UConn football has just two games to go, after an absolute drubbing at the hands of No. 20 Cincinnati. The Huskies are now just 2-8 on the year and its likely that their last chance to get a win comes in their next game, against ECU.
ECU (3-7) - Nov. 23
In a barn burner in Dallas, the Pirates could not pull off the upset against No. 25 SMU, falling 59-51. Each team gained more than 600 yards, with a slight edge to ECU (644 to 636). The Mustangs had a seven-point lead after one, and after ECU had to settle for a field goal as time expired in the second quarter, took an eight-point advantage into the locker room. The teams traded scores throughout the second half and the Pirates brought it back to eight points with 1:55 to go, but couldn’t get the ball back. Holton Ahlers was 32-for-42 for 498 yards and six touchdowns. Tyler Snead received 19 of those passes for 240 yards and three scores. Tay Williams led the way rushing with 61 yards.
Temple (6-3) - Nov. 30
The Owls reached bowl eligibility on Thursday with a 17-7 victory over USF in a defensive struggle. One of the bigger plays of the game came in the third quarter, when Sam Franklin scooped up a fumble and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0. That was the second Bulls fumble recovered by the visitors, after they coughed it up on the first possession of the game. Anthony Russo was 15-of-21 passing for 164 yards and an interception, while Todd Centeio completed both of his attempts for three yards and a one-yard touchdown. Jager Gardner ran the ball 25 times for 133 yards to lead the way on the ground. Temple has now won at least six games every year since 2014.
What’s going on in the American Athletic Conference?
Cincinnati and SMU were the only teams truly competing for a championship game berth that played over the weekend and both were victorious, which makes the margin for error that much smaller over the final three games.
East Division Standings
|Cincinnati||5-0||@USF, Temple, @Memphis|
|UCF||4-2||@ Tulane, USF|
|Temple||3-2||Tulane, @Cincinnati, UConn|
|USF||2-3||Cincinnati, Memphis, @UCF|
With Cincinnati’s win over UConn combined with UCF’s loss on Friday night, the Bearcats are now the overwhelming favorite to represent the East. Cincinnati can assure its spot in the conference championship game as early as Saturday when it travels to USF. Temple is technically still alive if it can earn a win against Cincinnati but UCF owns the tiebreaker over the Owls, so the Knights would have to lose at least once and the Bearcats would have to lose one more time than Temple.
West Division Standings
|Memphis||4-1||@Houston, @USF, Cincinnati|
|Tulane||3-2||@Temple, UCF, @SMU|
|Houston||1-4||Memphis, @Tulsa, Navy|
Meanwhile, the West could not be more different, with three teams in the picture all currently tied in the loss column. Memphis still has the inside track as the Tigers have beaten both SMU and Navy. However, if Memphis slips up over its final three games, then Saturday’s matchup between the Mustangs and Midshipmen in Annapolis becomes very important, as the winner would control its own destiny in its final game. Tulane is only one game back in the loss column, but can only represent the West if they win out and both Memphis and Navy lose out.