Friday, December 1, 2023
5-Hour Energy

CFB-FBS: American Athletics Conference Week 9 Previews

FRIDAY, OCT. 27 • 7:30 P.M. • ESPN2
Jerry Richardson Stadium (15,314/Synthetic)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Television: ESPN2
Anish Shroff, Andre Ware and Paul Carcaterra
Florida Atlantic Radio Charlotte Radio

Friday’s game will be the ninth meeting between Florida Atlantic and Charlotte in a series that began in 2015 and has been played each year since … The Owls hold a 6-2 series lead and have won the last four, including a 43-13 decision last season in Boca Raton … Charlotte’s last win was in 2018 … The 49ers are 0-4 at home against the Owls.

3-4, 2-1 American
Head Coach: Tom Herman (Cal Lutheran ’97)
3-4, first season at Florida Atlantic – 57-25, seventh season as collegiate head coach

Florida Atlantic saw a two-game winning streak snapped with a 36-10 setback to UTSA last Saturday in Boca Raton … The Owls had won their first two American Athletic Conference games by edging Tulsa 20-17 and scoring an impressive road win at South Florida (56-14) … QB Daniel Richardson has taken over as the starter in the wake of season-ending knee injury to QB Casey Thompson … Richardson has completed 116 of 183 passes for 1,044 yards and five touchdowns … RB Larry McCammon III has rushed for 472 yards and four TDs … WR LaJohntay Wester is the NCAA leader in receptions (9.4 per game) … Wester has 66 catches for 636 yards and three touchdowns and has 190 yards and a TD on eight punt returns … DE Marlon Bradley has a team-high three sacks to lead the defense.

2-5, 1-2 American
Head Coach: Biff Poggi (Duke)
2-5, first season

Charlotte picked up its first American Athletic Conference victory as the 49ers relied on a stifling defense to get a 10-7 win at East Carolina last Saturday … The 49ers rank fourth in The American in both scoring defense (22.7 ppg) and total defense (345.1 ypg) … The 49ers have used two quarterbacks for much of the season, but QB Jalon Jones went the distance against East Carolina … Jones has completed 55 of 90 passes for 564 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions and is the 49ers’ leading rusher with 447 yards and four TDs … QB Trexler Ivey has completed 49 of 86 for 601 yards and two touchdowns and two INTs … WR Jack Hestera, has 22 catches for 283 yards and two touchdowns … DE Eyabi Okie-Anoma, a transfer from Michigan, has five sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and nine quarterback pressures.

Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000/FieldTurf)
Dallas, Texas
Television ESPNU
John Schriffen, Rocky Boiman and Dawn Davenport
Tulsa Radio SMU Radio
KXBL-FM 99.5 KTCK-FM 96.7

Saturday’s game will be the 30th meeting between Tulsa and SMU in a series that dates to 1935 … The Mustangs hold a 16-13 series lead following last year’s 45-34 victory in Tulsa … The Golden Hurricane was a 34-31 winner in the last meeting in Dallas, in 2021 … The schools have played each year sine 1996, with the exception of 2013.

3-4, 1-2 American
Head Coach: Kevin Wilson (North Carolina ’84)
3-4, first season at Tulsa – 29-51, seventh season as collegiate head coach

Tulsa looks to avoid a season-long three-game losing streak after the Golden Hurricane fell 42-10 to Rice last Thursday … Tulsa has had to play from behind for much of the season as the opponent has scored first in six of the Golden Hurricane’s seven games … Tulsa has struggled to find consistency at the quarterback position, primarily due to injuries … QB Cardell Williams and QB Braylon Braxton both saw regular action in the game against Rice … Williams has thrown for 1,056 yards and nine touchdowns with seven interceptions … RB Anthony Watkins has rushed for 396 yards and two touchdowns … WR Devan Williams has a team-high 22 receptions for 315 yards and two TDs … S Kendarin Ray has a league-leading 71 tackles, while DE Ben Kopenski has 4.5 sacks.

-/rv SMU
5-2, 3-0 American
Head Coach
Rhett Lashlee (Arkansas ’08)
12-8, second season

SMU takes a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s game after the Mustangs rolled to a 55-0 win at Temple last Friday … SMU has won its three American Athletic Conference games by a combined score of 120-26 … Overall, SMU leads The American in both total defense (285.6 ypg, 13th nationally) and scoring defense (14.6 ppg, ninth nationally) … QB Preston Stone has completed 136 of 234 passes for 1,767 yards and 16 touchdowns against five interceptions … RB Jaylan Knighton has rushed for a team-high 422 yards with three touchdowns … WR Jake Bailey has a team-high 26 receptions for 294 yards, while TE RJ Maryland has 21 catches for 220 yards and four touchdowns … DE Elijah Roberts has a team-high four sacks to lead a defense that has registered 22 sacks this year … LB Kobe Wilson has a team-high 39 tackles.

SATURDAY, OCT. 28 • 3 P.M. • ESPN+
DATCU Stadium (30,850/Power Blade HP)
Denton, Texas
Television: ESPN+
James Westling, Ladarrin McLane and Morgan Uber
Memphis Radio North Texas Radio
WXMX-FM 98.9 KEGL-FM 97.1

Saturday’s game will be the 22nd meeting between Memphis and North Texas in a series that traces its roots to 1952 … Memphis won 14 in a row between 1960-75 and holds a 17-4 series lead … The Tigers took a 44-34 win last year at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium as Memphis scored on a pair of interception returns.

5-2, 2-1 American
Head Coach
Ryan Silverfield (Hamden-Sydney ’03)
26-18 fourth season

Memphis bounced back from its first conference loss with a 45-21 win at UAB in the renewal of the Battle for the Bones trophy series … The Tigers were tied with the Blazers 21-21 at halftime before closing with 24 unanswered points … QB Seth Henigan has completed 163 of 246 passes for 1,856 yards and 15 touchdowns against seven interceptions … RB Blake Watson a transfer from Old Dominion, is second in The American in rushing at 84.7 yards per game … Watson has rushed for 593 yards and seven touchdowns on 103 carries … WR Roc Taylor has 38 receptions for 556 yards and two touchdowns and is one of four players with at least 200 receiving yards … LB Chandler Martin has 54 tackles with 6.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles … Martin is fourth in The American with 7.7 tackles per game.

3-4, 1-2 American
Head Coach
Eric Morris (Texas Tech ’08)
3-4, first season at North Texas – 27-22, fifth season as collegiate head coach

North Texas looks to bounce back from a 35-28 loss to then-No. 23 Tulane … The Mean Green battled back from a 28-7 third-quarter deficit, tying the score at 28-28 before Tulane got the game-winning touchdown with 2:34 left … The Mean Green leads The American in total offense (470.1 ypg) and is third in scoring offense (34.6 ppg) … QB Chandler Rogers enters Saturday’s game ranked second in The American in pass efficiency (151.68) … Rogers has completed 143 of 221 passes for 1,762 yards and 14 touchdowns against only one interception and has completed 216 consecutive passes without an INT … WR Ja’Mori Maclin has 33 catches for 658 yards and a conference-leading nine touchdowns … K Noah Rauschenberg has gone 9-for-11 on field goals.

SATURDAY, OCT. 28 • 3:30 P.M. • ESPN+
Alamodome (36,582/FusionH XP2 Synthetic)
San Antonio, Texas
Television: ESPN+
Ted Emrich, Doc Holiday and Smacker Miles
East Carolina Radio UTSA Radio
WNCT-FM 107.9 KTXR-AM 760

Saturday’s game will be the first meeting between East Carolina and UTSA … The schools were both members of Conference USA in the 2013 season, but did not meet on the gridiron that season … UTSA is one of two first-time opponents for East Carolina this season, while ECU is one of three first-time foes for the Roadrunners.

1-6, 0-3 American
Head Coach
Mike Houston (Mars Hill ‘94)
23-30, fifth season at East Carolina – 103-55, 13th season as collegiate head coach

East Carolina looks for its first conference win of the year after the Pirates fell 10-7 to Charlotte last Friday … East Carolina opened the season with three consecutive losses, but scored a 44-0 win against Gardner-Webb to close nonconference play … The Pirates have struggled \offensively, having scored more than 20 points only twice in seven games … East Carolina ranks second in The American in total defense at 331.3 yards per game, and has a stout front that has limited opponents to 121 rushing yards per game, good for third in the conference … QB Alex Flinn has passed for 718 yards and two touchdowns with six interceptions … RB Rahjai Harris has 249 yards and four touchdowns … The defense is led by DE Chad Stephens, who has a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss.

4-3, 3-0 American
Head Coach
Jeff Traylor (Stephen F. Austin ’90)
34-13, fourth season

UTSA is off to a 3-0 start in conference play after a 36-10 win at Florida Atlantic last Saturday… The Roadrunners, who started 1-3 this season, were 1-2 through three games last year and responded with 10 consecutive wins on their way to the Conference USA title … Head coach Jeff Traylor has gone 25-3 in regular-season conference games at UTSA … QB Frank Harris, who missed UTSA’s games against Army and Tennessee, has thrown for 1,193 yards and nine touchdowns this season … RB Kevorian Barnes has rushed for 469 yards and four touchdowns … WR Joshua Cephus is the leading receiver with 52 catches for 498 yards and six touchdowns … LB Trey Moore leads the team with nine sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss … The Roadrunners did not have a defensive interception in their first five games, but have four picks in the last two.

SATURDAY, OCT. 28 • 4 P.M. • ESPN2
Rice Stadium (47,000/FieldTurf)
Houston, Texas
Television: ESPN2
Drew Carter, Brock Osweiler and Kayla Burton
Tulane Radio Rice Radio
KVDU-FM 104.1 Varsity Network

Saturday’s game will be the 37th meeting between Tulane and Rice in a series that dates to 1916 … The Owls hold a 20-15-1 series lead and have won the last three meetings, including a 17-13 decision in Houston in 2013, the last time the teams met … Tulane’s last win at Rice Stadium was a 45-31 victory in 2007.

22/23 TULANE
6-1, 3-0 American
Head Coach
Willie Fritz (Pittsburg State ’83)
49-46, eighth season at Tulane – 203-115, 25th season as collegiate head coach

Tulane moved up one spot in the national polls after the Green Wave took a 35-28 win against North Texas last Saturday … Tulane’s only loss was a 37-20 decision to Ole Miss in Week 2 in which QB Michael Pratt did not play … Pratt, who missed two games due to injury, has returned to the lineup and has completed 80 of 113 passes (70.8%) for 1,121 yards and 12 touchdowns against two interceptions … WR Lawrence Keys is the leading receiver with 494 yards and six touchdowns, while WR Jha’Quan Jackson has 19 catches for 329 yards and four TDs … Freshman RB Makhi Hughes has a team- and conference-high 619 rushing yards with five TDs … DE Patrick Jenkins has 4.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss to lead the defense … DE Darius Hodges leads the team with 5.5 sacks.

4-3, 2-1 American
Head Coach
Mike Bloomgren (Florida State ’99)
20-42, sixth season

Rice responded from a frustrating loss to UConn to close nonconference play with its best performance of the season in a 42-10 win at Tulsa last Thursday … The Owls reeled off 512 yards of offense and forced three Tulsa turnovers in what turned out be their first road win of the season … The catalyst on offense has been QB JT Daniels … Daniels leads The American in passing at 310.4 yards per game and has a league-leading 17 touchdown passes … WR Luke McCaffrey has 36 receptions for 613 yards and seven touchdowns, and is third in The American at 87.6 yards per game … RB Dean Connors is the leading rusher with 300 yards and four touchdowns after his career-high 120 yards against Tulsa … LB Josh Pearcy leads the team with 6.5 tackles for loss, while DE Coleman Coco has a team-high three sacks.

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