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This week in Conference USA football
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This week in Conference USA football

This week in Conference USA football
Photo Credit: C-USA
Case Keenum

This week in Conference USA football

Eight nationally-televised games highlight the opening weekend of the 2011 Conference USA Football season, the league's 16th football campaign. Eleven of the 12 teams will be in action spread over four days, with games against opponents from the Big East, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC, among others.

The 2011 season will kick off on Thursday, September 1 when Mississippi State visits Memphis (7 p.m. CDT). The game also will mark the debut of C-USA's new television package on FOX Sports and Ron Thulin, J.C. Pearson and Jeremy Bloom will be announcing. Standouts Frank Trotter (16.5 tackles for loss) and Dontari Poe (41 tackles) lead a strong Memphis defensive line.

Case Keenum is scheduled to return to the field on Saturday (2:30 p.m.) when Houston welcomes the UCLA Bruins to Robertson Stadium. Positioned to break all-time NCAA records for total offense, passing yards, touchdowns, pass attempts and completions, Keenum leads an explosive Cougar offense in a game that will air on FSN, with Craig Bolerjack, Joel Klatt and Petros Papadaikas on hand to announce.

Charlotte will be the site of an exciting neutral field meeting between East Carolina and South Carolina on Saturday. Senior QB Dominique Davis, the 2010 C-USA Newcomer of the Year, leads an explosive Pirate offense against a Gamecocks squad that has been ranked in some preseason top 10 polls. Bob Rathbun, Tim Couch and Kristen Acra will call the action for FSN from Bank of America Stadium, beginning at 6 p.m. CDT.

Tulsa will take on the nation's top-ranked team in the season-opening game on FX when the Golden Hurricane visit Oklahoma (6 p.m. CT). The game will mark the debut of new TU head coach Bill Blankenship as well as the return of G.J. Kinne, last year's C-USA Offensive Player of the Year. Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster will be on the call from Norman.

Late night with Southern Miss football will be on display in Hattiesburg when the Golden Eagles welcome Louisiana Tech to town for a 9 pm CDT kick on FSN. Thulin, Pearson and Bloom also will be on the call for this one to watch preseason all-conference LB Korey Williams and a new-look 4-2-5 defense under new USM defensive coordinator Dan Disch.

Rounding out Saturday's action will be defending C-USA Champion UCF hosting Charleston Southern (6 p.m. CDT on Bright House Networks in Florida), Rice visiting Texas (6 p.m. CDT on The Longhorn Network), UTEP welcoming Stony Brook (8:05 p.m. CDT on Time Warner El Paso) and Tulane hosting Southeastern Louisiana (2:30 p.m. CDT).

Two games will be nationally-televised on Sunday, with Marshall renewing its rivalry with West Virginia (2:30 p.m. CDT on ESPN) and SMU visiting Texas A&M (6:30 p.m. on FSN). Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore and Quint Kessinich will be announcing the Herd-Mountaineers matchup, where preseason C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Vinny Curry (fifth in nation with 12 sacks in 2010) leads Marshall. Joel Meyers, Joel Klatt and Jim Knox will announce the Mustangs-Aggies contest as RB Zach Line, the league's leading rusher in 2010 with 1,454 yards, helps lead SMU.

Four C-USA schools received votes in the preseason polls, as UCF, Houston, Southern Miss and Tulsa were each recognized.

A GLANCE AT THIS WEEK’S MATCHUPS

(20) MISSISSIPPI STATE at MEMPHIS

Thursday, September 1 Memphis, Tennessee

7 p.m. (CDT) Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (61,000)

All-Time Series: Mississippi State leads 33-10

Last Meeting: Mississippi State 49, Memphis 7 (Sept. 1, 2010)

Television: FSN

Announcers: Ron Thulin (PxP), J.C. Pearson (Analyst), Jeremy Bloom (Sideline)

Mississippi State (9-4, 4-4 in SEC in 2010)

Website: www.mstateathletics.com

Head Coach: Dan Mullen (Ursinus ’94)

Career Record: 14-11 (3rd year)

Record at MSU: 14-11 (3rd year)

Offense: Spread

Defense: 4-3

Leading Returning Passer: Chris Relf (129-of-220, 1,789 yds., 13 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Vick Ballard (186 att., 968 yds., 19 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Chad Bumphis (44 rec., 634 yds., 5 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: Mississippi State 52, Michigan 14 (Gator)

Next Game: Sept. 10, at Auburn

Memphis (1-11, 0-8 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.gotigersgo.com

Head Coach: Larry Porter (Memphis ’96)

Career Record: 1-11 (2nd year)

Record at Memphis: 1-11 (2nd year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: Multiple

Leading Returning Passer: Cannon Smith (22-of-43, 246 yds., 1 TD – now a DB)

Leading Returning Rusher: Jerrell Rhodes (116 att., 469 yds., 1 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Marcus Rucker (41 rec., 704 yds., 8 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, at Arkansas State

...........................................................................................................................................

UCLA at HOUSTON

Saturday, September 3 Houston, Texas

2:30 p.m. (CDT) O’Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium (32,000)

All-Time Series: UCLA leads 3-2

Last Meeting: UCLA 31, Houston 13 (Sept. 18, 2011)

Television: FSN

Announcers: Craig Bolerjack (PxP), Joel Klatt (Analyst), Petros Papadaikas (Sideline)

UCLA (4-8, 2-7 in Pac-10 in 2010)

Website: www.uclabruins.com

Head Coach: Rick Nueheisel (UCLA ’84)

Career Record: 81-52 (12th year)

Record at UCLA: 15-22 (4th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 4-3

Leading Returning Passer: Richard Brehaut (119-of-212, 1,296 yds., 12 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Johnathan Franklin (214 att., 1,127 yds., 8 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Taylor Embree (32 rec., 409 yds., 0 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, San Jose State

Houston (5-7, 4-4 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.uhcougars.com

Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin (Purdue, ’86)

Career Record: 23-16 (4th year)

Record at UH: 23-16 (4th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 3-4

Leading Returning Passer: David Piland (201-of-435, 2,641 yds., 24 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Bryce Beall (163 att., 870 yds., 12 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Patrick Edwards (71 rec., 1,100 yds., 13 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, at North Texas (ESPN3.com)

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA at TULANE

Saturday, September 3 New Orleans, Louisiana

2:30 p.m. (CDT) Louisiana Superdome (69,703)

All-Time Series: Tulane leads 5-0

Last Meeting: Tulane 27, Southeastern Louisiana 21 (Sept. 2, 2010)

Southeastern Louisiana (2-9, 1-6 in Southland in 2010)

Website: lionsports.net

Head Coach: Mike Lucas (Liberty ‘82)

Career Record: 16-32 (5th year)

Record at SLU: 16-32 (5th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 4-3

Leading Returning Passer: Brian Young (86-165, 1,012 yds., 4 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Sam Fairley (145 att., 579 yds., 1 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Simmie Yarborough (60 rec., 709 yds., 9 TD)

2009 FCS Playoffs: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, Savannah State

Tulane (4-8, 2-6 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.tulanegreenwave.com

Head Coach: Bob Toledo (San Francisco State ’68)

Career Record: 91-103 (18th year)

Record at Tulane: 13-35 (5th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: Multiple

Leading Returning Passer: Ryan Griffin (223-of-372, 2,371 yds., 8 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Orleans Darkwa (184 att., 925 yds., 11 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Ryan Grant (33 rec., 515 yds., 4 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, Tulsa (Cox Sports)

...........................................................................................................................

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN at UCF

Saturday, September 3 Orlando, Florida

7 p.m. (EDT) Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323)

All-Time Series: First Meeting

Television: Bright House Networks

Announcers: David Baumann (PxP), Mark Royals (Analyst), Jeff Radcliffe (Sideline)

Charleston Southern (3-8, 1-5 in Big South in 2010)

Website: www.csusports.com

Head Coach: Jay Mills (Western Washington, ’84)

Career Record: 43-46 (9th year)

Record at CSU: 43-46 (9th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 3-3-5

Leading Returning Passer: Malcolm Dixon (21-of-27, 236 yds., 4 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: B.J. Hackworth (10 att., 182 yds., 0 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Kirby Broome (7 rec., 92 yds., 1 TD)

2010 FCS Playoffs: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, at Florida State

UCF (11-3, 7-1 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.ucfathletics.com

Head Coach: George O’Leary (New Hampshire ’69)

Career Record: 97-77 (15th year)

Record at UCF: 45-44-0 (8th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: Multiple, 4-3

Leading Returning Passer: Jeff Godfrey (159-of-238, 2,159 yds., 13 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Ronnie Weaver (186 att., 890 yds., 11 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: A.J. Guyton (28 rec., 353 yds., 3 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: UCF 10, Georgia 6 (AutoZone Liberty)

Next Game: Sept. 10, Boston College (CBS Sports Network)

RICE at (24) TEXAS

Saturday, September 3 Austin, Texas

7 p.m. (CDT) Memorial Stadium (88,000)

All-Time Series: Texas leads 70-21-1

Last Meeting: (4) Texas 34, Rice 17 (Sept. 4, 2010)

Television: Longhorn Network

Announcers:Mark Jones (PxP), Ed Cunningham (Analyst), Samantha Steele (Sideline)

Rice (4-8, 3-5 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.riceowls.com

Head Coach: David Bailiff (Texas State, ’81)

Career Record: 40-45 (8th year)

Record at Rice: 19-30 (5th year)

Offense: Spread

Defense: 4-2-5

Leading Returning Passer: Nick Fanuzzi (151-of-241, 1,681 yds., 11 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Sam McGuffie (197 att., 883 yds., 6 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Sam McGuffie (39 rec., 384 yds., 3 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, Purdue (CBS Sports Network)

Texas (5-7, 2-6 in Big 12 in 2010)

Website: www.texassports.com

Head Coach: Mack Brown (Florida State, ’74)

Career Record: 223-108-1 (28th year)

Record at Texas: 137-34 (14th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 4-3

Leading Returning Passer: Garrett Gilbert (260-of-441, 2,744 yds., 10 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Cody Johnson (134 att., 592 yds., 6 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: James Kirkendoll (52 rec., 707 yds., 2 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, BYU

...........................................................................................................................................

(12) SO. CAROLINA vs. EAST CAROLINA

Saturday, September 3 Charlotte, North Carolina

7 p.m. (EDT) Bank of America Stadium (73,778)

All-Time Series: South Carolina leads 10-5

Last Meeting: East Carolina 21, South Carolina 3 (Sept. 18, 1999)

Television: FSN

Announcers: Bob Rathbun (PxP), Tim Couch (Analyst), Kristen Acra (Sideline)

South Carolina (9-5, 5-3 in SEC in 2010)

Website: www.gamecocksonline.com

Head Coach: Steve Spurrier (Florida ’71)

Career Record: 186-73-2 (22nd year)

Record at USC: 44-33-0 (7th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 4-2-5

Leading Returning Passer: Stephen Garcia (224-of-349, 3,059 yds., 20 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Marcus Lattimore (249 att., 1,197 yds., 17 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Alshon Jeffery (88 rec., 1,517 yds., 9 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: Florida State 26, South Carolina 17 (Chick-fil-A)

Next Game: Sept. 10, at Georgia

East Carolina (6-7, 5-3 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.ecupirates.com

Head Coach: Ruffin McNeill (East Carolina, ’80)

Career Record: 7-7 (2nd year)

Record at ECU: 6-7 (2nd year)

Offense: Spread

Defense: 3-4

Leading Returning Passer: Dominique Davis (393-609, 3,967 yds., 37 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Dominique Davis (79 att., 141 yds., 9 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Lance Lewis (89 rec., 1,116 yds., 14 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: Maryland 51, East Carolina 20 (Military Bowl)

Next Game: Sept. 10, (13) Virginia Tech (FSN)

TULSA at (1) OKLAHOMA

Saturday, September 3 Norman, Oklahoma

7 p.m. (CDT) Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (82,112)

All-Time Series: Oklahoma leads 16-7-1

Last Meeting: Oklahoma 45, Tulsa 0 (Sept. 19, 2009)

Television: FX

Announcers: Gus Johnson (PxP), Charles Davis (Analyst)

Tulsa (10-3, 6-2 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.tulsahurricane.com

Head Coach: Bill Blankenship (Tulsa, ’79)

Career Record: 0-0 (1st year)

Record at Tulsa: 0-0 (1st year)

Offense: Spread No Huddle

Defense: 4-3

Leading Returning Passer: G.J. Kinne (275-460, 3,650 yds., 31 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: G.J. Kinne (158 att., 561 yds., 7 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Damaris Johnson (57 rec., 872 yds., 4 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: Tulsa 62, (25) Hawai’i 35 (Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl)

Next Game: Sept. 10, at Tulane

Oklahoma (12-2, 6-2 in Big 12 in 2010)

Website: www.soonersports.com

Head Coach: Bob Stoops (Iowa, ’83)

Career Record: 129-31 (13th year)

Record at OU: 129-31 (13th year)

Offense: Spread No Huddle

Defense: 3-3-5

Leading Returning Passer: Landry Jones (405-617, 4,718 yds., 38 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Roy Finch (85 att., 398 yds., 2 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Ryan Broyles (131 rec., 1,622 yds., 14 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: Oklahoma 48, Connecticut 20 (Tostitos Fiesta)

Next Game: Sept. 17, at Florida State

...........................................................................................................................

STONY BROOK at UTEP

Saturday, September 3 El Paso, Texas

7:05 p.m. (MDT) Sun Bowl (51,500)

All-Time Series: First Meeting

Television: Time Warner El Paso

Announcers: TBA (PxP), TBA (Analyst)

Stony Brook (7-4, 5-2 in Big South in 2010)

Website: www.goseawolves.org

Head Coach: Chuck Priore (Albany ’82)

Career Record: 73-41 (12th year)

Record at SBU: 33-28 (6th year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: Multiple

Leading Returning Passer: Michael Coulter (133-of-220, 1,811 yds., 17 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Miguel Maysonnet (176 att., 1,128 yds., 12 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Matt Brevi (39 rec., 668 yds., 5 TD)

2010 FCS Playoffs: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, at Buffalo

UTEP (6-7, 3-5 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.utepathletics.com

Head Coach: Mike Price (Puget Sound ’69)

Career Record: 169-167 (30th year)

Record at UTEP: 40-45 (8th year)

Offense: I-Back

Defense: 4-3

Leading Returning Passer: Carson Meger (1-of-3, 10 yds., 0 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Joe Banyard (109 att., 623 yds., 8 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Joe Banyard (17 rec., 107 yds., 0 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: BYU 52, UTEP 24 (New Mexico Bowl)

Next Game: Sept. 10, at SMU (FSN)

LOUISIANA TECH at SOUTHERN MISS

Saturday, September 3 Hattiesburg, Mississippi

9 p.m. (CDT) Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium (36,500)

All-Time Series: Southern Miss leads 30-13

Last Meeting: Southern Miss 13, Louisiana Tech 12 (Sept. 25, 2010)

Television: FSN

Announcers: Ron Thulin (PxP), J.C. Pearson (Analyst), Jeremy Bloom (Sideline)

Louisiana Tech (5-7, 4-4 in WAC in 2010)

Website: www.latechsports.com

Head Coach: Sonny Dykes (Texas Tech ’93)

Career Record: 5-7 (2nd year)

Record at LTU: 5-7 (2nd year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: Multiple

Leading Returning Passer: Colby Cameron (54-of-91, 461 yds., 1 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Lennon Creer (212 att., 1,181 yds., 10 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Taulib Ikharo (50 rec., 530 yds., 4 TD)

2010 Bowl: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, Central Arkansas

Southern Miss (8-5, 5-3 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.southernmiss.com

Head Coach: Larry Fedora (Austin College ’85)

Career Record: 22-17 (4th year)

Record at USM: 22-17 (4th year)

Offense: Spread

Defense: 4-3

Leading Returning Passer: Austin Davis (278-of-442, 3,103 yds., 20 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Kendrick Hardy (139 att., 903 yds., 7 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Kelvin Bolden (46 rec., 722 yds., 6 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: Louisville 31, Southern Miss 28 (Beef ‘O’ Brady’s)

Next Game: Sept. 10, at Marshall (CSS)

...........................................................................................................................................

MARSHALL at (24) WEST VIRGINIA

Sunday, September 4 Morgantown, West Virginia

3:30 p.m. (EDT) Mountaineer Field at Milan Pusker Stadium (60,000)

All-Time Series: West Virginia leads 10-0

Last Meeting: West Virginia 24, Marshall 21 (ot) (Sept. 10, 2010)

Television: ESPN

Announcers: Joe Tessitore (PxP), Rod Gilmore (Analyst), Quint Kessinich (Sideline)

Marshall (5-7, 4-4 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.herdzone.com

Head Coach: Doc Holliday (West Virginia, ’79)

Career Record: 5-7 (2nd year)

Record at MU: 5-7 (2nd year)

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 3-4

Leading Returning Passer: Eddie Sullivan (6-24, 134 yds., 1 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Martin Ward (96 att., 345 yds., 1 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Aaron Dobson (44 rec., 689 yds., 5 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: None

Next Game: Sept. 10, Southern Miss (CSS)

West Virginia (9-4, 5-2 in Big East in 2010)

Website: www.msnsports.net

Head Coach: Dana Holgerson (Iowa Wesleyan, ‘83)

Career Record: 0-0 (1st year)

Record at WVU: 0-0 (1st year)

Offense: Spread

Defense: 3-3-5 Stack

Leading Returning Passer: Geno Smith (241-372, 2,763 yds., 24 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Ryan Clarke (80 att., 291 yds., 8 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Tavon Austin (58 rec., 787 yds., 8 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: NC State 23, West Virginia 7 (Champs Sports)

Next Game: Sept. 10, Norfolk State

SMU at (8) TEXAS A&M

Sunday, September 4 College Station, Texas

6:30 p.m. (CDT) Kyle Field (83,002)

All-Time Series: Texas A&M leads 41-29-1

Last Meeting: Texas A&M 66, SMU 8 (Sept. 17, 2005)

Television: FSN

Announcers: Joel Meyers (PxP), Joel Klatt (Analyst), Jim Knox (Sideline)

SMU (7-7, 6-2 in C-USA in 2010)

Website: www.smumustangs.com

Head Coach: June Jones (N.Y. State Regents College)

Career Record: 91-64 (13th year)

Record at SMU: 16-23 (4th year)

Offense: Run and Shoot

Defense: 3-4

Leading Returning Passer: Kyle Padron (302-of-508, 3,828 yds., 31 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Zach Line (244 att., 1,494 yds., 10 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Cole Beasley (87 rec., 1,060 yds., 6 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: Army 16, SMU 14 (Armed Forces)

Next Game: Sept. 10, UTEP (FSN)

Texas A&M (9-4, 6-2 in Big 12 in 2010)

Website: www.aggieathletics.com

Head Coach: Mike Sherman (Central Connecticut St. ’77)

Career Record: 19-19 (4th year)

Record at A&M: 19-19 (4th year)

Offense: Multiple Pro Sets

Defense: Multiple

Leading Returning Passer: Ryan Tannehill (152-of-234, 1,638 yds., 13 TD)

Leading Returning Rusher: Cyrus Gray (200 att., 1,133 yds., 12 TD)

Leading Returning Receiver: Jeff Fuller (72 att., 1,266 yds., 12 TD)

2010 Bowl Game: LSU 41, Texas A&M 24 (AT&T Cotton)

Next Game: Sept. 17, Idaho

...........................................................................................................................................


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  • After a post-election vote fight that showcased vote counting troubles in two south Florida counties, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) conceded defeat to Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Sunday, ensuring Republican gains in the Senate in the 2018 mid-term elections, and delivering a welcome piece of good post-election news for President Donald Trump and the GOP. “I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service,” said Scott in a statement. “My focus will not be on looking backward, but on doing exactly what I ran on,” Scott said. “Making Washington Work.” Florida elections officials on Sunday announced a final advantage for Scott of 10,033 votes – that was down from just under 15,000 in favor of Scott when the machine recount began, and lower than the nearly 12,500 edge for the GOP before the hand recount started on Friday. For Republicans, the hard fought win gives them a gain of two seats in the Senate for 2019, as the GOP will have a 53-47 edge, provided they can also win a special runoff election for Senate in Mississippi after Thanksgiving. The Scott victory was a rare piece of good news for Republicans since Election Day, as the GOP has lost a number of close House races in recent days. Democrats have now gained 37 seats in the House, with five GOP seats still undecided amid continued vote counting. Nelson becomes the fifth U.S. Senator to lose in November, joining three other Democrats – McCaskill in Missouri, Heitkamp in North Dakota, and Donnelly in Indiana – along with one Republican Senator, Heller in Nevada. While 5 Senators were tossed out by the voters in November, 27 House members – all Republicans – have been defeated. Several more could still lose in the five remaining House contests which are undecided. Hanging over the defeat for Nelson is what appears to have been a ballot design problem in one small part of Broward County, Florida, where thousands of voters did not cast a vote in the U.S. Senate race, which happened at a much higher rate than other areas in that county. The Florida Senate count is at Scott+10,033, right around the margin where the Broward County undervote/bad ballot design could have been decisive. We may never know https://t.co/Gg14C1heaV — Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 18, 2018 The ‘undervote’ problems in that area of Broward County were just part of a slew of post-election issues highlighted by the wrangling over the final tally in both the Florida Senate and Florida Governor’s race.
  • Over a week after being publicly ridiculed for losing her seat in Congress by President Donald Trump, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) on Friday night was on the verge of pulling off a stunning comeback in her re-election bid, as the continued counting of ballots in her Utah district finally pushed her into the lead by a slender 419 votes. “Hard to see how she relinquishes that now,” said Dave Wasserman, an elections expert who has been forecasting a possible comeback by Love for several days. Still being tabulated are thousands of provisional ballots in Utah and Salt Lake counties, which take time to verify, as Utah and a number of other states slowly push their way through the votes of the November mid-term elections. The jump into first place for Love came as a judge tossed out a lawsuit that she filed – which oddly would have stopped vote counting in Salt Lake County – a move that her opponent said ‘smacks of desperation.’ “Utah voters deserve better than this,” said Democrat Ben McAdams. With the Utah County numbers posting, Rep. Mia Love has taken a 419-vote lead over Ben McAdams. #utpol — #VoteGehrke (@RobertGehrke) November 16, 2018 But the McAdams lead over Love has slowly withered away in recent days, leaving Love favored by many to win re-election. A comeback victory would be filled with irony, especially after the mocking ridicule heaped upon Love and a number of other House Republicans by President Donald Trump, who said the day after the elections that Love and others were defeated because they refused to embrace him. “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” the President said, almost seeming to enjoy the outcome. “Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.” President Trump lists Republicans who didn't embrace him and lost. 'They did very poorly. I'm not sure that I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it.' 'Mia Love gave me no love and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.' pic.twitter.com/ZV7EKcWjLX — CSPAN (@cspan) November 7, 2018 Two weekends after the elections, a small number of races remained undecided – with some that could stretch until after Thanksgiving: FLORIDA SENATE – With a manual recount finishing up, and Florida’s 67 counties waiting through Saturday to deal with any other stray ballots, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) seems headed for victory over Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). This will give the GOP a big victory, and a 2 seat margin in the U.S. Senate. From a statistical/electoral/historical perspective, Scott's defeat of Nelson is pretty much unmatched in recent political history. Beating a swing state opposition party senator without a hint of scandal in a midterm… It's quite impressive. — (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) November 17, 2018 CALIFORNIA 39 – This is the first of six (or maybe seven) undecided House races. After holding the lead for days, Republican Young Kim has now been swamped by late votes coming from both Orange and Los Angeles counties, and now trails Democrat Gil Cisneros by over 3,000 votes. This should complete what is a total GOP wipeout in Orange County, as Democrats would gain six GOP seats in the Golden State. Congressional districts in Orange County, Calif. in 2016 and in 2018 pic.twitter.com/TWRQ1pPzS4 — Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) November 16, 2018 CALIFORNIA 21 – This seat has already been called by the AP and other news organizations for the Republicans, but as the votes keep coming in, Rep. David Valadao’s lead keeps shrinking, and some wonder if he can hold on. This might be a long shot, but it bears watching. It’s hard to fathom that Democrats could gain a seventh seat in California. We've been watching CA-21 like a hawk for more than a week now, and the chance for Democrat T J Cox to catch up to Valadao has gone from remote but intriguingly possibile to plausible. We're moving this one to our uncalled races tab. https://t.co/FeGWU7SsoE — Daniel Donner (@donnermaps) November 17, 2018 UTAH 4 – As mentioned above, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) now has the lead. This would be a big save for Republicans, who have had very little to cheer about in the past 10 days since the elections. In fact, there has been an almost daily drumbeat of Democratic victories each night since then, as they edge closer to a possible pickup of almost 40 House seats, their largest gains since 1974 after Watergate. BREAKING: As expected, #UT04 GOP Rep. Mia Love (R) has pulled into the lead over Ben McAdams (D) by 419 votes. Hard to see how she relinquishes it now. https://t.co/nfsptUdHiN — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 16, 2018 NEW YORK 22 – This seat can probably be called for the Democrats by the AP and other organizations, as absentee ballot counts on Friday went clearly for Democrat Anthony Brindisi, leaving Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) behind by over 3,000 votes in this northern New York district. This is not a spot where the GOP should have lost. @Redistrict Brindisi lead in NY22 has surged to more 3000 votes! I see no path to victory for Tenney. She's falling further behind as more ballots are counted, that's a losing combination, a larger deficit, and fewer votes left to count. https://t.co/ae1Ny8Osws — Kevin O'Connell (@Kevtoco) November 17, 2018 NEW YORK 27 – Indicted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) still leads by over 1,000 votes in this western New York district, with one big cache of absentee ballots and provisionals to count next Tuesday around Buffalo. Democrat Nate McMurray has been winning a majority of absentee ballots in recent days in counties where he lost the Election Day vote, making some wonder if he has a chance to win this race at the last minute next week. This is the equivalent of betting a horse that’s maybe 9-1. It might win. Nate McMurray continues to gain ground in counties that he lost to Rep. Chris Collins in. Biggest test will be Tuesday when the Erie County absentee and affidavit votes will be counted. https://t.co/f5nincKkZx — WGRZ (@WGRZ) November 16, 2018 GEORGIA 7 – While the race for Governor is over, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) has a 419 vote edge in this suburban Atlanta district, with all of the votes counted. Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux announced on Friday afternoon that she would ask for a recount. While a recount doesn’t usually switch the outcome, we have certainly seen in Florida and other states in recent days where there are tabulation errors uncovered – so you can’t say this is in the bag for the GOP – but they are favored. News: We will file for a recount of the 7th district race. With a margin of only 419 votes (0.14%), we want to make sure every vote was counted correctly & fairly. It is crucial that every eligible vote is counted & every voice is heard. #GA07 #GAPol — Carolyn Bourdeaux (@Carolyn4GA7) November 16, 2018 TEXAS 23 – Even though she’s behind by just under 1,000 votes, Cindy Ortiz Jones spent the week in Washington going through freshman orientation, but that may not work out for the Texas Democrat, as Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) seems like he’s in good position in this race, leading by 0.5 percent. Hurd’s people on Friday were declaring victory, but it wasn’t clear if Jones would press for any kind of vote review. Republicans are favored to hold on to this border district, but it was much closer than anyone had predicted. Bexar County has finished counting, leaving only six votes left to count (Kinney & Upton). @WillHurd has won by 928 votes, this race is over #TX23 — Connor Pfeiffer (@ConnorPfeiffer) November 16, 2018 Democrats right now have a net gain of 36 seats – they should win at least two of the undecided races left, and have an outside chance at others. Right now, the new Congress stands at 231 Democrats to 198 Republicans, with six seats undecided. One final note – this extended time of vote counting is totally normal. Reporters follow it every two years, but many partisans think there is something amiss.
  • Deputies say Rick Swan’s body was found in a burned travel trailer east of Claremore on Thursday. Investigators tracked down Kevin Foster, the victim’s stepson at his home in Bixby and arrested him for first degree murder and first degree arson. “He certainly denied the fact that he had been in Claremore yesterday,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton. “And we know by multiple sources and video that he was.” Sheriff Walton says it was well known that Foster and Swan had been in a feud.
  • A public memorial service is scheduled for country music star Roy Clark. His longtime manager, Jim Halsey, says the service will be at Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow on November 21st. Clark passed away yesterday at his Tulsa home after complications from pneumonia. He was 85-years-old. The legend was known for his music and his 24 years on Hee Haw. KRMG will be at the memorial. Tune to NEWS102.3 and AM740 KRMG for the latest.  
  • Ironically, the 2018 edition of the Blue Dome Arts Festival was the largest, best-attended, and by all accounts most successful in the event’s 15-year run. But when Jo and Chris Armstrong saw the sign go up that Santa Fe Square has begun leasing spaces, they knew that was the last nail in the coffin. “That’s great for Tulsa, it’s great for the Blue Dome District.  As a business owner down here, it’ll be great for our business, I’m certain of that. For the festival, it means more construction,” Jo Armstrong told KRMG Friday. More construction, and less space. The hotel which just opened nearby would have closed off a quarter of the space the BDAF once had. And while the Armstrongs considered moving the festival, they decided it just wouldn’t feel right. “If we move it, it’s just not the same. It’s not the Blue Dome Arts Festival. It’s more than the fact that we use the Blue Dome as our office. It’s that it’s this iconic landmark that is the heart of the festival, and it’s important to be near it. We could shrink the festival down and do things very, very differently, but unfortunately still yet the festival is diminished, and it’s only going to get more and more so while this stuff is happening for now, until new things can be figured out... potentially... maybe.” Another complication is the state’s new liquor laws, which no longer allow for “low-point” beer consumers to leave the premises from which it was purchased. That means they would have had to fence in the entire festival, at great cost, and face fines for every individual citation issued. She says while she knows closing the festival is the right decision, that doesn’t make it any easier. “This has been a hard day,” she said. “I’m not gonna lie.”