UConn football was in the game early against Navy, but costly turnovers and questionable play calling near the goal line allowed the Midshipmen to pull away in the second quarter and extend their lead to eventually take a 56-10 victory. The Huskies only have three more games to go, two of which are against teams with winning records. Here is what those three teams did over the weekend.
No. 17 Cincinnati (7-1) - Nov. 9
From a wild first quarter that saw 35 points scored to a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter for the 24-point road favorites, to a walk-off field goal for Cincinnati to win 46-43, the Bearcats’ matchup with ECU in Greenville had everything. Desmond Ridder was 12-24 passing for 161 yards with a touchdown against two interceptions, but he did add another 121 yards on the ground. That total was just short of Michael Warren II’s 141 yards rushing, who found the end zone three times on the day. Ahmad Gardner also returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown.
The Bearcats were out-possessed by almost 10 minutes and lost the turnover battle, but were able to stage a 12-point comeback in the fourth quarter and drive down the field in 1:09 to kick a 32-yard field goal as time expired, after holding the Pirates to just three points in the red zone on the previous possession.
ECU (3-6) - Nov. 23
ECU hosted No. 18 Cincinnati on Saturday night and out-gained the Bearcats 638 to 462, forced two turnovers to Cincinnati’s one, held the ball for over 34 minutes, and the Pirates’ first down total (35) was nearly double their visitors (19). However, the host’s 27-yard field goal with 1:10 to go was not good enough, as Cincinnati drove down the field and kicked a 37-yard one of its own to take a 46-43 victory.
Holton Ahlers threw for 535 yards on 32-52 passing with four touchdowns and an interception mixed in. Ahlers also added 21 yards on the ground and was able to find the end zone once. The Pirates did most of their damage through the air, as they only gained 103 yards on 35 attempts. Trace Christian had 43 yards on nine carries to lead the way.
Temple (5-3) - Nov. 30
Temple has the week off and will travel to USF on Thursday.
What’s going on in the American Athletic Conference?
With just four weeks to go, the division races are starting to shape up. Cincinnati has the inside track to represent the East division, while in the West, it’s a much more interesting race.
East Division Standings
The Bearcats defeated UCF on October 4 and as holders of the tiebreaker, would have to lose two more times than the Knights over their final four games (UConn, at USF, Temple and at Memphis) to lose the division title. UCF will travel to Tulsa and Tulane, then host USF to close the season. If chaos happens over the final four weeks of the season, then USF and potentially Temple could sneak into the discussion, but the Owls are on the outside looking in as of now.
West Division Standings
Memphis holds the tiebreaker over both Navy and SMU, while the Midshipmen and Mustangs will face off in Annapolis on November 23. The Tigers control their own destiny and with just three games to play (at Houston, at USF, Cincinnati), have the inside track. However, if they trip up over the next four weeks, the matchup between Navy and SMU will loom large as the winner will hold an advantage when the season ends. Tulane is also hanging around on the outside, but its two losses are to Navy and Memphis, with a contest on the road at SMU coming up on November 30.