A Look At The AAC

The UH/AAC Report: with UH off, the rest off the AAC delivered some action

The UH/AAC Report: with UH off, the rest off the AAC delivered some action

With only four games on the slate this week and the Coogs off, there was still some exciting football in the AAC this week. Let's take a look at week 11:

Coogs had a week off

With a week off, the Coogs also stayed out of the news. No crazy rumors or stories from national media members to address this week. The team had a normal week of practice in preparation for their big game next week against Memphis as the Tigers come to town ranked No. 21 sporting an 8-1 record.

Other key results

Tulsa 34, UCF 31: To say the luster is off UCF as a bully in the AAC would be accurate. While they have tons of talent, nobody fears them the way they did in years past. They've lost more games this year than they have the past two years.

SMU 59, ECU 51: Whenever a top team in the conference struggles to beat a bottom feeder, two narratives are put out: A) the favorite underestimated the underdog, or B) the underdog caught the favorite off guard. Either way, SMU put another notch in the win column and continues to march towards a decent bowl game.

Temple 17, USF 7: The Owls became bowl eligible with a well balanced offensive attack against the Bulls. 167 yards through the air and another 153 on the ground kept the attack even. Despite a -60 penalty yard margin, the Owls managed to grind out a win.

Stars Of The Week

Shane Buechele, QB, SMU: Buechele's 33/46 for 414 yards and five touchdowns were very necessary to pull out the eight point win over ECU. He put up video game numbers partly because...

James Proche & Kylen Granson, WRs, SMU: ...these two combined for 21 catches for 305 yards and accounted for all five of Buechele's passing touchdowns. They caught 73.6% of Burchele's passing yards. Had ECU applied more pressure and/or covered better, they may have won this game.

Cincinnati Rushing Attack: In a 45-point win, you'd imagine there were some crazy number put up. The Bearcats ran the ball 43 times for 307 yards for a 7.1 yards per carry average and four touchdowns. For comparion sake, UConn ran 40 times for only 148 yards and of course didn't score a touchdown.

Games To Watch This Week

Tulane @ Temple

#24 Navy @ #15 Notre Dame

#20 Cincinnati @ USF

Players To Watch This Week

Malcolm Perry, Navy: Facing the #15 ranked Fighting Irish in a midday showdown on national television gives Perry a chance to shine. I can't wait to see what he can do against a defacto Power 5 school.

Justn McMillan, Tulane: Going East and facing Temple at 11am CST will be a slight body clock test for the Green Wave. McMillan is their leading passer and rusher. He, like the aforementioned Perry, will get to prove himself on the road against a tough opponent.

Cincinnati Rushing Attack: The Bearcats average 202.4 yards per game on the ground. USF averages giving up 194 yards per game on the ground. I fully expect the game to be won or lost depending upon who wins this battle.

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Mariners defeat Astros, 3-2. Composite Getty Image.

Bryce Miller allowed two runs over six innings to pick up his first win since April 17, and the Seattle Mariners used a big first inning against Houston starter Framber Valdez to hold on for a 3-2 win over the Astros on Monday night.

Seattle scored three times in the first off Valdez and then leaned on its pitching to make the early lead stand up. Miller did his part and then turned it over to relievers Trent Thornton, Gabe Speier and Andrés Muñoz to close out the victory.

Muñoz got three outs for his 11th save.

Miller (4-5) had lost his last four decisions, including his past three starts. In his four previous May starts, Miller allowed 15 earned runs after yielding just eight runs over six starts during the first month of the season.

But he seemed to rediscover a bit of his dominant form from that first month, striking out six and walking a pair. Miller said part of the success was noticing batters being more aggressive on his pitches early in counts, forcing him to be better with his location.

“For me (it's) just trying to make sure I'm still getting ahead, but with certain hitters in the lineup not making a mistake just trying to get ahead,” Miller said. “Being aggressive on the corner early and then working off of that.”

Miller cruised through the first four innings and retired 12 straight after issuing a walk to Kyle Tucker, the second batter of the game. But he ran into trouble in the fifth when he gave up three straight singles, the last coming from José Abreu, which scored Jake Meyers. Victor Caratini’s sacrifice fly plated another run and after Jose Altuve doubled, Miller escaped the jam by getting a groundout from Tucker.

Miller again pitched out of trouble in the sixth, putting two runners on before Jon Singleton flied out to the warning track in right-center to end the threat.

Abreu was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land ahead of Monday’s game and his single was his first big league hit since April 27. The 2020 AL MVP was batting .099 when he accepted an assignment to the minors on May 1.

All of Seattle’s offense came early. Meyers made a terrific sliding catch to rob Cal Raleigh of extra bases but it still resulted in a sacrifice fly. Ty France and Mitch Haniger followed with two-out RBI singles as Valdez faced eight batters in the first inning. He needed 43 pitches to get through the first two innings, but Seattle was unable to add on.

“We had all kinds of traffic and we had some good at-bats when we did have traffic out there. Unfortunately, sometimes the ball doesn't land on the grass like you want it to," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Valdez (3-3) allowed just two baserunners over his final four innings on the mound and was able to get through six. He permitted six hits, struck out four and walked three.

“I thought it took him a little bit of time for his sinker to be down and to execute. He just wasn't executing his pitches like he wanted to," Houston manager Joe Espada said. "Then after that he settled in and he threw a heck of a game.”

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Hunter Brown (1-5, 7.06 ERA) allowed just two hits and two runs over six innings in his last start but took his fifth loss.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.31) lost his last time out, giving up two runs over five innings against the Yankees.

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