With the first weekend of college football in the books, lets take a look at how things shook out for the American Conference in Week 1. Memphis didn't play, but the other nine teams went 4-5 including two losses to FCS teams and one overtime thriller.
Louisville 49, Ohio 7
Louisville surprised exactly nobody this past Saturday by crushing an Ohio team that didn’t stand a chance. Teddy Bridgewater has taken the lead in the Heisman odds and with a murderers row of games against the likes of Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky, Florida International, Temple and Rutgers before playing UCF at home, we’re likely to see more of the same for the next month or so. UCF and Cincinnati (and UConn!) are looking like the only teams with a legitimate shot against the Cardinals this year.
Cincinnati 42, Purdue 7
Cincinnati rolled over the Boilermakers this past Saturday in Tommy Tuberville’s debut as Bearcats head coach. Led by dual-threat QB Munchie Legaux, getting the surprise start over Brendon Kay, Cincinnati scored 35 unanswered after a second-quarter touchdown by Purdue. It is unsure whether Legaux or incumbent Brandon Kay will be starting in the future, but with such a strong defense it probably doesn’t matter and it benefits Tuberville to keep opponents guessing so they have to spend time preparing for both. The Bearcats play at Illinois next week.
UCF 38, Akron 7
Blake Bortels threw for a career-high 314 yards and tossed 3 touchdowns to lead UCF to a comfortable home win over Akron to open the season strong. With Louisville and Cincinnati clearly looking like the top two teams in the American, the Knights are looking like the leader out of the gates for that third slot which most have been unsure about.
Fresno State 52, Rutgers 51
With 456 passing yards and 5 TD’s Fresno State QB Derek Carr, younger brother of former #1 overall pick and human sack dummy David Carr, led the Bulldogs to an exciting one point overtime win over Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights hit a field goal at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime. After a Fresno State touchdown, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood made the gutsy call to go for two but it failed. Carr is a good QB (96th ranked prospect according to our friends at Mocking the Draft) and Fresno State is a pretty good team so they shouldn’t be too disappointed considering they played pretty well. Running back Paul James ran for 182 yards on 22 carries and Wide Receiver Leonte Caroo had 5 receptions for 135 yards and 3, yes three, touchdowns. Watch out for those two in our November 30th tilt at Rentschler.
Houston 62, Southern 13
Houston opened the season by blowing out FCS’s Southern University. This was effectively a preseason game for the Cougars so there isn’t a whole lot to learn from what happened here. They visit Temple on Saturday- I’ll be more interested to see how they perform against a conference foe, even if it is Temple.
Texas Tech 41, SMU 23
The big story of this game was Baker Mayfield, a true-freshman walk-on starting for a BCS team for the first time in history. SMU was only down 4 at the half but three straight touchdowns by the Red Raiders in the fourth quarter put the game away for good. It looks like turnovers, missed field goals and penalties really hampered the Mustangs, who could have kept it close and actually gained more yards and had longer TOP. They play Montana St next week before taking on #7 Texas A&M on the road.
Notre Dame 28, Temple 6
Temple couldn’t handle the #14 Irish at Notre Dame Stadium and who could blame ‘em. Their only hope was that the Fighting Irish would underestimate and overlook them with a Michigan game on the horizon. That didn’t happen- Tommy Rees threw for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns and his team has their confidence up going into a big game at Michigan.
McNeese State 52, USF 21
We weren’t the only ones in our esteemed conference to get blown out in embarrassing fashion by an FCS school. McNeese State really had their way with USF in a decidedly one-sided affair. The game got off to a good start for the Bulls with an 80 yard touchdown by Marcus Shaw on the first play from scrimmage, the rest of the night was a nightmare (not unlike the one Huskies fans endured on Thursday). McNeese’s Cowboys, spurred by 2 USF INT’s, took a 33-7 lead into the half and opened the second half with a touchdown that pretty much put the game away.
Towson 33, UConn 18
Nothing too surprising here. Louisville and Cinci are the class of the conference, UCF is looking like a solid third and any spots on the ladder thereafter are still up for grabs. Honestly the most surprising result is probably our loss to Towson or the shellacking McNeese State put on USF.
We've got conference play starting next week, sooo there's that to look forward to.
AAC Football, feel the magic!