American Athletic Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
CINCINNATI: The Bearcats continued to roll in the second half of the season as they escaped with a 24-17 victory on the road over Houston. The win was the sixth-straight for the Bearcats, who are now 9-2 overall and 6-1 in conference action. With a game to play the Bearcats still have a shot at the AAC crown but will need a win against Louisville and losses from UCF in the last two weeks, to accomplish the feat. In the victory Silverberry Mouhon tied or set career marks in tackles (six), sacks (2.0) and tackles for loss (2.5). The Bearcats held the Cougars to 245 yards of total offense while racking up 401 themselves. Brendon Kay threw for 386 yards on 29-of-50 passing and had two touchdown passes to match two interceptions. Kay also rushed for 38 yards and a score. Shaq Washington (10 receptions, 132 yards) and Anthony McClung (nine receptions, 137 yards) each had 100-yard efforts for the second-straight week but Chris Moore (four receptions, 72 yards, two TDs) scored both touchdowns through the air. Hosey Williams had a team-high 84 yards on 13 carries.
CONNECTICUT: Yawin Smallwood collected an interception and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown to cap off a furious, 28-21, come from behind victory over Temple in Philadelphia. With the victory the Huskies earned their first win of the season and first under interim head coach T.J. Weist. UConn trailed, 21-0 at halftime, but scored the final 28 points of the contest on a touchdown reception from Geremy Davis, touchdown runs from Max DeLorenzo and Casey Cochran and Smallwood's interception return. Cochran threw for 111 yards and the touchdown to Davis but completed only 8-of-18 attempts and was intercepted once. Davis had four receptions for 83 yards to go with his score and DeLorenzo led the Huskies on the ground with 61 yards on 18 carries. Lyle McCombs also added 51 yards on 16 carries. Smallwood tied for a game-high with eight tackles, including two for loss and a sack. UConn finishes the year off with back-to-back home games against Rutgers and Memphis.
HOUSTON: The Cougars' slow descent from the top of the AAC continued on Saturday as they took a 24-17 loss at home to Cincinnati. The setback was the third-straight for the Cougars, who are now 7-4 overall and a middling 4-3 against the rest of the AAC. Houston managed only 278 yards of total offense which was nearly 300 yards fewer than the Bearcats. Houston managed to stay close but holding the Bearcats to a 3-of-5 success rate in the red zone while forcing three turnovers. One of those turnovers turned into a touchdown when Trevon Stewart returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. John O'Korn threw for 171 yards and a score but completed only 13- of-30 passes. O'Korn was taken out in the third quarter for Greg Ward Jr., who notched 74 yards on 5-of-9 passing. Deontay Greenberry was able to play after suffering a concussion a week ago, as he finished with 64 yards and a score in six receptions. Daniel Spencer added 66 yards and five receptions. Houston's last chance in the regular season will be next week against intrastate rival SMU.
LOUISVILLE: It wasn't the most dominant win of the year but it was a victory nonetheless as Louisville took down Memphis, 24-17, in the Cardinals's final home game of the season. The win pushed the Cardinals to 10-1 overall this season and 6-1 against the rest of the AAC. Louisville has had back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in school history and is now 35-15 in four seasons with Charlie Strong at head coach. Teddy Bridgewater turned in another solid effort as he threw for 220 yards and a touchdown on 26-of-36 passing, though he was sacked four times. Bridgewater hooked up with 10 different receivers in the game with Damian Copeland (seven receptions, 55 yardS) leading the ground in yards and receptions. DeVante Parker recorded a touchdown from 39 yards out on his only reception. Dominique Brown tallied 54 yards and a score on 17 carries and Senorise Perry added 51 yards on 13 carries. Louisville allowed only 279 yards of total offense to the Tigers. Lorenzo Mauldin and Marcus Smith each recorded a sack to run their combined total to 22 this season. Louisville wraps up its regular-season slate in two weeks against Cincinnati.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers gave nationally ranked Louisville their best shot but they came up short in taking a 24-17 setback on the road. The loss ended a two-game winning streak and put to rest the faint hopes the Tigers had at bowl eligibility. Memphis is 3-7 overall and has just a single victory in six tries against the rest of the conference. Brandon Hayes rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries to lead the Tigers on offense. Paxton Lynch moved into second place on the single-season passing list for a freshman with 144 yards on 11-of-23 passing in the loss. Lynch was also intercepted once. Keiwone Malone hauled in three passes for 71 yards for the Tigers, to set a season-high for receiving yards. Memphis is just the second team this season to score more than 13 points against the Cardinals. MArtin Ifedi recorded a sack to bring his total to 11.5 this season, ranking second in the AAC. Ifedi has 20 career sacks which is tied for the second most in program history. Memphis will play its last home game of the season next week against Temple.
RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights suffered another rout in league play on Saturday as they traveled to face UCF and came away with a 41-17 setback. The loss was the fourth in the last five games for Rutgers, which had lost, 52-17, to Cincinnati in its previous contest. The Scarlet Knights are 2-4 n league play and still on the outside looking in at bowl eligibility with an overall mark of 5-5. Rutgers did have five sacks in the contest, which was the most since it recorded six against Eastern Washington earlier this year. Gary Nova had a difficult game as he threw for 107 yards and an interception 11-of-34 passing. Chase Dodd got some work under center as well and totaled 45 yards on 4-of-9 passing.TYler Kroft (eight receptions, 72 yards) was the only receiver to have more than 25 yards or two receptions. Michale Burton ripped off a 38-yard run on his only carry of the game as the leading rusher. Rutgers had only 221 yards of total offense while letting up 452 to UCF. Next Saturday the Scarlet Knights will travel to East Hartford to tangle with UConn.
SMU: In a rare defensive battle for the Mustangs, they managed to pull out a 16-6 win on the road over South Florida. The win was the second straight and fourth in the last five games for the Mustangs, who evened their overall record at 5-5 and improved to 4-2 in league action with the victory. The Mustangs finished with a season-low 280 yards of total offense but limited the Bulls to only 259. Garrett Gilbert threw for only 138 yards on 19-of-23 passing and was intercepted once before leaving in the second quarter after injuring his leg. Gilbert's second-quarter interception ended a streak of 166 attempts without being picked off. Jeremy Johnson hauled in 13 passes for 82 yards as he set the single-season reception mark for SMU with his 100th reception of the year. Prescott Line rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and Darius Joseph recorded nine receptions, but for only 41 yards. SMU did not allow a score from the Bulls in the red zone. SMU will take its first crack at earning bowl eligibility next week at Houston.
SOUTH FLORIDA: Despite another strong defensive effort, the Bulls were unable to push past SMU as they fell at home, 16-6, against the Mustangs. USF's lone score of the game came on a 50-yard punt return fro a touchdown from Chris Dunkley, after which the Bulls failed on a two-point conversion attempt. USF has lost four-straight league games after opening conference plays at 2-0. The Bulls had only 259 yards of total offense, 10 first downs and a single red zone trip, which failed to produce any points as the Bulls turned the ball over on downs. Mike White started under center for the Bulls and threw for 217 yards while completing 19-of-34 pass attempts. However White was also intercepted twice. Andre Davis recorded five receptions for 113 yards as the leading receiver while Marcus Shaw struggled to register 39 yards on 11 carries as the leading rusher. USF had only 42 yards on the ground as a team. Aaron Lynch posted four tackles for loss, including two sacks. USF is on the road in its last two games against UCF and Rutgers.
TEMPLE: The Owls suffered another crushing defeat on Saturday as they let a 21-point halftime lead slip away in a 28-21 loss to UConn. The loss robbed the Owls of their first win in league play, where they are 0-7 this season. The loss was also the 10th in 11 tries for the Owls this season. The 10 wins are the most since the Owls lost 11 games in back-to-back seasons during the 2005 and 2006 campaigns. P.J. Walker threw for 280 yards and a touchdown on 26- of-46 passing but he also threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter, which was returned for, what turned out to be, the winning touchdown. Walker did have 32 yards rushing and a score as well. Ryan Alderman (seven receptions, 96 yards) and John Christopher (seven receptions, 66 yards) tied for the team lead in receptions while Robby Anderson racked up 81 yards and a touchdown on six catches. Zaire Williams was the leading rusher for the Owls with 42 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Temple's regular season finale is next Saturday at Memphis
UCF: The Knights kept their perfect league mark intact with a 41-17 rout of Rutgers at Bright House Networks Stadium. The victory extended the Knights' win streak to six games and moved them to 9-1 overall and a sparkling 6-0 against the rest of the AAC. UCF did not advance in the Top 25 after the win, remaining at No. 17. The Knights will have a chance to earn at least a share of the AAC title with a win next week against USF coupled with a Cincinnati loss to Houston. Blake Bortles guided the Knights to victory by throwing for 335 yards and a touchdown on 21-of-30 passing, though he was sacked five times. Bortles did rush for 32 yards and a touchdown as well. J.J. Worton had five receptions for 117 yards as the leading receiver, while Breshad Perriman, who missed last week's contest, returned to post 99 yards and a score on five catches of his own. Storm Johnson was the leading rusher for the Knights, with 75 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts. UCF will play its final home game of the year next week against South Florida.
11/25 11:33:16 ET