By Lucas Owens
Well, this week was certainly an interesting affair for the American Athletic Conference. A lot of matchups against good teams across the country, and a blowout to start the conference schedule. This week again was marked by either matchups against very good teams across the FBS landscapes or some not-so-good matchups against teams who do not stack up to their competition.
Houston (24) – (31) Washington State
It is very possible to believe that Houston at this point is the best 1-2 team in the nation. The Houston defense played well against Wazzu’s high powered offense, keeping them to just 31 points. The problem for Houston was their passing offense, with QB D’Eriq King going for just 128 yards and one touchdown. It’s pretty impossible to keep up with Washington State without a good passing attack, so the fact that Houston was able to is a very good sign for their defense this year, and they should hope so when they start AAC play against Tulane this Thursday.
Cincinnati (35) – (13) Miami (OH)
It’s hard to believe that the Miami Redhawks at one point jumped out to a 10-0 lead over Cincy considering the final score. Cincinnati, luckily for the American, was able to turn it on in the second quarter and take control of the game for the rest of this one. The Bearcats were helped mostly by their defense figuring out quickly how to stop the Miami OH offense from driving down the field, and RB Michael Warren II exploding for 113 yards and three touchdowns. Desmond Ridder did not have the most exciting game, with 186 yards passing for two touchdowns and one interception, but his QB play got the job done, and Cincy will look forward to playing Marshall on the road before getting conference play started.
Temple (20) – (17) #21 Maryland
This one, for sure, was an insane one to follow on Saturday morning. Anthony Russo had a great day, with 277 yards passing, three touchdowns and one interception, and the defense all around for the Owls was incredibly solid, but they were both weighed down by Temple special teams. Maryland was able to get very close to the goal line to win the game on two separate occasions because of a 55-yard punt return and a 7-yard punt. Temple’s defense, for both punts and the series preceding the first punt, was able to bail the Owls’ special team unit and allow them to take a late victory and upset over a very good Maryland team. Rod Carey came into Temple with some big expectations to meet, and he seems to have so far been meaning them. The Owls look to continue the season strong when they go to Buffalo next week.
Tulsa (21) – (40) Oklahoma State
Tulsa had another rough one in this matchup, as the Cowboys of Oklahoma State came out to Tulsa and had an offensive showcase. Or more appropriately, RB Chuba Hubbard found a way to absolutely wreck the Tulsa defense. He went for a momentous 256 yards and 3 touchdowns, putting on a show and a clinic on how to beat the Tulsa defense. Tulsa’s pass defense played strong, keeping OSU QB Spencer Sanders to 169 yards, 90 of those coming on just one pass, but their offense just was not able to keep up with the Cowboys. Tulsa has had a rough go of things lately, but hopefully their fortunes will change when they host Wyoming in a very entertaining matchup next week.
Memphis (42) – (6) South Alabama
Memphis has continued to show themselves that they are among the class of AAC offenses, as they have been able to perform both with their rushing and passing attack. The duo of Kenneth Gainwell and Kylan Watkins had a tour de force, rushing for 145 and 113 respectively. Brady White played good in his limited time on the field, passing for 209 yards and three touchdowns, with only one interception. There’s not much else to say about this one, except for that the AAC should be very scared of Memphis’ offense for the third year in a row, especially Navy in a few weeks for their next matchup.
East Carolina (10) – (42) Navy
Navy for the entirety of this one absolutely dominated with their multi-faceted triple option offense. QB Malcolm Perry was at the center of everything for the Midshipmen, with 151 yards and two touchdowns passing and 156 yards and four touchdowns running. The Navy defense also played incredibly strong, keeping East Carolina’s Holton Ahlers to just 138 yards passing. East Carolina was not as fortunate on both sides of the ball as the Midshipmen, as they were not able to contain Navy’s slowed down offense and were not able to execute themselves. Overall, this was a strong start to American conference play for a year looking like it will be very exciting
#17 UCF (45) – (27) Stanford
The score for this game is actually pretty deceiving; it was never really that close between UCF and Stanford. UCF score 28 in the first, and never let up control all game even though Heupel let off the gas early. QB Dillon Gabriel shined, throwing for 347 yards and four touchdowns against an injured Stanford defense. The UCF defense looked even stronger than their offense, as they were able to dominate KJ Costello and the Stanford offense throughout this game. Under Josh Heupel as coach and Randy Shannon as defensive coordinator, UCF has been able to grow on both sides of the ball and look even stronger than they have in years past. Look out AAC, UCF is stronger than ever right now.
USF (55) – (16) South Carolina State
USF was able to break up their losing streak and finally win their first game of the season. Jordan McCloud was able to dominate behind center for the Bulls, throwing for 217 yards and three touchdowns. The USF run offense was very much a strength by numbers operation, as they rushed for 218 yards as a unit with no individual over 70 yards. There’s not much else to say because of the gap in competition, but the Bulls are now finally ticking up the right side of the record column this week again.
SMU (47) – (17) Texas State
The Mustangs keep on keeping on, as they look like they are going to be right in the middle of a heated AAC West race again this year. Shane Buchele had a slightly rough day, throwing for two interception, two touchdowns, and 217 yards, but his work got the job done for SMU over a Texas State team that is not having a good year so far. The real highlight for the Mustangs was TJ McDaniel, as his three touchdowns and 159 rushing yards were a key factor in them controlling this game completely. SMU faces a big test next week when they travel just a little bit to Fort Worth to play TCU.
Tulane (58) – (6) Missouri State
Tulane bounced back in a big way after a tough week vs Auburn this week, as the Green Wave controlled the game entirely against the Bears of Missouri State. Tulane spread their offense around all game, as there is no one player to point to as a reason for their victory. This was no problem with their offense, as they all combined for 540 yards against a lower-level defense. Tulane was not caught looking ahead this week, as Houston next Thursday will prove to be a very fun game to watch for the AAC west.
Americ6n Team of the Week: Temple
How could there be any other choice for the best team of the week than the Owls, who were able to pull a great upset victory over a strong Maryland team. Maryland was one of the most talked about teams in the nation for the first two weeks of the season, so Temple should be very proud of themselves for taking home the victory in this one.
Thanks for checking out this week’s recap, and make sure to check back later this week for the preview of next week’s action.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org