A Look At The AAC
The UH/AAC Report: Coogs run out of gas vs UCF, plus a couple close calls for ranked teams
Week 10 in the AAC was a slate of only five games long. There was still enough meat on the bone to digest. College football is too interesting to say five games was no fun to watch or track in a conference as exciting as the AAC. Let's take a look at the week that was:
UH falls to UCF 44-29
The Coogs actually led the once ranked Golden Knights after the 1st quarter (17-14) and at the half (23-21). However, the 3rd quarter came in like a South Texas cold front and dramatically changed the weather. After trading punts on their initial possessions of the 3rd, UH went on to trade three punts for touchdowns and ended up down 19 points heading into the 4th. Things didn't get much better for the Coogs as they only managed to put up six more points on a late touchdown and failed two point conversion. There is a bright side. The Coogs "held" the Golden Knights to under 500 yards of offense (468), won the time of possession battle (41:31 to 18:29), and tied in turnovers with one a piece. It comes down to execution on offense and limiting the big plays on defense. They gave up seven plays of 20 yards or more. Speculation from a national media member this week said D'Eriq King would enter the Transfer Portal and won't return to UH. ESPN 97.5's John Granato explained on "Granato and Raheel With Del" (hour one right at the 28:55 mark) that Coach Dana Holgorsen said King is enjoying playing football again, is running scout team right now, and will be back next year. I trust this info because of their close relationship over the course of about 10 years plus, whereas this national media member is a Herman Honk who wants to keep his all-access in Austin.
Other Key Results
#24 Memphis 54, #15 SMU 48: The final score was closer than the game appeared. From the eye test, Memphis was clearly the better, more prepared team that also adjusted quicker. SMU seemed to be caught off guard early, and gathered themselves too late. Both are still ranked as they should be.
#17 Cincinnati 46, ECU 43: Trailing 40-28, the Bearcats were in danger of losing to the Pirates. They managed a furious comeback along with a game winning field goal as time expired. Despite the win, they dropped to #20 in the rankings.
Navy 56, UConn 10: Jermaine, why in the world is THIS a key result? Because it catapulted the Midshipmen to #24 in the rankings this week. The 7-1 Navy team's lone loss is to the now #21 ranked Memphis Tigers.
Stars of the Week
Navy Offense: The Midshipmen ran the ball 51 times for 408 yards and seven touchdowns. Six guys carried the ball at least three times and averaged at least 6.8 yards per carry. The triple option is like a dinosaur that has found a way to survive and thrive.
Shane Buechele, QB, SMU: Buechele went 34/54 for 456 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort. What's scary is that he still has another year of eligibility left.
Cincinnati Offense: RB Michael Warren II had 18 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns; quarterback Desmond Ridder had 12 carries for 121 yards; and RB Gerrid Doaks had nine carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. Remember what I said earlier about them being down by 12 heading into the 4th, and this stat line is that much more impressive.
Games to Watch This Week
Temple @ USF
UCF @ Tulsa
ECU @ #25 SMU
UConn @ #20 Cincinnati
Players to Watch This Week
Xavier Jones, SMU: Look for Jones to pad his stats against an ECU team that gives up an average of 204.3 yards per game on the ground.
Cincinnati Offense: The Huskies just gave up 408 yards rushing against the Midshipmen. The Bearcats aren't as profficient running the ball, but they did hang 301 yards rushing on ECU.
Gabriel Davis, UCF: At 6'3 212lbs, Davis is a big body receiver averaging 18.2 yards per reception this season. Tulsa only has two sub 6' defensive backs (5'9 and 5'11). It'll be an interesting matchup for the pro prospect.