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.

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Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

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