Friday, February 3, 2023
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CFB Week 10 Conference Previews: American Athletic Conference

Week 10 AAC Previews

Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (58,318/AstroTurf)
Memphis, Tennessee
John Schriffen and Rene Ingoglia
SMU Radio Memphis Radio
KTCK-FM 96. WKIM-FM 98.9
SiriusXM 119/206/969 SiriusXM 383/973

Saturday’s game will be the 14th meeting between SMU and Memphis … The Tigers hold a 9-4 series lead … Memphis had won six straight in the series until the Mustangs
scored a 30-27 victory in Dallas last season … The last meeting in Memphis saw The No. 24-ranked Tigers take a 54-48 win against the No. 15 Mustangs.

23/24 SMU
7-1, 3-1 American
Head Coach
Sonny Dykes (Texas Tech ‘93)
29-15, fourth season at SMU
67-60, 11th season as collegiate head coach

SMU looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season after the Cougars fell 44-37 at Houston … The Mustangs have averaged 42.0 points and 504.1 yards, leading The American in both categories… QB Tanner Mordecai has been named as a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top player … Mordecai has completed 211 of 300 passes (70.3%) for 2,625 yards and 32 touchdowns … Mordecai needs six TD passes to tie The American’s single-season record of 38, set in 2017 by Memphis’ Riley Patterson … RB Tre Siggers leads the squad with 517 rushing yards and five touchdowns … WR Danny Gray has 43 receptions for 682 yards and seven touchdowns, while WR Rashee Rice has 41 catches for 466 yards and seven TDs and WR Reggie Roberson Jr. has 464 yards and five TDs.

4-4, 1-3 American
Head Coach
Ryan Silverfield (Hamden-Sydney ’03)
12-8, second season at Memphis

Memphis returns from an open week looking to turn around a recent stretch of four losses in five games … The Tigers fell 24-7 at UCF in their most recent outing …
Memphis began the season with three consecutive wins, including a 31-29 decision against Mississippi State, but the Tigers fell to UTSA, Temple and Tulsa by a combined 12 points in successive games … Freshman QB Seth Henigan, who has thrown for 2,153 yards and 16 touchdowns, missed the game against UCF due to concussion protocols and is considered day-to-day … QB Peter Parrish got the start against UCF … The leading receiver is WR Calvin Austin III, who has 57 receptions for 901 yards and eight touchdowns … LB JJ Russell is fifth nationally with 10.8 tackles per game … CB Greg Rubin averages 1.4 passes defended per game, good for seventh nationally.

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (50,000/Natural Grass)
Greenville, North Carolina
Courtney Lyle and Brandon Weeden
Temple Radio East Carolina Radio
WPEN-FM 97.5 WNCT-FM 107.9
SiriusXM 386/976 SiriusXM 383/973

Saturday’s game will be the 19th meeting between Temple and East Carolina in a series that dates to 1982 … The Owls hold a 10-8 series lead and had won six straight against the Pirates until East Carolina’s 28-3 win in Philadelphia last season … Temple has won the last three games in Greenville, including a 27-17 decision in 2019.

3-5, 1-3 American
Head Coach
Rod Carey (Indiana ’93)
12-16, third season at Temple
64-46, ninth season as collegiate head coach

Temple looks to snap a three-game slide after the Owls fell 49-7 to UCF last Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field … The Owls had won back-to-back games against Wagner and Memphis before the current three-game skein … Temple is 1-3 on the road this season … QB D’Wan Mathis has thrown for 1,188 yards and six touchdowns against four interceptions in six games … The leading receiver is WR Jose Barbon, who has 28 receptions for 370 yards and two touchdowns … RB Edward Saydee, with a team-high 236 rushing yards, leads a group of four players with at least 100 yards … The defense is led by S Amir Tyler, who has 47 tackles … LB Yvandy Rigby has 40 tackles with 3.0 sacks and 4.0 tackles for loss … DE Manny Walker has a team-high two interceptions.

4-4, 2-2 American
Head Coach
Mike Houston (Mars Hill ’94)
11-18, third season at East Carolina
91-43, 11th season as collegiate head coach

East Carolina looks for back-to-back wins after the Pirates pulled away for a 29-14 win at South Florida last Thursday … That win ended a two-game slide that saw the Pirates fall to UCF by four points before an overtime loss at Houston … RB Keaton Mitchell has averaged 94.5 rushing yards per game and 7.3 yards per carry … Mitchell has 756 yards and five touchdowns on 104 attempts … QB Holton Ahlers has completed 165 of 274 passes for 1,983 yards and 11 touchdowns … The leading receiver is WR Tyler Snead, who has 39 catches for 495 yards and two TDs … CB Ja’Quan McMillian has been tabbed by The Athletic as a midseason All-America pick and is a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist … McMillian has 14 pass breakups and four interceptions, leading the nation with 18 passes defended.

SATURDAY, NOV. 6 • 3:30P.M. • NBC
Notre Dame Stadium (77,622/FieldTurf)
Notre Dame, Indiana
Mike Tirico, Drew Brees and Kathryn Tappen
WBAL-AM 1090
SiriusXM 111/202/965

Saturday’s game will be the 94th meeting between Navy and Notre Dame in a series that dates to 1927 … The schools had played in 93 consecutive seasons before last
year’s game, slated to be played in Dublin, Ireland, then rescheduled for Annapolis, was ultimately canceled due to the pandemic … Notre Dame holds a 79-13-1 series lead.

2-5, 2-3 American
Head Coach
Ken Niumatalolo (Hawaii ‘89)
103-72, 14th season

Navy snapped a three-game slide with a solid 20-17 win at Tulsa last Friday … The Midshipmen limited Tulsa to 294 yards of offense and won the game without completing a pass … Navy ranks last in The American in total offense (281.5 ypg), but is third in total defense (347.0 ypg) … Notre Dame is the fourth team in this week’s top 25 that Navy will have played this season (joining Houston, SMU, Cincinnati) … Navy has been led by QB Tai Lavatai, who has started five games and has 242 rushing yards and five touchdowns to go with 273 passing yards and two TD passes … FB Isaac Ruoss has a team-high 437 rushing yards with two touchdowns … The defense is led by LB Diego Fagot, who has a team-high 71 tackles to go with 9.0 tackles for loss, a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and a defensive touchdown.

Head Coach
Brian Kelly (Assumption ’83)
109-97, 12th season at Notre Dame
280-97-2, 31st season as collegiate head coach

Notre Dame takes a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s game after the Fighting Irish took a 32-29 win at Virginia Tech last Saturday … Notre Dame has been ranked no lower than No. 14 this season and has been as high as No. 7 in the national polls … The only loss was a 24-13 setback to a Cincinnati squad that is currently ranked No. 2 … Notre Dame has won 28 of its last 29 games in South Bend … RB Kyren Williams has rushed for 707 yards and seven touchdowns on 143 carries and has 27 receptions for 257 yards and three TD catches … QB Jack Coach has completed 136 of 214 passes for 1,610 yards and 12 touchdowns with four interceptions … TE Michael Mayer has 41 receptions for 465 yards and three touchdowns … S Kyle Hamilton has a team-high three interceptions.

SATURDAY, NOV. 6 • 3:30 P.M. • ESPN2
Nippert Stadium (40,000/UBU Speed Series 55-M)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Anish Shroff, Mike Golic Jr. and Taylor McGregor
Tulsa Radio Cincinnati Radio
KXBL-FM 99.5 WLW-AM 700
SiriusXM 984 SiriusXM 119/206/969

Saturday’s game will be the 36th meeting between Tulsa and Cincinnati in a series that dates to 1946 … Tulsa holds a slim 17-16-2 series lead, though Cincinnati has taken seven of the last eight meetings, including a 27-24 decision in last year’s American Championship Game … The home team has won the last five games in the series.

3-5, 2-2 American
Head Coach
Philip Montgomery (Tarleton State ’95)
34-45, seventh season

Tulsa saw a modest two-game winning streak end with last Friday’s 20-17 setback to Navy at Chapman Stadium … Tulsa had opened the season with three straight losses,
including near-misses in road games at Oklahoma State and Ohio State, before winning three of its next four … QB Davis Brin has started every game and has thrown for 2,095 yards and 11 touchdowns against 11 interceptions … RB Shamari Brooks has a team-leading 588 rushing yards with four touchdowns … RB Deneric Prince has 406
rushing yards and three touchdowns… WR Josh Johnson leads a deep group of receivers with 45 catches for 600 yards and three touchdowns … WR Sam Crawford Jr. has a team-high four TD receptions … LB Tyon Davis has a team-high 53 tackles, while DE Cullen Wick leads the squad with 7.5 tackles for loss.

8-0, 4-0 American
Head Coach
Luke Fickell (Ohio State ’97)
43-14, fifth season at Cincinnati
49-21, sixth season as collegiate head coach

Cincinnati is one of the nation’s six unbeaten teams after the Bearcats scored a 31-12 win at Tulane last Saturday … Cincinnati is ranked No. 2 in this week’s Associated Press poll for the third consecutive week … The Bearcats lead the nation in pass efficiency defense (88.3) and have allowed only four passing touchdowns in 2021 … QB Desmond Ridder is firmly in the Heisman Trophy race as he has thrown for 1,847 yards and 18 touchdowns against four interceptions and has three rushing TDs as well … RB Jerome Ford has 864 rushing yards and an American Athletic Conference-leading 14 touchdowns … CB Ahmad Gardner and CB Coby Bryant were both named as semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, while LB Darrian Beavers is a semifinalist for the Butkus Award.

The Bounce House (44,206/Natural Grass)
Orlando, Florida
Kevin Brown and Hutson Mason
Tulane Radio UCF Radio
KVDU-FM 104.1 WYGM-FM 96.9
SiriusXM 985

Saturday’s game will be the 11th meeting between Tulane and UCF in a series that dates to 2001 … UCF has won the last three matchups to hold an 8-2 series lead … The last meeting was a 51-34 UCF win in Orlando behind a 422-yard, five-touchdown performance from QB Dillon Gabriel … Tulane’s last win in the series was in 2015.

1-7, 0-4 American
Head Coach
Willie Fritz (Pittsburg State ’83)
30-39, sixth season at Tulane
184-108, 25th season as collegiate head coach

After opening the season with a strong showing against then-No. 2 Oklahoma (a 40-35 loss) and a 69-20 win against Morgan State, Tulane is mired in a six-game slide following a 31-12 setback to No. 2 Cincinnati … Tulane’s schedule has included five games against teams that are ranked in this week’s top 25 … QB Michael Pratt missed last week’s game against Cincinnati while in concussion protocols, while backup QB Justin Ibieta was also out due to injury …QB Kai Horton got the start against the Bearcats … TE Tyrick James has been the top receiver with 24 catches for 358 yards and three touchdowns … RB Cameron Carroll has a team-high 416 rushing yards with two touchdowns, while RB Tyjae Spears has 307 rushing yards with four TDs.

5-3, 3-2 American
Head Coach
Gus Malzahn (Henderson State ‘90)
5-3, first season at UCF
82-41, 10th season as collegiate head coach

UCF has won back-to-back games and turned in its best performance of the season in last week’s 49-7 win at Temple … The Knights had scored at least 30 points in
each of their first four games, was to 24 points or fewer in three straight before hitting for 49 against the Owls … Injuries have hit the Knights hard as QB Dillon Gabriel and WR Jaylon Robinson have missed the last five games … QB Mikey Keene has started the last five games and has completed 85 of 135 passes for 860 yards and 10 touchdowns with six interceptions … RB Isaiah Bowser has team highs with 416 rushing yards and six touchdowns … WR Brandon Johnson has a team-leading eight touchdown receptions … DE Big Kat Bryant has 31 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 8.0 tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries

SATURDAY, NOV. 6 • 7:30 P.M. • ESPNU
Raymond James Stadium (65,857/Natural Grass)
Tampa, Florida
Mike Couzens and Dustin Fox
Houston Radio South Florida Radio
KPRC-AM 950 WHNZ-AM 1250
SiriusXM 383/973

Saturday’s game will be the eighth meeting between Houston and South Florida … South Florida won the first two meetings, but Houston has won the last five … The
Cougars took a 56-21 decision at TDECU Stadium last year as Houston scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.

7-1, 5-0 American
Head Coach
Dana Holgorsen (Iowa Wesleyan ’93)
14-14, third season at Houston
75-55, 11th season as collegiate head coach

Houston has a seven-game winning streak for the first time since the 2016 season and the Cougars are back in the top 25 for the first time since 2018 after a 44-37 win against SMU last Saturday … The only loss on Houston’s ledger was a 38-21 setback to Texas Tech in the season-opener … Houston has limited its opponents to 19.8 points and 286.0 yards per game … Houston is fourth nationally in total defense and leads the nation in third-down defense (27 of 108, 25%) … QB Clayton Tune has thrown for 1,839 yards and 16 touchdowns and has completed 161 of 231 passes (69.7%) … WR Nathaniel Dell has 48 receptions for 675 yards and seven touchdowns … CB Marcus Jones has four special teams touchdowns (two punt returns, two kickoff returns).

2-6, 1-3 American
Head Coach
Jeff Scott (Clemson ’03)
3-14, second season

South Florida was denied in its bid for back-to-back wins after the Bulls fell 29-14 at East Carolina last Thursday … Saturday’s game against Houston will be the fourth for South Florida against an opponent that is in this week’s top 25 (NC State, BYU, SMU) … Freshman QB Timmy McClain was a game-time scratch against East Carolina as QB Katravis Marsh made his first start of the season … RB Jaren Mangham has 483 rushing yards and is second in the American Athletic Conference with 13 touchdown runs … WR Xavier Weaver is the top receiver with 26 receptions for 471 yards and a touchdown … LB Dwayne Boyles leads the team with 58 tackles along with two interceptions … LB Antonio Grier has 53 tackles to go with 4.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

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