division crown. The Herd return six all-conference performers from 2020 in Wells, TE Xavier Gaines, OL Alex Mollette, DB Steven Gilmore, DT Jamare Edwards and DB Nazeeh Johnson.

UAB captured its second conference crown in the past three seasons, knocking off Marshall 22-13 in Huntington last season. The Blazers return eight offensive starters and nine starters on its dominant defense from a team that finished 6-3 and 3-1 in C-USA play. The Blazers return four all-conference defensive performers from a year ago in LB-turned-S Kristopher Moll, DT Antonio Moultrie, LB Noah Wilder and DB TD Marshall, as well as three all-conference returners offensively in OL Sidney Wells, OL Colby Ragland and TE Hayden Pittman.

Florida Atlantic received six first place votes, and returns 21 of 22 starters from a team a year ago that finished 5-4 and 4-2 in league play. DB Zyon Gilbert (46 total tackles, one interception, five PBUs) and WR Brandon Robinson (team-high three receiving touchdowns) are back for the Owls, who look to build off head coach Willie Taggart’s first season in Boca Raton. Closing out the media picks in the East Division are WKU, Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, FIU and Old Dominion.

UTSA has been tabbed to contend for the West Division crown, earning nine first place votes. The Roadrunners come off a strong first season under head coach Jeff Traylor, going 7-5 and 5-2 in C-USA play in 2020 on its way to a bowl berth. The Roadrunners are armed with preseason All-America and reigning Offensive Player of the Year, RB Sincere McCormick, (1,467 yards on 249 carries with 11 touchdowns). Also back for UTSA is S Rashad Wisdom (95 total tackles and four interceptions), helping to lead a defense poised for a strong season. Key special teamers P Lucas Dean (preseason second team All-America selection by Sporting News) and K Hunter Duplessis (17-20 on field goals) are also back in tow for the Roadrunners. Rounding out the media picks in the West are Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Rice, North Texas and UTEP.

The 17th annual Conference USA Football Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West Divisions, will be held in the first week of December. The 2021 C-USA Football season kicks off Saturday, August 28.


  1. Marshall (17)
  2. Florida Atlantic (6)
  3. WKU (1)
  4. Charlotte
  5. Middle Tennessee
  6. FIU
  7. Old Dominion


  1. UAB (15)
  2. UTSA (9)
  3. Louisiana Tech
  4. Southern Miss
  5. Rice
  6. North Texas
  7. UTEP

(first place votes in parentheses)