A Look At The AAC

The UH/AAC Report: Coogs win ugly as other AAC teams stay dominant

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The Coogs won a game in which they were outperformed. There were also some dominant performances by other AAC heavyweights. Here's what Week Eight in the AAC looked like from my point of view:

UH outlasts UConn

In a game in which they were outperformed in every statistical category except turnover margin (+1), the Coogs managed to beat the Huskies 24-17. I don't give a damn how ugly it looked, but winning on the road against a conference opponent in what some may deem as a "tanking" season is still impressive to me! After dad was caught pitching a fit on the sideline, Young Holgorsen threw a 58-yard bomb that proved to be a game-winning score at the end of the 3rd quater. Now 3-4 on the season (1-2 in the AAC), they only need three more wins for bowl eligibility; something that was unfathomable a few weeks ago.

Other key results

SMU 45, Temple 21: The Mustangs stayed undefeated by totally dominmating the Owls. They outgained the Owls by 382 yards behind Shane Buechele and Reggie Roberson's unstoppable connection.

Memphis 47, Tulane 17: The Green Wave were mauled by the Tigers' Kenneth Gainwell and his record-breaking performance. Add in Brady White throwing five touchdown passes, and it was a recipe for disaster.

Cincinnati 24, Tulsa 13: The Bearcats pulled out a win to advance to 6-1 and stay ranked (#21). Had it not been for five turnovers, the Golden Hurricanes could've pulled off an upset.

Stars of the week

Shane Buechele, QB, SMU: He completed 56.6% of his passes, but threw for 457 yards and six touchdowns. His day was made easier because...

Reggie Roberson Jr., WR, SMU: ...had eight catches for 250 yards and three touchdowns. He made Buechele's job much easier because he was wide open most of the day. Great performances by both guys.

Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis: Gainwell became the first Memphis Tiger ever and the first FBS player since LA Tech's Troy Edwards in 1997 to have 100+ yards rushing and 200+ yards receiving in a game. Oh, and he scored three touchdowns as well.

Games to watch this week

SMU @ UH

Tulane @ Navy

UCF @ Temple

Players to watch this week

Logan Holgorsen, UH: Perhaps it should be Clayton Tune who should be here. Either way, the quarterback play for the Coogs will be critical this week if they look to knock off the undefeated Mustangs.

Malcolm Perry, Navy: Coming off a record-setting performance they gave up to Memphis' Gainwell, will the Midshipmen's Perry be able to put up ridiculous stats as well?

Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis: Speaking of Gainwell, will he be able to repeat or come close to repeating last week's performance this week against the Golden Hurricanes?

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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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