By Lucas Owens
Well dress me up and call me Sally, I was completely wrong about most games in the American Athletic this week. Although I was 5-1 on predictions, most games ended up being very different than I expected. One ranked team did fall, but one rose to take their place, and a big shake up happened in my power rankings. Enough stalling, time to talk about some games.
ECU 17 – 55 No. 7 Cincinnati
So, I was not wrong about margin here, and certainly not on who would be the winner, but the fact that quarterback Desmond Ridder had such a fantastic game for the Bearcats is what truly surprises me. Ridder is usually the mark of being efficient while not throwing for too many yards, but the Junior threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns Friday en route to a blowout victory. ECU losing like this was not unexpected, but to do it with quarterback Holton Ahlers throwing for just 87 yards and three interceptions must hurt.
No. 19 SMU 24 – 28 Tulsa
Have a day, Zach Smith. I wholly expected Tulsa’s defense to perform as well as they did, but quarterback Zach Smith’s comeback efforts deserve a huge heap of praise. Tulsa was down 24-7 at the half but ended up winning the game behind 21 unanswered points in the second half. Yes, SMU did not score a single time in the second half. Quarterback Shane Buchele ended with just 200 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, in what amounts to one of his worst performances with the Mustangs yet. Tulsa’s defense truly scares me, and they should scare every other team too, because if they are firing like they were in that second half combined with their offense doing just enough, I am not sure how many teams in the country can beat them.
Army 12 – 38 Tulane.
Remember when I called myself Sally? It was about this game. I had no idea one matchup could go so terrible for Army and so right for Tulane. The Green Wave outgained Army 368 – 303, but Army’s three turnovers, including a fumble returned for a touchdown, is what really did them in. Tulane did not even get very close to Army’s time of possession, yet they still won handily. That is all I am going to say about this game, but I truly must change my mind on Tulane football. I thought they were nowhere near where they were last year, but clearly, that thought was wrong.
USF 21 – 56 Houston
Of course, the one week I finally thought that the USF Bulls were going to turn a corner, this happens. USF just got absolutely manhandled by Houston’s defense and rush offense, but at least their quarterback Jordan McCloud had 180 yards passing. If not for that, this game would have been even worse than it was. Credit to Houston though, they came out and dominated USF in every aspect of the game, and when you do that you see results like this.
Temple 13 – 38 UCF
After UCF’s losses to Tulsa and Memphis, some thought they were on their way to a downward spiral. Clearly, that is not the case, and the Knights have somehow managed to resurrect their season and land in a spot where they have a good chance of taking down Cincinnati next week. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel continues to be amazing, as the Sophomore had 268 yards and two touchdowns for the Knights this week, but more importantly, their defense showed up. Temple was not able to get anything going until garbage time, and UCF figured out how to stop a pass offense. On the Owls’ side, it looks like quarterback Anthony Russo might not be losing his job to Re-Al Mitchell, as while he is out with a shoulder injury, Mitchell just is not performing well in these situations quite yet.
- No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats (7-0)
- No. 25 Tulsa Golden Hurricane (4-1)
- SMU Mustangs (7-2)
- Memphis Tigers (4-2)
- UCF Knights (5-2)
- Tulane Green Wave (5-4)
- Houston Cougars (3-3)
- Navy Midshipmen (3-4)
- Temple Owls (1-5)
- ECU Pirates (1-6)
- USF Bulls (1-7)
Edited by Emma Moloney