A Look At The AAC

The UH/AAC Report: UH blows game vs Tulane, plus a couple surprising outcomes

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Just another ho-hum week in the AAC. Nothing major to report. Not only did UH lose a road conference game, but they lost the face of their program as well. One other team had a letdown loss, while another surprised everyone with an upset win. Here's a look into week four of the AAC:

UH drops the ball vs Tulane

The Coogs snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They led 28-7 early on in the second quarter as they looked as if they were going to cruise to an easy win. However, through sloppy play on both sides, they were outscored 31-3 the rest of the way and lost on a game-winning 53 yard touchdown pass with three seconds left. Four days later, star quarterback D'Eriq King decided to redshirt the remainder of his senior season, but says he plans on coming back to UH next season. So much for Dana Holgorsen's first season as head coach.

Other key results

UCF 34, Pitt 35: Pitt wasn't expected to end UCF's 27 game regular season win streak, but they did, and did so in dominating fashion. In rushing yards differential, Pitt was +111 and won time of possession by 11 minutes. So much for UCF's attempt to break into the CFP.

SMU 41, TCU 38: SMU topped one of the better defenses in the country by beating the then #25 ranked Horned Frogs. My rushing yards differential analytic was blown out of the water here because TCU was +118 and only had a 10 second time of possession advantage.

Temple 22, Buffalo 38: A week after beating #21 Maryland, the Owls lost to Buffalo. -2 in the turnover department and a -186 rushing yards differential will often do that to a team.

Stars of the week

Shane Buechele, QB, SMU: He helped the Mustangs upset TCU by completing 67.6% of his passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns. At 4-0, SMU is off to its best start since 1984.

Jalen McCleskey, WR, Tulane: McClesky caught the game-winning 53 yard touchdown. He also had three other catches for 70 yards and another touchdown. He accounted for 64.5% of their receiving yards and two of their three receiving touchdowns.

Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF: The Golden Knights lost, but it wasn't through any fault of Davis who totaled 10 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns. I'm keeping an eye on this kid as he is draft eligible after this season.

Four games to watch this week

Navy @ Memphis

SMU @ USF

UConn @ UCF

UH @ UNT

Three players to watch this week

Clayton Tune, UH: With King redshirtting, Tune is now the starter. Going on the road to Denton for his third career start will be very telling as to how the rest of the season will go.

Memphis Defense: Navy averages 371.5 yards per game rushing. The Tigers' defense gives up 116.3 yards rushing per game. Something has to give.

Shane Buechele, SMU: Can the once highly touted quarterback lead SMU to a 5-0 start with a road win vs USF?

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Houston's winning streak moves to six

Eighth-inning rally powers Astros to series sweep over Rangers

Yuli Gurriel brought in the go-ahead run late in Sunday's game. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Winners in the first three games of this series and their last five games overall, the Astros continued their climb towards the A's for first place in the AL West. They completed the four-game sweep, ending a successful homestand on a positive note before heading on the road.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 2

Astros' Record: 24-17, tied for first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Brooks Raley (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez (1-2)

Astros strike first, McCullers Jr. goes six scoreless

After the Rangers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, Houston grabbed an early lead off the bat of Alex Bregman. He provided the third single of the inning, a one-out RBI to put the Astros in front 1-0, a score which would hold steady for a while. Another run didn't come across until the bottom of the fifth when Houston would load the bases with one out when Carlos Correa would get an RBI groundball to double the lead to 2-0.

Lance McCullers Jr. did well with the small lead, backing up his recent eight-inning gem with a quality start against Texas. He allowed a couple of hits each in the third and fourth but would erase the runners with no damage allowed. The Rangers threatened in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double before the runner moved to third on a wild pitch, putting him in a great position with no outs. McCullers Jr. would come away unscathed, finishing the inning and his day by retiring the next three batters. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 95 P.

Rangers tie it against Scrubb

First out of Houston's bullpen was Andre Scrubb, and he would not fare as well as the Astros starter. A leadoff single turned into a two-run game-tying homer, making it 2-2 before Scrubb would sit down the next three in order. Still tied in the top of the eighth, Brooks Raley had a terrific inning, striking out the three batters he faced.

Houston rallies ahead in the eighth for the four-game sweep

The top of Houston's order mounted a threat in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with one out to try and regain the lead. Yuli Gurriel would come through with the go-ahead at-bat, getting a sac fly to put the Astros back in front 3-2. A two-out walk loaded the bases again, setting up Chas McCormick to provide two insurance runs on a two-RBI single.

Myles Straw added one more on an RBI single, making it a four-run game at 6-2 heading to the ninth. Enoli Paredes made his long-awaited return from the IL, appearing for the first time since April 8th to try and close things out in the ninth. He tossed a scoreless inning, finishing off the four-game sweep, extending Houston's winning streak to six games, and keeping them in step with Oakland for the AL West lead.

Up Next: After a day off on Monday, the Astros will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday. They'll kick off a three-game set in Oakland against the A's at 8:40 PM, an exciting matchup to determine who will head into the weekend atop the division. While Cristian Javier (3-1, 3.08 ERA) is the expected starter for Houston, Oakland has not yet determined their rotation for the series.

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