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CFB: Week 8 Conference Notes – American Athletic Conference (AAC)

THIS WEEK

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
Tulsa at Temple *
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Series: Tied, 3-3
Last Meeting: Nov. 20, 2021 (Tulsa, 44-10)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
Cincinnati at SMU *
Time: Noon
Series: Cincinnati leads, 5-1
Last Meeting: Nov. 20, 2021 (Cincinnati, 48-14)

Houston at Navy *
Time: Noon
Series: Houston leads, 6-2
Last Meeting: Sept. 25, 2021 (Houston, 28-20)

Memphis at Tulane *
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Series: Memphis leads, 24-13-1
Last Meeting: Nov. 27, 2021 (Memphis, 33-28)

UCF at East Carolina *
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Series: Tied, 10-10
Last Meeting: Oct. 9, 2021 (UCF, 20-16)

  • American Athletic Conference game
    All times Eastern

WEEKLY HONORS

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
John Rhys Plumlee • Sr. • QB • UCF
Plumlee tied an American Athletic Conference single-game record by figuring in seven touchdowns in UCF’s 70-13 win against Temple. Plumlee completed 18 of 22 passes for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns and added three rushing TDs against a Temple defense that had allowed only two offensive touchdowns in its previous 12 quarters. Plumlee became only the third FBS player in the last decade to finish a game with at least four touchdown passes and three rushing TDs.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Julius Wood • Jr. • S • East Carolina
Wood registered a game-high 11 tackles, including six solo stops, and came up with a pivotal defensive play in East Carolina’s 47-45 four-overtime win against Memphis. With the Pirates trailing 20-13, Wood had a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown to tie the game and cap ECU’s comeback from an early 17-0 deficit.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Chris Howard • Sr. • K • Memphis
Howard led all American Athletic Conference kickers with 13 points in Week 7 as he connected on three field goals and four PATs in a four-overtime loss at East Carolina. Howard hit field goals from 40, 23 and 46 yards. Howard has gone 14-for-14 on field goal attempts this season, leading all FBS kickers.

HONOR ROLL
Keaton Mitchell • So. • RB • East Carolina
Rushed for 149 yards and three touchdowns, along with a two-point conversion in overtime, in a 47-45 four-OT win against Memphis. Had all three TDs after the 1:45 mark of the fourth quarter.

Tanner Mordecai • Sr. • QB • SMU
Completed 20 of 27 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 74 yards with a TD in a 40-34 win against Navy.

Isaac Slade-Matautia • Sr. • LB • SMU
Had six tackles with a half-sack and an interception in a 40-34 win against Navy.

Nick Anderson • Sr. • LB • Tulane
Had seven tackles with a forced fumble, 1.5 tackles for loss and a half-sack in a 45-31 win at South Florida.

Michael Pratt • Jr. • QB • Tulane
Completed 23 of 35 passes for a career-high 329 yards and two touchdowns and had two rushing TDs in a 45-31 win at South Florida.

AMERICAN NOTEBOOK

Everyone Wins
Since the start of the 2014 season, all 11 American Athletic Conference teams have been ranked at least once in the Associated Press top 25 poll. The American, the ACC and the Big 12 are the only FBS conferences that have had each member ranked since 2014.

Conference Call
The American will finish the regular season with a combined 9-3 record against non-autonomous FBS conference opponents in 2022.

Ride The Wave
Tulane is ranked in the top 25 for the first time since the end of the 1998 season, when the Green Wave finished the year at No. 7.

Groundbreaking
Tulane is 3-0 in American Athletic Conference play for the first time.

Top Of The Charts
East Carolina QB Holton Ahlers has set The American’s career passing yards and total offense records and needs six touchdown passes to tie the career mark in that category.

Career Passing Yards

  1. 12,343 Holton Ahlers, East Carolina (2018-)
  2. 10,782 Dane Evans, Tulsa (2014-16)

Career Total Offense

  1. 13,715 Holton Ahlers, East Carolina (2018-)
  2. 12,418 Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati (2018-21)

Career Touchdown Passes

  1. 90 Brady White, Memphis (2018-20)
  2. 86 Holton Ahlers, East Carolina (2018-)

Bowl Wave
Tulane became the first American Athletic Conference team to qualify for Bowl Season following its win against South Florida.

Internal Affairs
Cincinnati is one win shy of UCF’s conference records of 17 straight regular-season wins and 19 straight combined victories against American opponents.

Low Ceiling
UCF has held its last nine opponents — including all six this season — to 20 points or fewer. The streak is the longest in the nation.

Time-And-A-Half?
Three of Houston’s first six games have been decided in overtime. East Carolina has had two overtime decisions in its first four conference games. Houston is the only team in the nation that has played in three overtime games this season.

We Must Defend This House
Cincinnati has won 30 consecutive games at Nippert Stadium, trailing only Clemson (37) for the nation’s longest active home field winning streak. UCF has won 33 of its last 36 home games.

Crunch Time
East Carolina RB Keaton Mitchell scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion from the 1:45 mark of the fourth quarter to the end of the game in the Pirates’ four-overtime win against Memphis last Saturday.

Isn’t That Special
Memphis K Chris Howard leads the nation in field goal percentage (14-for-14, 1.000). P Joe Doyle is second nationally in punting at 48.2 yards per punt.

Gus’ House
UCF is unbeaten (6-0) in American Athletic Conference home games under Gus Malzahn.

Any Way You Want It
UCF QB John Rhys Plumlee became the third player in the last decade to throw four touchdown passes and rush for three TDs in the same game. Paxton Lynch of Memphis did it Dec. 22, 2014, against BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl, while Lamar Jackson of Louisville accomplished the feat Nov. 5, 2016, against Boston College.

600 Club
UCF is the only FBS team to surpass 600 yards in a game three times this season.

Passing Fancy
SMU QB Tanner Mordecai ranks third among NCAA FBS players in passing offense (336.0 yards per game).

Catching On
Tulsa WR Keylon Stokes ranks second nationally in receiving yards (129.2 ypg), while SMU WR Rashee Rice is third (126.8 ypg). Rice is third nationally in receptions (8.2 per game), while East Carolina WR Isaiah Winstead is fifth (7.4).

At A Loss
Cincinnati LB Ivan Pace Jr. is the national leader in tackles for loss at 2.1 per game. Pace has 12.5 tackles for loss in 2022.

One And Only …
Cincinnati finished the 2021 regular season as the nation’s only unbeaten team (13-0). The Bearcats’ only loss in 2021 came to Alabama in the CFP Semifinals.

… But Not The Only One
The American Athletic Conference has had an undefeated team entering Bowl Season in four of the last five seasons (UCF in 2017 and 2018; Cincinnati in 2020 and 2021).

TALKING POINTS
UCF
5-1, 2-0 American
@UCF_Football
Last: Defeated Temple, 70-13
Next: Oct. 22 at East Carolina (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..525.2 ……………………1st
Total Defense………………………… 339.2 …………………..3rd
Scoring Offense ………………………..41.3 ……………………1st
Scoring Defense ……………………….14.3 …………………. 2nd
• QB John Rhys Plumlee figured in an American Athletic Conference record-tying seven touchdowns in the win against Temple.
• Plulmlee became only the third quarterback in the last 10 years to have at least four passing touchdowns and three rushing TDs in the same game, joining Paxton Lynch (Memphis) and Lamar Jackson (Louisville).
• UCF has not allowed more than 20 points in any of its first five games this season.
• WR Ryan O’Keefe had seven receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns against the Owls. He has four touchdowns in his last two games.
• WR Kobe Hudson had four catches for 121 yards and two TDs against Temple.

CINCINNATI
5-1, 2-0 American
@BearcatsFB
Last: Defeated South Florida, 28-24
Next: Oct. 22 at SMU
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..435.5 …………………..5th
Total Defense………………………….313.2 …………………. 2nd
Scoring Offense ……………………….38.2 …………………. 2nd
Scoring Defense ……………………….21.2 …………………..4th
• RB Charles McClelland’s touchdown with 9:24 left in the fourth quarter stood up as the game-winner as the beat South Florida.
• Cincinnati has won 30 consecutive games at Nippert Stadium. Only Clemson (37) has a longer active home field winning streak.
• The Bearcats have won 16 consecutive American Athletic Conference regular-season games, one shy of the league record of 17, set by UCF from 2017-19. Cincinnati has won 18 in a row against conference teams, including two wins in The American Championship.
• McClelland finished with a career-high 179 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
• LB Ty Van Fossen had 16 tackles against South Florida, the most by an American Athletic Conference player in 2022.

EAST CAROLINA
3-3, 1-2 American
@ECUPiratesFB
Last: Lost at Tulane, 24-9
Next: Oct. 15 vs. Memphis (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..475.0 …………………..3rd
Total Defense…………………………. 371.0 …………………..6th
Scoring Offense ……………………….30.8 …………………..8th
Scoring Defense ……………………….21.2 …………………..5th
• QB Holton Ahlers passed for 288 yards and a touchdown, but had two second-half interceptions in the loss at Tulane.
• Ahlers leads all active NCAA FBS players in career passing yards (12,039) and total offense (13,401).
• Ahlers became East Carolina’s career passing leader in the game against Tulane, surpassing Shane Carden’s career total of 11,991 yards.
• WR Isaiah Winstead had nine receptions for 90 yards against Tulane and was one of eight ECU players to catch a pass against the Green Wave.
• RB Keaton Mitchell returned to the lineup after missing the previous game due to injury. He had 10 carries for 47 yards.

HOUSTON
3-3, 1-1 American
@UHCougarFB
Last: Won at Memphis, 33-32
Next: Oct. 22 at Navy
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..402.7 ………………….. 7th
Total Defense………………………….414.0 …………………..9th
Scoring Offense ………………………..31.3 …………………..6th
Scoring Defense ……………………….33.7 …………………..9th
• QB Clayton Tune went 36-for-57 for 366 yards and three touchdowns to lead Houston to the come-from-behind win at Memphis.
• Houston trailed 26-7 in the fourth quarter, but scored 26 points in the final 12:44 to win.
• Houston’s win at Memphis was the first by an NCAA FBS team in 2022 by a team that trailed by at least 19 points in the fourth quarter. Teams had been 0-129 prior to the Cougars’ win.
• WR Samuel Brown had nine receptions for a career-high 116 yards against the Tigers.
• WR KeSean Carter had two touchdown receptions in the final 1:17 against Memphis, including the game-winning score with 18 seconds left.

MEMPHIS
4-2, 2-1 American
@TigersAthletics
Last: Lost to Houston, 33-32
Next: Oct. 15 at East Carolina (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….408.0 …………………..6th
Total Defense…………………………..317.0 …………………..8th
Scoring Offense ……………………….34.0 …………………..4th
Scoring Defense ……………………….27.3 ………………….. 7th
• Memphis had a 26-7 lead in the fourth quarter against Houston, but the Cougars were able to escape with a come-from-behind win.
• Memphis has forced at least one turnover in 11 consecutive games, dating to last season. The Tigers have 25 takeaways in those 11 games.
• QB Seth Henigan passed for 241 yards and a touchdown against the Cougars. Henigan has only one interception in 198 passing attempts this season.
• WR Gabriel Rogers had five receptions for 71 yards, 23 rushing yards on two carries and threw a 41-yard touchdown pass against Houston.
• K Chris Howard hit all four of his field goal attempts against Houston and is 11-for-11 this season.

NAVY
2-4, 2-2 American
@NavyAthletics
Last: Lost at SMU, 40-34
Next: Oct. 22 vs. Houston
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….369.8 …………………..9th
Total Defense…………………………364.0 …………………..5th
Scoring Offense ………………………. 23.3 …………………10th
Scoring Defense ……………………….24.2 …………………..5th
• QB Tai Lavatai rushed for a career-high 120 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 138 yards and two more TDs in the loss at SMU.
• Navy has gone 2-0 when its opponent did not score on its opening drive and is 0-4 when the opponent scores on its first possession.
• Navy had 510 total yards and 32 first downs against SMU.
• Navy had 77 rushing attempts against SMU, finishing one shy of the American Athletic Conference record of 78 attempts, also by Navy against SMU (Sept. 22, 2018).
• Navy has registered 13 sacks in six games this season. The Midshipmen had 16 sacks in the entire 2021 season.

SOUTH FLORIDA
1-6, 0-3 American
@USFFootball
Last: Lost to Tulane, 45-31
Next: Oct. 29 at Houston
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..353.1 …………………10th
Total Defense………………………….488.1 ………………….11th
Scoring Offense ………………………. 25.3 …………………..9th
Scoring Defense ……………………….37.6 ………………….11th
• QB Katravis Marsh came off the bench in the second quarter to throw for 150 yards and two touchdowns, but the Bulls were unable to hold off Tulane in the second half.
• QB Gerry Bohanon had gone 7-of-8 for 109 yards and a touchdown and had 59 rushing yards with a TD before leaving the game.
• LB Dwayne Boyles had a career-high 15 tackles, including 12 solo stops, a sack, 2.0 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
• WR Jimmy Horn Jr., had five receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown against the Green Wave.
• The Bulls scored 31 points against Tulane, which had ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense (13.0 ppg).

SMU
3-3, 1-1 American
@SMU_Football
Last: Defeated Navy, 40-36
Next: Oct. 22 vs. Cincinnati
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….490.3 …………………. 2nd
Total Defense………………………….432.3 …………………10th
Scoring Offense ………………………. 35.5 …………………..3rd
Scoring Defense ……………………… 29.5 …………………..8th
• QB Tanner Mordecai threw three touchdown passes and rushed for a TD in the win against Navy. Mordecai finished with 410 yards of total offense (336 passing, 74 rushing).
• The Mustangs have had a 100-yard receiver in all six games this season.
• Mordecai tied a school record with his 12th career 300-yard game, joining Ben Hicks (2016-18) and Shane Buechele (2019-20).
• WR Dylan Goffney had four receptions for a career-high 116 yards and a touchdown against the Midshipmen.
• The Mustangs have won 16 of their last 19 games at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

TEMPLE
2-4, 0-2 American
@Temple_FB
Last: Lost at UCF, 70-13
Next: Oct. 21 vs. Tulsa (ESPN2)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………. 284.5 ………………….11th
Total Defense………………………… 356.3 …………………..5th
Scoring Offense …………………………14.7 ………………….11th
Scoring Defense ……………………….25.7 …………………..6th
• QB E.J. Warner passed for 234 yards and a touchdown, but Temple was unable to keep pace with UCF on the road.
• WR Jose Barbon had seven receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Knights.
• Barbon has three 100-yard performances in Temple’s first six games this season.
• Temple has used six different starting configurations on the offensive line this season.
• The Owls, who have played their first two American Athletic Conference games on the road, return home to host Tulsa Friday in Philadelphia.

TULANE
6-1, 3-0 American
@GreenWaveFB
Last: Won at South Florida, 45-31
Next: Oct. 22 vs. Memphis
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………. 420.3 …………………..6th
Total Defense………………………….299.1 ……………………1st
Scoring Offense ……………………….33.0 …………………..5th
Scoring Defense ……………………….15.9 …………………. 2nd
• QB Michael Pratt passed for a career-high 329 yards and two touchdowns and added two rushing TDs in the win at South Florida.
• RB Tyjae Spears rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns against the Bulls.
• Tulane is bowl eligible for the fourth time under head coach Willie Fritz. No other head coach in program history had more than one bowl
appearance with the Green Wave.
• Tulane is ranked No. 25 in this week’s national polls, marking its first top-25 appearance since the Green Wave was No. 7 at the end of the
1998 season.
• Tulane is 3-0 in American Athletic Conference play for the first time.

TULSA
2-4, 0-2 American
@TulsaFootball
Last: Lost at Navy, 53-21
Next: Oct. 21 at Temple (ESPN2)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..437.3 …………………..4th
Total Defense…………………………399.2 ………………….. 7th
Scoring Offense ……………………….33.0 …………………..5th
Scoring Defense ……………………… 35.2 …………………10th
• WR Keylon Stokes had seven receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown in the loss at Navy.
• QB Davis Brin completed 20 of 31 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions against the Midshipmen.
• Stokes moved into second place on Tulsa’s career receiving chart with 3,315 yards. He needs 28 yards to tie the school record of 3,343 yards, set by Howard Twilley from 1963-65.
• Tulsa had a 284-35 advantage in passing yards against Navy.
• The Golden Hurricane was idle in Week 7 and returns to action Oct. 21 at Temple.

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