American Athletic Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
CINCINNATI: The Bearcats nearly let an 18-point lead slip away in the final quarter but held on for a 28-25 victory over the SMU Mustangs at Nippert Stadium. The win was the fourth straight for the Bearcats, who quietly own a 7-2 overall record, while being right in the mix at the top of the AAC standings with a mark of 4-1. Cincinnati totaled 462 yards of total offense in the win but also surrendered 451. Brandon McKay threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns while completing an impressive 27-of-32 pass attempts but he was also intercepted twice. Anthony McClung and Shaq Washington each tied for a team-best with eight receptions, with McClung leading the team in receiving yards with 97. Washington had 51 yards, while Mekale McKay had 69 yards and a score on just two catches. Hosey Williams was the leading rusher with 90 yards on 14 carries, but Tion Green (47 yards) and Jordan Luallen (29 yards) each scored a rushing touchdown. Adrian Witty had a team-high 11 tackles for the Bearcats, who face Rutgers next weekend.
CONNECTICUT: UConn's chances to win a game this season are slowly slipping away as the Huskies dropped yet another contest on Friday in a 31-10 decision against No. 19 Louisville. The Huskies are winless in eight games this season including all four games they have played in the AAC. The Huskies finished with just 237 yards of total offense and a miserable 3.3 yards per play. The Huskies also scored just one touchdown in four trips into the red zone. Tim Boyle started at quarterback and completed 14-of-29 pass attempts for 113 yards but was guilty of three interceptions while being sacked five times. Case Cochran took over later in the game and threw for 66 yards and a touchdown on 6-of-9 passing. Geremy Davis hauled in six passes for 76 yards, leading the team in each category. Yawin Smallwood led the Huskies in tackles yet again with 10 stops. UConn is on the road in its next two games against SMU and Temple.
HOUSTON: The Cougars finally stumbled in league play as they dropped a 19-14 decision on the road to UCF. The loss puts the Knights in a three-way tie for second in the AAC standings at 4-1. Houston also owns a 7-2 overall record. John O'Korn threw for 231 yards and a touchdown but completed only 24-of-46 pass attempts and was guilty of two interceptions. O'Korn did scored a touchdown on the ground while setting a career-high with 46 yards on 13 carries. Kenneth Farrow was the leading rusher for the Cougars, with 57 yards on eight carries, though he was shut out of the end zone. Deontay Greenberry hauled in eight passes for 94 yards. Greenberry's efforts pushed him over the 1,000 yards mark for the season, making him the 17th player in program history to accomplish the feat. As a team, Houston had just 367 yards of total offense while suffering from a more than 10 minute deficit in time of possession. The road gets no easier for Houston next week when it faces an away matchup with Louisville.
LOUISVILLE: Scores on offense, defense and special teams combined to lead the Cardinals to an easy 31-10 win on the road over UConn. Charles Gaines returned a blocked punt seven yards for a touchdown, Terrell Floyd returned an interception 17 yards for a score and the offense did the rest. The win was the second-straight for the Cardinals since they suffered their only setback in a heart-wrenching 38-35 stumble against UCF. Louisville is now 8-1 overall and a in a three-way tie for second in the AAC standings at 4-1 in league play. Though Louisville finished with a pedestrian 369 yards of total offense they held UConn to just 237. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 288 yards and a touchdown on 21-of-37 passing but also had an interception. Damian Copeland led the Cardinals in receptions (six) and receiving yards (83) but it was DeVante Parker, who had five total catches for 71 yards, that brought in the lone touchdown pass. Senorise Perry had 27 yards and a score on 11 carries for the Cardinals, who averaged just 2.7 yards per carry as a team. Floyd collected a pair of interceptions and Marcus Smith recorded three sacks. Louisville battles Houston next.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers took a break from AAC action to take on FCS foe Tennessee- Martin this weekend and came away with a 21-6 victory. The triumph ended a four-game losing streak for the Tigers, who are 2-6 overall, but winless in four tries against the rest of the conference. Paxton Lynch threw for 189 yards and a touchdown on 15-of-22 passing but was also intercepted once. Lynch also scored his first career rushing touchdown on a six-yard run in the second quarter. Brandon Hayes recorded 105 yards on 27 carries. Sam Craft scored the other rushing touchdown for the Tigers on an eight-yard run in the fourth quarter. Craft also led the Tigers with 83 yards on three receptions. The Tigers allowed only 286 yards of total offense and not a single touchdown in three chances in the red zone. Anthony Watson had an interception and tied for a team-high with seven tackles. Memphis gets back to league play next week against South Florida.
RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights rode the high of their thrilling 23-20 victory over Temple into a bye this past weekend. Next Saturday Rutgers faces a real test when it hosts Cincinnati.
SMU: The Mustangs nearly pulled off an incredible comeback but in the end were downed, 28-25, by Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium. Darius Joseph caught a pair of touchdown passes from Garrett Gilbert in the final quarter but it was not enough to overcome a 28-10 deficit SMU faced entering the final 15 minutes. The loss ended a two-game winning streak for the Mustangs, who are now 3-5 overall. That record includes a 2-2 split against teams from the conference. Gilbert threw for 403 yards and two scores on 38-of-47 passing and also rushed for a touchdown. Gilbert has thrown for at least 300 yards in four straight games, a program record. Gilbert has also had multiple touchdowns in five straight contests. Joseph had 12 receptions for 103 yards, Jeremy Johnson had 11 catches for 102 yards and Keenan Holman brought in seven passes for 142 yards. It was the first time in school history three receivers have had more than 100 yards in a single game. Randall Joyner had a game-high 14 stops as one of three players with double-digit tackles. Next on the schedule is a home game against UConn.
SOUTH FLORIDA: This past weekend the Bulls were idle as they attempted to recover from a two-game slide. USF's next battle will be at home against Memphis.
TEMPLE: The Owls did not have a chance to get in the win column this past week as they had a bye. Temple will face conference leading UCF on Saturday as it goes for its first league win of the year.
UCF: After pulling out a 19-14 win over Houston this past Saturday, the Knights are now sitting alone atop the AAC standings. The victory was the seventh in eight tries for the Knights, who are now 4-0 in league play with four games left to play. The win also pushed UCF to the 15th slot in the most recent Top 25. The 7-1 record is tied for the best start in eight games for UCF. UCF managed just 398 yards of total offense but held Houston to 367, while forcing a pair of turnovers. Storm Johnson paced the offense with 127 yards on 28 carries while William Stanback had 74 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns on just nine carries. Blake Bortles threw for 210 yards on 17-of-24 passing but had no touchdown passes and an interception. Jeff Godfrey (67 yards) and Breshad Perriman (60) each pulled in five receptions to tie for a team-high. The Knights had seven tackles for loss including a pair of sacks from E.J. Dunston. UCF takes a trip north to Philadelphia where it will face Temple next weekend.
11/11 11:15:31 ET