A Look At The AAC

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.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome