By Lucas Owens
After a run of great weekends for the American Athletic Conference, this weekend proved to be a rough one. Aside from Thursday’s fantastic game between Houston and Tulane, every American team was facing a non-conference opponent, and they went 3-4 in those games. SMU of course pulled off a great upset, and Tulsa has a close win with Wyoming, but UCF disappointed in their loss to PITT. UCONN was destroyed by Indiana, and Temple came back down to earth after their win vs. Maryland with their loss to Buffalo.
Houston (31) @ Tulane (38)
This Thursday’s AAC game proved to be just as exciting as I thought it would be, as all the action never stopped through the whole game. Houston came out to an early lead, but it never felt like Tulane was out of it when they were down big. Through the second half they began to come back and managed to surmount the 28-7 deficit in the end. The ending of this one was absolutely electric, with Houston having a strong drive to kick the field goal to tie, only for Tulane to use a trick play in a fake kneel then McMillan throwing a perfect throw to McCleskey just in time for the Green Wave to win it. A perfect ending for one of the most fun and exciting games in college football this year on a national stage.
#15 UCF (34) @ PITT (35)
With all the excitement that the Houston-Tulane game brought, it only makes sense for this one to bring everything down for the American Conference. The Knights’ 27 game regular season winning streak came to a close at 27, and PITT triumphed after a tough loss against Penn State. The Panthers jumped out to a 21-point lead just to give UCF 31 unanswered points, only to then come back and win on a last second touchdown. UCF lost this game, but that does not even come close to putting a damper on what their win streak has done for their program. Congratulations to PITT on pulling this one off, and hopefully for UCF they can turn it around and keep on winning now like they have done in the past.
SMU (41) @ #25 TCU (38)
The Mustangs kept their strong non-conference play going by winning the “Battle for the Iron Skillet” for the first time since 2011 Saturday. QB Shane Buchele again was strong with two touchdowns, one interception and 288 yards passing, while the rushing attack as a whole went for 118 yards and three touchdowns, including one by Buchele running. SMU looks very good going into their eight American conference games, and have a solid matchup, traveling to USF next week.
UCONN (3) @ Indiana (38)
UCONN’s last season in the AAC so far has not been going great, but nothing before-hand compares to this. Don’t get me wrong, Indiana on all accounts looks good this year even after getting shellacked by Ohio State a week ago, but UCONN’s performance this week is very disappointing. QB Jack Zergiotis did not even go for 100 yards, and the Huskies’ leading rusher was Kevin Mensah with 34 yards. UCONN went for 145 yards, only had nine first downs and did not score after their field goal in the first five minutes. UCONN for a second appeared to be turning the corner, but those talks will have to be put on hold for a little bit now.
Tulsa (24) vs. Wyoming (21)
Tulsa picked right back up from where they got off a week ago in their loss against Oklahoma State this week with a close win over Wyoming. QB Zach Smith again looked good with 354 yards passing and two touchdowns, and the defense played strong, only allowing a good Wyoming offense to 357 yards and making a key fumble recovery at the three-yard line to finish it out. With Tulsa’s non-conference schedule, coming out 2-2 is a good scenario for the Golden Hurricane going into their gauntlet of conference play.
Temple (22) @ Buffalo (38)
Last week, Temple beat a good Maryland team at home in an exciting game that captured the eyes of a lot of people around the country. This week, they lost by 16 to a team that got beat by Liberty University 35-17 in their second year of FBS play. Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson was just too much for the Owls to handle after a tiring week against Maryland, as he went for 133 yards and two touchdowns. On the bright side, the Owls’ defense held QB Matt Myers to just 62 yards, and Russo again had a strong passing performance with 258 yards and three touchdowns. But, in the end, Temple was just not able to get it done this week and for that, they suffer their first loss of the season before facing Georgia Tech next week.
ECU (19) vs. William and Mary (7)
ECU handled their business Saturday night and came back strong from a tough loss against Navy by beating William and Mary. Although their offensive performance left a lot to be desired, the defense showed how they like to play by limiting the Tribe to 260 yards and 16 first downs. QB Holton Ahlers still needs to find his footing, as he threw for just 210 yards and one touchdown against a weak defense and needs to improve before their game at Old Dominion next week.
Americ6n Team of the Week: SMU
SMU showed a lot of grit in their victory over TCU and look to be the presumptive favorites for the AAC West alongside Memphis and Tulane in what will surely be an intense race to the finish.
Thanks for checking out this article, and make sure to check out The Most Americ6n Preview when it comes out this Thursday.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org