American Athletic Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
CINCINNATI: The Bearcats erupted in the first half and never looked back en route to a 52-17 rout of Rutgers on the road. The Bearcats have won five straight games since losing their league opener against South Florida, and are now sitting at 8-2 overall and 5-1 in conference. That league mark has Cincinnati tied with Louisville for second place in the AAC standings. The Bearcats went up 24-7 at the end of the first quarter against Rutgers and finished with 619 yards of total offense, the fifth-highest total in program history. Of those yards, 422 came in the first half, which was the most since 2009. Brendon Kay threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns on 24-of-38 passing and he also caught a 12-yard pass. Anthony McClung hauled in seven passes for 115 yards while Shaq Washington (six receptions, 123 yards, TD), Chris More (four receptions, 75 yards, two TDS) and MeKale McKay (three receptions, 124 yards, three TDs) all had huge games through the air. The Bearcats also had 112 rushing yards, led by 39 on six carries from Hosey Williams. Greg Blair had ten tackles and Jordan Stepp recorded one of three sacks for Cincinnati, which takes on Houston next.
CONNECTICUT: For the ninth time in as many tries this season the Huskies were defeated, suffering a 38-21 setback at SMU. The winless Huskies are 0-6 in league play and have lost each of the last three games by at least 17 points. UConn managed 385 yards of total offense but let up 460 to the Mustangs. Casey Cochran got the start at quarterback and completed 25-of-24 passes for 227 yards and two scores, but was also intercepted twice. Lyle McCombs managed to reach the century mark in rushing as he piled up 103 yards on 17 carries, while Max DeLorenzo added 62 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Geremy Davis led the Huskies with 77 yards and a touchdown while tying for the team lead in receptions with six. Byron Jones led the club with 11 tackles, while Yawin Smallwood, who leads the team in stops on the season, had five. Shamar Stephen collected one of the team's two sacks. UConn visits Temple next weekend with a chance at claiming its first league victory.
HOUSTON: The Cougars gave Louisville everything it could handle but fell short in a 20-13 decision on the road. The loss was the second straight for Houston, which is now 7-3 overall and at 4-2 in league play, and has fallen to fourth place in the AAC standings. The normally potent Cougars were shut down by the Louisville defense as they managed just 200 yards of total offense while averaging just 3.1 yards per play. John O'Korn was sacked three times and managed to complete just 16-of-35 pass attempts for a total of 126 yards through the air. Andre Rodriguez had 29 yards on three receptions to lead the team in receiving yards. Ryan Jackson rushed for 26 yards on 13 carries, and Kenneth Farrow had a score and 24 yards on nine totes. Farrow's seven-yard touchdown run was one of two scores in as many trips to the red zone for the Cougars, who converted just 5-of-15 attempts on third down. Efrem Oliphant recorded 13 tackles and a sack, and Trevon Stewart had 12 stops and a fumble recovery, the only turnover forced by the Cougars. Houston plays its next two games at home against Cincinnati and SMU.
LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals were dominant defensively en route to a 20-13 win over Houston at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Louisville held the Cougars to just 200 yards of total offense, including a mere 121 through the air, the fewest UH has gained in a game since 2005. Louisville has held three opponents to 200 or fewer or yards this season. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals finished with just 332 yards of total offense. Teddy Bridgewater accounted for 203 of those yards on 19-of-29 passing and even though he was not picked off, he also failed to throw a touchdown pass. Dominique Brown handled the bulk of the scoring responsibilities as he had two touchdowns as well as 137 yards on 27 carries. The Cardinals are 16-2 under head coach Charlie Strong when a running back reaches the century mark in a game. DeVante Parker led the Cardinals in receiving with 72 yards on four receptions. Roy Philon had four tackles for loss and one of three sacks for Louisville, which had nine tackles for loss in the game but did not force a turnover. The Cardinals take on Memphis next weekend.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers managed to earn a league victory, their first as a member of the AAC, as they pulled out a 23-10 triumph over South Florida at Raymond James Stadium. The Tigers have won back-to-back games, as they logged a 21-6 win over Tennessee-Martin last weekend. The Tigers recent surge has them at 3-6 overall, but just 1-4 in league contests. Brandon Hayes rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Hayes has scored a touchdown in six of the last seven games and leads the team in total scores with seven. Doroland Dorceus finished with 51 yards of his own, and quarterback Paxton Lynch had 51 yards on six attempts. Lynch only threw for 59 yards on 6-of-13 passing and was also intercepted once. The Tigers won despite converting just 2-of-10 third-down attempts, while managing just 242 yards of total offense. Martin Ifedi recorded two sacks in the win and now has 9.5 on the year. Memphis will face Louisville on the road next week.
RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights were routed, 52-17, by Cincinnati at High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday for their third loss in the last four outings. Rutgers recent losing trend has pushed the team down to 5-4 overall and just 2-3 in league play in its second season under head coach Kyle Flood. Rutgers was lit up for 619 yards of total offense in the loss while picking up only 357 itself. Gary Nova threw for 170 yards and a score on 18-of-38 passing, but he intercepted twice and sacked three times. Chas Dodd saw time under center as well and went 9-of-12 for 79 yards. Brandon Coleman caught six balls for 77 yards and a score, and was one of 10 players to record a catch for the Scarlet Knights. Paul James rushed for a team-high 78 yards on 19 carries, and Savon Huggins rushed for a touchdown and 37 yards on eight attempts. Anthony Cioffi had a team-high nine tackles and also forced a fumble. Rutgers travels south to face UCF next.
SMU: For the third time in the last four weeks, the Mustangs put a tally in the win column as they notched a 38-21 triumph at Ford Stadium over UConn. Thanks to their recent winning ways, the Mustangs have fought back to respectability in league play (3-2) while they are still alive for a postseason berth with an overall record of 4-5. Garrett Gilbert had another big game as he threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns on 33-of-52 passing. In the game Gilbert set the single-season record at SMU for completions in a season with 316. Gilbert also set a SMU record with his eighth 300-yard passing effort of the year. Jeremy Johnson led the way with 12 receptions and two scores, although he had just 71 yards. Keenan Holman had two touchdowns and eight receptions to go with 88 yards, while Der'rikk Thompson (five receptions, 113 yards) was the only receiver to go over the 100-yard mark. K.C. Nlemchi rushed for 64 yards on eight carries, both team-highs. SMU finished with 460 yards of total offense. The Mustangs will be on the road against South Florida next week.
SOUTH FLORIDA: The Bulls continued their downward spiral on Saturday as they lost for the third straight time with a 23-10 setback against Memphis. The loss came in the second-to-last home game of the season for the Bulls, who host SMU at Raymond James Stadium next week before finishing the campaign on the road. South Florida is 2-7 overall, although its two wins have come during its five league bouts. South Florida did hold Memphis to just 242 yards of total offense, but tallied only 325 itself. Mike White started at quarterback and was intercepted four times while throwing for 198 yards and a touchdown on 18-of-33 passing. Andre Davis had seven receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. No other player had more than 20 yards through the air. Marcus Shaw rushed for 57 yards on 11 carries, including a 36-yard run, one of two rushes of more than 20 yards for the Bulls. Elkino Watson finished with three tackles for loss, which included the team's only sack.
TEMPLE: The Owls were dropped in heartbreaking fashion as a 23-yard field goal as time expired sent them away with a 39-36 loss to UCF at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple took a 36-29 lead with just over two minutes to play on a seven- yard touchdown pass from P.J. Walker to Chris Parthemore, but the Knights responded with 10 unanswered points in the final 1:06 to escape with the victory. The loss was the third straight for the Owls, who remain winless in league play (0-6) and just 1-9 overall. Walker threw for a career-high in yards (382) and touchdowns (four), while completing 26-of-44 passes though he was also intercepted once. Walker also rushed for 41 yards and a score. Robby Anderson caught eight passes for 184 yards and two scores and Kenneth Harper led the team with 77 yards on 19 carries. Jalen Fitzpatrick also contributed 52 yards on five receptions. Tyler Matakevich added nine tackles to his total this year (122), which ranks second nationally. Temple hosts UConn in its final home game of the season next weekend.
UCF: J.J. Worton made a spectacular one-handed diving grab in the back of the end zone with just over a minute to play, and Shawn Moffitt kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Knights to a 39-36 win over the Temple Owls. The win allowed UCF to retain its spot at the top of the AAC standings as they are 5-0 in league play while holding a record of 8-1 overall. The Knights gave up 518 yards of total offense to the Owls, but responded with 657 of their own. Blake Bortles threw for 404 yards and four scores on 27-of-38 passing. Bortles also rushed for a season-high 63 yards on 11 carries while Storm Johnson had 122 yards on 14 attempts. Worton had three touchdown receptions in the game and led the team with 10 catches for a career-high 179 yards. Rannell Hall added 159 yards on nine receptions for his third 100-yard effort of the season. Thomas Niles had one of three sacks for the Knights, and Clayton Geathers tied for a game-high with nine tackles. UCF plays back-to- back home games next, with the first against Rutgers on Thursday night.
11/18 11:06:49 ET