Monday, December 5, 2022
Eagle Eye Sports Monitor

CFB Week 11 Conference Notes: American Athletic Conference

THIS WEEK IN THE AAC

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12
Cincinnati at South Florida *
Time: 6 p.m.
Series: Cincinnati leads, 11-7
Last Meeting: Oct. 3, 2020 (Cincinnati, 28-7)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13
UCF at SMU *
Time: Noon
Series: UCF leads, 8-1
Last Meeting: Oct. 6, 2018 (UCF, 48-20)

East Carolina at Memphis *
Time: Noon
Series: East Carolina leads, 15-8
Last Meeting: Nov. 3, 2018 (Memphis, 59-41)

Houston at Temple *
Time: Noon
Series: Houston leads, 6-1
Last Meeting: Nov. 10, 2018 (Temple, 59-49)

Tulsa at Tulane *
Time: 4 p.m.
Series: Tulsa leads, 12-5
Last Meeting: Nov. 19, 2020 (Tulsa, 30-24)

OPEN WEEK
Navy
Next Game: Nov. 20 vs. East Carolina

Almost There
Houston needs one win in the next two weeks to clinch a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. The Cougars visit Temple this Saturday and host
Memphis Nov. 19 in their last conference game. Elite Company Cincinnati (9-0) is one of four undefeated teams nationally through Week 10 of the 2021 season, joining UTSA, Georgia and Oklahoma.

Defend This House
Cincinnati enters Week 11 with the second-longest home field winning streak nationally as the Bearcats have won 25 straight at Nippert Stadium, trailing only Clemson (32).

Active Home Winning Streaks
32 Clemson
25 Cincinnati
17 Oregon

High Point
Cincinnati is ranked No. 2 in this week’s Associated Press poll for the fourth consecutive week, marking the highest ranking by an American Athletic Conference team in the league’s nine-year history.

Highest AP Ranks by American Athletic Conference Teams
No. 2 Cincinnati Oct. 17-Nov. 7, 2021
No. 3 Cincinnati Oct. 10, 2021
No. 5 Cincinnati Oct. 3, 2021
No. 6 Houston Sept. 6-Oct. 2, 2016
UCF Final 2017
Cincinnati Nov. 1, Dec. 13-20, 2020

Back-To-Back
Houston has been ranked in back-to-back Associated Press polls for the first time since 2016.

On A Roll
Cincinnati is 41-5 since the start of the 2018 season. SMU is 25-7 since the start of the 2019 campaign.

Bullies
Cincinnati has won 35 consecutive games against unranked teams.

Consistency
Cincinnati has been ranked in 37 consecutive national polls, dating to the rankings of Oct. 6, 2019.

Variety Show
Nine of the 11 American Athletic Conference schools have been ranked in the top 25 since the 2018 season.

Rejection Letters
East Carolina CB Ja’Quan McMillian enters Week 11 as the NCAA FBS leader in passes defended (2.1 per game).

Point Production
SMU QB Tanner Mordecai has 34 touchdown passes through nine games. Mordecai has 14 more touchdown passes as any other American Athletic Conference player and is trails only Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe for the national lead.

Ford’s Theater
Cincinnati RB Jerome Ford is third nationally with 15 rushing touchdowns.

Streaking
Houston has won eight games in a row for the first time since an eight-game winning streak that spanned the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Murder’s Row
Navy has played the third-toughest schedule nationally according to the NCAA’s strength-of-schedule rating. Tulane has played the sixth-toughest schedule.

Rejection
Cincinnati leads the nation in pass efficiency defense (92.43).

TALKING POINTS

UCF
6-3, 4-2 American
@UCF_Football
Last: Beat Tulane, 14-10
Next: Nov. 13 at SMU (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….405.0 …………………..6th
Total Defense………………………… 352.6 …………………..3rd
Scoring Offense ………………………. 32.4 …………………..3rd
Scoring Defense ……………………….24.1 …………………..4th
• QB Mikey Keene went 19-for-25 for 229 yards and two touchdowns in the win against Tulane.
• UCF is 5-0 at home and 1-3 away from the Bounce House in 2021.
• LB Tatum Bethune and LB Bryson Armstrong both had 11 tackles and two tackles for loss against Tulane.
• The Knights registered five sacks, 11 tackles for loss and seven pass breakups against the Green Wave.
• WR Brandon Johnson has nine touchdown receptions this season after scoring only one TD in five seasons at Tennessee.

CINCINNATI
9-0, 5-0 American
@BearcatsFB
Last: Beat Tulsa, 28-20
Next: Nov. 12 at South Florida (ESPN2)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….409.0 …………………..5th
Total Defense…………………………. 312.4 …………………. 2nd
Scoring Offense ……………………….38.6 …………………. 2nd
Scoring Defense ……………………….14.9 ……………………1st
• WR Alec Pierce had five receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown as the Bearcats held off Tulsa to remain unbeaten.
• QB Desmond Ridder went 15-of-23 for 274 yards and two touchdowns against the Golden Hurricane in the rematch of the 2020 American Championship Game.
• Cincinnati has won its last 25 home games and has the second-longest homefield winning streak nationally (Clemson, 31).
• Cincinnati is 41-5 since the start of the 2018 season. The Bearcats are 22-1 all-time as a top-10 team.
• The Bearcats have won 12 straight games against American Athletic Conference opponents.

EAST CAROLINA
5-4, 3-2 American
@ECUPiratesFB
Last: Beat Temple, 45-3
Next: Nov. 13 at Memphis (ESPN+)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….426.0 …………………..4th
Total Defense………………………….425.3 …………………..9th
Scoring Offense ……………………….30.6 …………………..6th
Scoring Defense ………………………24.0 …………………..3rd
• QB Holton Ahlers therw for 191 yards and three touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown in the win against Temple.
• The Pirates limited Temple to 168 yards of offense, 2.7 yards per play and 11 first downs.
• Ahlers has 10,465 career yards of total offense and moved into second place on the Pirates’ career chart. Ahlers passed David Garrard (10,238 yards from 1998-2001) to take second place.
• TE Ryan Jones had career highs with six receptions, 102 receiving yards and two touchdown catches against Temple.
• RB Keaton Mitchell had 18 carries for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Mitchell has five runs of at least 50 yards this season.

HOUSTON
7-1, 5-0 American
@UHCougarFB
Last: Won at South Florida, 54-42
Next: Nov. 13 at Temple (ESPN+)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….408.2 …………………..6th
Total Defense………………………… 299.3 ……………………1st
Scoring Offense ……………………….34.8 …………………..3rd
Scoring Defense ……………………….21.6 …………………. 2nd
• QB Clayton Tune passed for 385 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cougars past South Florida — Houston’s eighth consecutive win.
• RB Ta’Zhawn Henry rushed for 130 yards on 10 carries, including a 97-yard touchdown run that stands as the longest rushing play in American Athletic Conference history.
• RB Alton McCaskill had 125 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries against the Bulls.
• Houston had two 100-yard receivers as WR Nathaniel Dell had eight catches for 164 yards and a touchdown, while WR KeSean Carter had six receptions for 123 yards.
• Houston would clinch a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game with a win in either of its next two games.

MEMPHIS
5-4, 2-3 American
@TigersAthletics
Last: Beat SMU, 28-25
Next: Nov. 13 vs. East Carolina (ESPN+)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….463.9 …………………. 2nd
Total Defense…………………………400.2 …………………..8th
Scoring Offense ………………………..31.8 …………………..5th
Scoring Defense ……………………….29.1 …………………..6th
• QB Seth Henigan returned to the lineup to throw for 392 yards and two touchdowns with an interception as the Tigers topped No. 23 SMU.
• Henigan, who had missed Memphis’ previous game due to injury, completed 34 of 53 passes against the Mustangs.
• Memphis registered its first win against a nationally ranked opponent since a 29-24 win against No. 21 Cincinnati in the 2019 American Championship Game.
• Memphis had five sacks against SMU after entering the game with eight sacks in the 2021 season.
• The Tigers had 11 players with at least one reception against SMU.

NAVY
2-6, 2-3 American
@NavyAthletics
Last: Lost at Notre Dame, 34-6
Next: Nov. 20 vs, East Carolina (CBSSN)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….. 270.7 ………………….11th
Total Defense………………………… 356.2 …………………..4th
Scoring Offense ………………………..16.8 ………………….11th
Scoring Defense ………………………30.4 ………………….. 7th
• FB Isaac Ruoss rushed for 73 yards on 22 carries to lead the Midshipmen in the loss at No. 8 Notre Dame.
• The Midshipmen held a 3-0 lead after the first quarter against Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish closed the game with 17 unanswered points to pull away.
• Navy has faced four opponents that were ranked in last week’s top 25 poll (Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Houston, SMU).
• Navy had 166 of its 184 total yards on the ground against Notre Dame. The Midshipmen completed 1 of 3 passes for 18 yards.
• QB Tai Lavatai suffered an upper body injury against Notre Dame in the first half and did not return.

SOUTH FLORIDA
2-7, 1-4 American
@USFFootball
Last: Lost to Houston, 54-42
Next: Nov. 12 vs. Cincinnati (ESPN2)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….360.6 …………………..9th
Total Defense………………………….486.1 ………………….11th
Scoring Offense ……………………….24.8 …………………..8th
Scoring Defense ………………………34.3 …………………..9th
• RB Brian Battie tied an NCAA record with two 100-yard kickoff returns, but it wasn’t enough to put South Florida past Houston.
• Battie joins Reggie Dunn of Utah as the only players in FBS history with two 100-yard returns. Dunn set the mark against Cal Oct. 27, 2012.
• Battie joins Terrence Horne of South Florida as the only American Athletic Conference players with two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same game.
• QB Timmy McClain went 22-of-46 for 289 yards and two touchdowns and had 46 rushing yards with a TD against Houston.
• WR Xavier Weaver had six receptions for a career-high 105 yards against Houston.

SMU
7-2, 3-2 American
@SMU_Football
Last: Lost at Memphis, 28-25
Next: Nov. 13 vs. UCF (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….484.0 ……………………1st
Total Defense………………………….414.8 …………………..8th
Scoring Offense ………………………..40.1 ……………………1st
Scoring Defense ……………………….25.7 …………………..3rd
• QB Tanner Mordecai threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns, but SMU dropped its second straight game.
• Mordecai has 34 touchdown passes this season, tying Shane Buechele’s single-season school record set last season. Mordecai needs four touchdown passes to tie the American Athletic Conference single-game record of 38, set by Memphis’ Riley Ferguson in 2017.
• Mordecai has thrown at least two touchdown passes in all nine games this season.
• SMU was held to 61 rushing yards and a season-low 323 total yards against Memphis. The Mustangs were on the short end of a near-14-minute gap in time of possession (23:05-36:55).
• WR Danny Gray had four receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers.

TEMPLE
3-6, 1-4 American
@Temple_FB
Last: Lost at East Carolina, 45-3
Next: Nov. 13 vs. Houston (ESPN+)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….306.0 …………………10th
Total Defense………………………… 392.4 …………………..5th
Scoring Offense ………………………..18.2 …………………10th
Scoring Defense ………………………36.8 …………………10th
• Temple was kept off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter for the second straight game in the loss to East Carolina.
• The Owls have dropped their last four contests.
• Temple was held to a season-low 168 yards and 11 first downs against East Carolina.
• Temple plays two of its last three games at home, beginning with Saturday’s matchup against Houston at Lincoln Financial Field.
• QB D’Wan Mathis completed 7 of 13 passes for 37 yards before leaving the game with an apparent ankle injury in the first half. QB Justin Lynch came off the bench to finish as the Owls’ leading rusher with 54 yards on eight carries against East Carolina.

TULANE
1-8, 0-5 American
@GreenWaveFB
Last: Lost at UCF, 14-10
Next: Nov. 13 vs. Tulsa (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..375.4 …………………..8th
Total Defense………………………… 453.9 …………………10th
Scoring Offense ……………………….. 27.2 ………………….. 7th
Scoring Defense ……………………….37.9 ………………….11th
• Tulane held a 10-7 fourth-quarter lead, but UCF scored a late touchdown to had the Green Wave its seventh straight loss.
• QB Michael Pratt went 17-for-28 for 147 yards against UCF in his return to the starting lineup. Pratt had missed Tulane’s last game due to injury.
• RB Tyjae Spears rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries against the Knights. Spears was also the Green Wave’s top receiver with five catches for 35 yards.
• Tulane’s defense held UCF to 13 first downs and 277 total yards, the Knights’ lowest output of the season.
• The Green Wave plays its next two games at home, beginning with Saturday’s matchup against Tulsa.

TULSA
3-6, 2-3 American
@TulsaFootball
Last: Lost at Cincinnati, 28-20
Next: Nov. 13 at Tulane (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….440.8 …………………..3rd
Total Defense………………………… 395.3 …………………..6th
Scoring Offense ……………………….23.9 …………………..8th
Scoring Defense ………………………30.6 …………………..8th
• RB Shamari Brooks rushed for a game-high 132 yards with a touchdown on 25 carries as the Golden Hurricane nearly scored the road win against No. 2 Cincinnati.
• Tulsa had a 446-390 advantage in total yards and a 26-18 edge in first downs against the Bearcats.
• RB Anthony Watkins had 105 yards on 15 carries, giving Cincinnati two 100-yard rushers.
• Brooks has 3,420 career rushing yards and needs 95 yards to move into fourth place on Tulsa’s career chart.
• Tulsa plays the second of back-to-back road games with Saturday’s contest at Tulane.

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