By Lucas Owens
What a weird week this was for AAC football. Half the games were blowouts, and the other half were close. Navy had a huge win over Tulsa that makes me wonder just how good their defense is at stopping a wear down run game, and USF actually came out strong and beat BYU in a surprising victory for the Bulls to get their third win amid a rough season. Cincinnati had a solid win over Houston, and of course the story of the week is Temple eking out a close victory to end Memphis’ perfect season.
#23 Memphis (28) – Temple (30)
Memphis QB Brady White’s 363-yard performance just was not enough to overcome Temple in Philadelphia on Saturday, and the root cause of the loss came from costly Memphis turnovers. Memphis turned over the ball on three straight drives at one point in the first half, all of which led directly to Temple mounting a big lead. Temple’s lead was at 16-0 until the midpoint of the second quarter, and Memphis’ efforts throughout were just never enough to overcome that deficit. QB Anthony Russo had a fine game for the Owls with 224 yards passing and two touchdowns. Temple’s defense really shined in this one, and the Owls’ fluke in Buffalo seems even weirder to this day.
#25 Cincinnati (38) – Houston (23)
Cincy continued their run of good games in this one with a close game until Houston, surprisingly, had the ball down by one score with only three minutes remaining in the game. However, Cincy batted the ball from Tune down and picked it off, running all the way back to the end zone to get a huge swing in their favor. Overall, the Bearcats played a successful game but definitely not their best to date, while Houston had a resurgent performance after some tough outings to start the season. QB Desmond Ridder had a great performance with 263 yards and three touchdowns. Although Cincy got outplayed in some respects in this one, they still came out with a huge victory, and Houston would have had a great chance to win if Cincy had not forced so many turnovers.
BYU (23) – USF (27)
USF has to be the team I am most surprised to see with a 3-3 record at this point in the season. Looking at their schedule it makes sense, but this win over BYU was still very unexpected for me. Cronkrite’s run game was electric for the Bulls, with 158 yards and two touchdowns, while QB Jordan McCloud took a backseat letting the veterans work more. USF’s defense was another big highlight in this one, as they had been struggling with facing good offenses all season and they really came to bat for the rest of the Bulls this game. Overall, USF is feeling like a very emotional team this season, so it is a great sign that things are beginning to swing the other way for them right now.
UCONN (7) – Tulane (49)
I expected Tulane to be very dominant in this game, but for them to be this good has to be a little surprising. QB Justin McMillan had 231 yards and two touchdowns passing, which is a great performance by Tulane’s spread option standards. The Green Wave had an insane 634 yards overall and 32 first downs. Tulane is very close to becoming bowl eligible and look to have their eyes on the AAC West title for the first time.
Navy (45) – Tulsa (17)
Navy had another fantastic performance in this game, but Tulsa’s defense left a whole lot to be desired. They were consistently beaten back, and their size ended up working against them in a rough game for the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa QB Zach Smith had a tough game and the rest of the offense was just not well equipped enough to pick up the slack, but I do not think anything could have helped the Golden Hurricane get a win in this one. For Navy, especially QB Malcolm Perry, the run game was lethal throughout, as the Midshipmen ran for 388 yards as a unit. Overall, Navy looks very strong coming out of this and Tulsa has a lot of room to improve after a rough outing.
Americ6n Team of the Week: Temple
Temple again gets team of the week, as their upset of Memphis threw a wrench into the whole AAC West race and makes for a great run between them, Cincy and UCF for the AAC East.
Thank you for checking out this recap, and make sure to check out The Most Americ6n Preview this Thursday.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org