A Look At The AAC

The UH/AAC Report: UH gets back on track and SMU continues to roll

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The Coogs got back in the win column this week. SMU rolls another outmatched opponent. UCF bounced back as well. Let's take a look at the week that was in the AAC:

UH gets a Tune-up in return to win column

The Coogs got a much needed win over UNT Saturday by a score of 46-25. Over the course of the last 20-30 years, UH has primarily been a passing team. They outrushed the Mean Green 235-96. Clayton Tune had himself a good game to the tune of 16/20 for 124 yards and a touchdown (I promise to keep the puns to a minimum). The defense gave up 456 yards, 360 of which were of the passing variety. Even though the rushing and passing stats looked the way they did, Coogs still lost the time of possession battle by almost six minutes. A win is a win, especially when you're 1-3.

Other key results

SMU 48, USF 21: The Mustangs are 5-0 for the first time since 1983. They've jumped into the top 25 rankings this week and now stand an outside chance at crashing the Power 5 bowl party if they keep this up.

UCF 56, UConn 21: The Golden Knights got back on track in a major way with their 35 point win over the Huskies. Their loss to Pitt last week may hurt their chances at a major bowl, but they're up to 18 in the polls so there's still a chance.

Memphis 35, Navy 23: The Tigers move to 4-0 by containing the Midshipmen's run game. Navy was "held" to 291 rushing yards despite averaging 371.5 coming into the game. The Tigers are going to be tough the rest of the way.

Stars of the week

Brady White, QB, Memphis: While the Tiger defense did its thing, White went 14/18 for 196 yards and three touchdowns. Usually, it's their run game that does the heavy lifting. This is a part of what will make this team tough down the stretch.

Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF: Davis had five catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns in their route of UConn. Catching touchdowns on 60% of your receptions is beyond good, regardless of the competition.

Xavier Jones, RB, SMU: Jones carried the ball 15 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns. While his QB Shane Buechele also had a great game, Jones' performance got him the nod here because running the ball well on the road is how you demoralize a team.

Games to watch this week

UCF @ Cincinnati

Tulsa @ SMU

Tulane @ Army

Air Force @ Navy

Players to watch this week

UCF's offense: Going on the road against a defense that's allowing almost 300 yards less than what their season average is could be tough. But Cincy hasn't played an offense quite like UCF's. The two Gabriel's (Doug and Davis) are the ones to watch specifically.

Malcolm Perry, Navy: The quarterback is the Midshipmen's leading rusher in their triple option attack that averages 344.7 yards a game. The Air Force Falcons only give up 93.3 on the ground. Perry only has 336 passing yards on the season, so I'll be interested in seeing how this one plays out.

Xavier Jones, SMU: The others on this list face some sort of adversity. Jones, however, faces the exact opposite in a Tulsa defense that allows 175.8 yards a game on the ground. I expect him to have another big game this week.

Quarterback's loss is a serious blow

D'Eriq King to transfer from UH

Photo via Houston Cougar Football/Facebook

Houston's rough week of sports continued with yet more bad news late Tuesday night.

University of Houston quarterback D'Eriq King, who redshirted after four games, presumably to come back to UH in 2020, has entered the NCAA's transfer portal, meaning he will play elsewhere in 2020.

Where does he go?

King's best season was 2018, when he accounted for 50 touchdowns, the only player in the country to do so besides Heisman winner Kyler Murray.

But the Cougars started 1-3 in 2019, with King not thriving in new coach Dana Holgorsen's offense. King decided to redshirt and wait for 2020, when the Cougars would have several high profile transfers join the program.

Instead, King, who has already graduated, will be eligible to play elsewhere right away. Speculation is he will wind up at Arkansas, with his old offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, but he will be a hot commodity. Arkansas, one of the most woeful programs in the Power Five over the past two years, made a coaching change after going 2-10 and 0-8 in the SEC, so the main motivation for King would be to play in the SEC and perhaps put up some numbers in his senior year.

Originally, there was speculation he might try go to LSU, which just won the national title and loses Heisman winner Joe Burrow. He would also seem to be a good fit at Oklahoma.

What's next for UH?

It is certainly a bad look for Holgorsen, who basically blew off the 2018 season in hopes of having King back in 2020. But Clayton Tune was OK in relief of King and should improve. They also have incoming freshman Sofian Massoud from Cypress Lakes, who is highly regarded. Also, don't rule out Holgorsen dipping into the transfer pool himself, as he has a senior-dominated team built to win next year. He also has a good track record developing quarterbacks. So all is not lost, but it sure is not good news.

A day after an ugly Texans playoff loss, and the same day the Astros fired GM Jeff Luhknow and manager A.J. Hinch, King's transfer was just another bitter pill on a week of sports misery.


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