A Look At The AAC

The UH/AAC Report: UH nearly knocks off SMU and a ton of high scoring games

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The Coogs nearly upset #16 SMU, but ultimately fell short. This was the only game in the AAC this week that didn't have a 40+ point scorer. Let's take a look at what Week Nine in the AAC looked like:

UH loses by three to ranked SMU

In a game in which they outgained #16 SMU by 125 total yards and won time of possession by a shade over three minutes they still lost 34-31. The main culprits were turnovers (they had a -2 margin) and penalty yards (11 accepted penalties for 129 yards). Twice this game a turnover led directly to touchdowns for SMU, both on very short fields. Games like this make me think if there were more senior leadership, these mistakes wouldn't happen. That said, they still could've won this game. Next year and the coming years look promising. Clayton Tune outperformed Shane Buechele at the quarterback spot this game. Dare I say, there may be a bit of controversy going into next year when D'Eriq King returns?

Other key results

Navy 41, Tulane 38: Tulane is on a two game losing streak, while Navy extended their win streak to four games. They're two ships passing in the night. One is ascending, the other descending. Both will most likely make a bowl game, but they'll make different levels of bowl games.

UCF 63, Temple 21: In a matchup of two 5-2 teams coming into this game, I fully expected a much different result. The Golden Knights ended up rolling the Owls and looked much like the team from the past few years who dominated this conference, while Temple looked like their historical average to below average selves.

Memphis 42, Tulsa 41: Tulsa took this game down to the final seconds and almost pulled off the upset, but missed a 29-yard field goal. Coming into this game, Memphis was 6-1 and Tulsa was 2-5. This would've knocked Memphis down a few pegs in bowl jockeying position. Tulsa is playing out the strings of their season and trying to play spoiler, and almost did.

Stars of the week

UCF Running Backs: Otis Anderson had a career high 205 rushing yards on 17 carries and a touchdown; Bentavious Thompson had 10 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns; Adrian Killins Jr totaled 52 yards and a touchdowns on four carries. 344 yards on 31 carries and four touchdowns was a helluva job by these three guys.

Kevin Mensah, RB, UConn: 19 carries for 164 yards for a 8.6 yards per carry average is one thing...but five touchdowns?!? This was against UMass in a 56-35 win, but still, five touchdowns is still five touchdowns.

Marquez Stevenson, WR, UH: Five catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns, including a 96 yard touchdown to draw the score within three points. His yardage total was almost a third of his season total, as well as a third of his touchdown total for the season.

Games to watch this week

SMU @ Memphis

UH @ UCF

Cincinnati @ ECU

Tulsa @ Tulane

Players to watch this week

Clayton Tune, UH: After throwing for 407 yards and almost upsetting the #16 team in the country. UCF has been the top dog in the conference the last few years. Let's see what Tune can do against the Golden Knights.

Xavier Jones, SMU: In a matchup of ranked teams with good running backs, I'm looking to see if Jones can continue his nearly two touchdown per game pace against Memphis.

Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis: Ditto here. Gainwell has 115 more rushing yards than Jones, but three less touchdowns on the season. Whoever wins this battle most likely wins this high profile game.

Caleb Mills and DeJon Jarreau leads second half rally in Cougars' comeback win over the UConn Huskies.

Cougars rally late to take home victory over UConn

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The University of Houston Men's Basketball team trailed 50-44 with a little over five minutes left in the second half. In a game where the Cougars failed to capitalize on several missed opportunities, Houston closed out the contest on a 17-5 run en route to a 63-59 victory over the UConn Huskies, Thursday night, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston. With the win, the Cougars have now won nine of their last 10 games while improving to 5-1 in conference play (15-4 overall).

"Sometimes when you don't play your best game and you are in a fight like this, you have to find a way to win," head coach Kelvin Sampson said after the win. "That's when our culture comes in and the way we practice every day."

Continuing his phenomenal play during his first season in Houston, freshman guard Caleb Mills scored a game-high 20 points (5-11 FG, 2-3 3PT, 8-8 FT) — as he registered 18 in the second half. With 48 seconds left in the final period and the game tied at 55 apiece, Mills connected on a contested mid-range jumper to put the Cougars ahead by two.

"It wasn't a lot of pressure on my end.....I wanted to take the shot," Mills said. "Coach told me when he recruited me that I was going to have opportunities to take big shots, so I was not surprised by the play he drew up for me late in the game."

Unlike their previous contest on Saturday, it was a backcourt affair as Mills and Jarreau scored the final 17 points for the Cougars down the stretch. The exceptional play by Houston's backcourt duo helped the Cougars overcome a six-point deficit in the final five minutes of the game.

Jarreau came two assists shy from recording the Cougars' first triple-double since Bo Outlaw in 1993, as the junior guard from New Orleans scored a season-high 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the win.

UConn's senior guard led the Huskies in the loss with 14 points, while junior forward Isaiah Whaley recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds of his own.

Following the win, the Cougars will return to their home floor on Sunday for an American Athletic Conference showdown against the 8-11, 1-5 USF Bulls. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. CT.

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