American Athletic Conference Week 2-3 Roundup

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

How has the American Athletic Conference done these past two weeks.

With all the excitement of Edsall week I forgot to do last week’s AAC Roundup. Please accept my sincerest apologies. Here’s how our conference mates have fared over the past two weeks.

UCF


Week 2: @Florida International, W 38-0


Week 3: @Penn State, 34-31


UCF shut out a vastly inferior FIU team behind 3 TDs from running back Storm Johnson. They followed that one up with a spectacular win on the road against Penn State in Beaver Stadium to improve to 3-0.

In that game, the Knights took a 21-10 lead into the half and started the second half with a TD to make it 28-10, but the Nittany Lions put together a little bit of a comeback behind true freshman QB Christian Hackenberg. UCF was able to hold on thanks to a balanced attack as evidenced by Blake Bortles’ efficient performance (20 for 27, 288 yards, 3 TDs) and Johnson averaging 6.9 ypc on his way to 119 yards and two touchdowns. They have a huge test coming up in two weeks with a home date against South Carolina, and I’m feeling optimistic that the Knights can contend. GO AAC!

Louisville


Week 2: vs. Eastern Kentucky, W 44-7


Week 3: vs. Kentucky, W 27-13


Louisville followed an uneventful blowout of Eastern Kentucky with a bout against Kentucky proper that started off a little shaky until Devante Parker made an insane catch towards the end of the first half to make the score 10-3. Louisville pulled away starting the second half with a 17-3 run to put the game out of reach. After three convincing wins against vastly inferior opponents, many are wondering what in the world can keep Louisville from going undefeated. They have exactly zero ranked teams on the schedule and the only schools that present a threat are UCF, Cincinnati and maybe Rutgers. Without the benefit of seeing them team play against any major competition we have no idea how good they really are.

South Florida


Week 2: @Michigan State, L 21-6


Week 3: vs. Florida Atlantic, L 28-10


If UConn football fans are looking for a program doing worse than ours, look no further than the South Florida Bulls. They were held to two field goals against Michigan State, allowing their defense to score twice off turnovers. The Spartans were able to control the ball with 171 yards on the ground and added an offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game away for good. Obviously to lose that way is not ideal, but Michigan State is a pretty good team in a very good conference so things aren’t all that bad, right? Wrong. They followed up that stinker with the loss to Florida Atlantic where they committed three turnovers and now have more questions than answers going into their next game against No. 16 Miami.

We’ll play them at UConn Homecoming on Oct. 12 to kick off our AAC schedule, should be a pretty interesting game for all the wrong reasons.

Rutgers


Week 2: vs. Norfolk State, W 38-0


Week 3: vs. E. Michigan, W 28-10


Fresh off a 182 yard rushing performance in a tough loss against Fresno State, Scarlet Knights running back Paul James ran for 119 and three TDs in a convincing win against Norfolk State. James continued his dominance in their third game, running for 192 yards and another three T’s against Eastern Michigan on the day they retired Eric LeGrand’s No. 52. They have a pretty good Arkansas team coming into town next week, and I’ll be interested to see how they do against a defense currently No. 11 in the FBS in rushing yards against and No. 13 in scoring defense.

Temple


Week 2: vs. Houston, L 22-13


Week 3: vs. Fordham, L 30-29


Are you ready for some (AAC) Football!!!!!! A Houston-Temple Partayyy!!!!! American Athletic Conference football made its official start with this contest at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly last week that saw Houston win on the strength of five field goals and a 224 yard advantage in yards from scrimmage.

Kudos to the Temple redzone defense for keeping it close as four of the five Cougar field goals were under 25 yards. Houston had a Week 3 bye, and Temple probably wishes they did too. The Owls followed this game up with a brutal last second loss at the hand of the Fordham Rams (for those keeping track at home, that means AAC teams have lost to three FCS opponents so far this year, with an embarrassing loss to newly FBS FAU to boot). The Fordham attack was led by QB Michael Nebrich who threw a 29 yard touchdown for the win with four seconds left in the game. If that name looks familiar to you, it’s because Nebrich started his career at UConn before transferring.

Cincinnati


Week 2: @Illinois, L 45-17


Week 3: vs. Northwestern St., W 66-9


Cincinnati was routed on the road last week by an Illinois team led by QB Nathan Scheelhaase and his four touchdowns. To add injury to insult, Bearcats QB Munchie Legaux suffered a serious leg injury and was carted off the field. Before he left the game, they had pulled it close at 28-17, but three unanswered fourth quarter touchdowns by the Illini did them in.

Later it was revealed that Legaux will miss the rest of the season with torn ligaments in his left knee. Sixth-year Senior Brandon Kay threw four TDs leading the Bearcats to a blowout win over FCS opponent Northwestern State.

Memphis


Week 2: vs. Duke, L 28-14


Week 3: @Middle Tennessee St., L 17-15


The Tigers opened their season with a loss at home to the Duke Blue Devils, and no I’m not talking about basketball, somebody actually lost to Duke’s football team. Despite losing their starting QB to injury, the Blue Devils pulled out the win led behind two fourth-quarter TDs from backup Brandon Connette after Memphis tied it up at 14 with a Jai Steib TD run.

They followed up this unfortunate loss with an even more unfortunate loss at the hand of Middle Tennessee State. The Tigers committed 11 first half penalties en route to 15 total for 145 yards against them - definitely not a winning formula. Nevertheless the game was closely contested, with Memphis pulling ahead 15-14 in the fourth quarter after going for 2 on an extra point, but MTSU hit a field goal with 1:49 left that ultimately won the game.

SMU


Week 2: vs. Montana State, W 31-30


Week 3: Bye


SMU needed a last second touchdown from Garrett Gilbert to Darius Joseph to narrowly avoid the AAC’s fourth loss at the hands of an FCS opponent. Montana State is ranked No. 3 in the FCS, their friends ranked No. 1 and No. 2 were able to beat FBS opponents and the Bobcats almost followed suit. SMU was able to overcome two turnovers and two separate double digit deficits of 22-5 and 30-19 to snatch victory from the hands of defeat. They were off last week and have a Texas A&M squad coming into Dallas this weekend that just lost to ‘Bama.

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