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CFB Week 4 Conference Notes: American Athletic Conference

THIS WEEK

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
SMU at TCU
The Iron Skillet
Time: Noon
Series: TCU leads, 51-41-7
Last Meeting: Sept. 21, 2019 (SMU, 41-38)

Wagner at Temple
Time: Noon
Series: First meeting
UTSA at Memphis
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Series: First meeting

Arkansas State at Tulsa
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Series: Arkansas State leads, 3-2
Last Meeting: Sept. 15, 2018 (Arkansas State, 29-20)

Charleston Southern at East Carolina
Time: 4 p.m.
Series: First meeting

Navy at Houston *
Time: 6 p.m.
Series: Houston leads, 5-2
Last Meeting: Oct. 24, 2020 (Houston, 37-21)

UAB at Tulane
Time: 7 p.m.
Series: Tied, 5-5
Last Meeting: Sept. 15, 2018 (UAB, 31-24)

South Florida at BYU
Time: 8 p.m.
Series: South Florida leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Oct. 12, 2019 (South Florida, 27-23)

Open Week
UCF
Next Game: Oct. 2 at Navy

Cincinnati
Next Game: Oct. 2 at Notre Dame
All times Eastern

THE AMERICAN TODAY

A wild week in the American Athletic Conference produced come-from-behind wins, last-second heroics and key road victories by conference teams.

Cincinnati faced a 14-0 deficit on the road against Indiana, but the Bearcats forced four key turnovers and QB Desmond Ridder had a hand in two late touchdowns as the Bearcats won 38-24. The 3-0 Bearcats have an open week in advance of an Oct. 2 showdown at Notre Dame. SMU is 3-0 as the Mustangs scored as time expired to escape with a 39-37 win at Louisiana Tech. QB Tanner Mordecai’s fifth touchdown pass of the game was a 33-yard score to WR Reggie Roberson Jr. at the final gun,
giving Mordecai 16 touchdowns through three games.

Memphis improved to 3-0 with a wild 31-29 win against Mississippi State at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. WR Calvin Austin III led the way again with 212 all-purpose yards, including a game-changing 94-yard punt return for a touchdown.

East Carolina scored a solid road win at previously unbeaten Marshall as the Pirates overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit behind 368 yards and two TDs by QB
Holton Ahlers. The win marked the largest fourth-quarter comeback in program history.

Houston and South Florida earned home wins against FCS opponents as the Cougars handled Grambling State 45-0 while the Bulls topped Florida A&M, 38-17. Houston’s
defense limited the Tigers to 102 yards of offense and only three first downs. South Florida churned out 245 rushing yards against the Rattlers, including three touchdowns from RB Jaren Mangham.

Tulsa and Tulane fell on the road to top-25 opponents. The Golden Hurricane were within seven points of No. 9 Ohio State with four minutes remaining before the Buckeyes scored two late touchdowns to take a 41-20 victory. Tulsa QB Davis Brin had a career-high 428 passing yards with two touchdowns. Tulane was unable to keep pace with No. 17 Ole Miss as the Rebels took a 61-21 win in Oxford.

UCF fell for the first time as the Knights dropped a 42-35 heartbreaker at Louisville, while Temple was unable to find an offensive rhythm in a 28-3 setback to Boston College in the Owls’ home-opener.

TALKING POINTS

UCF
2-1, 0-0 American
@UCF_Football
Last: Lost at Louisville, 42-35
Next: Oct. 2 at Navy (CBSSN)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..554.7 ……………………1st
Total Defense………………………… 354.3 …………………..5th
Scoring Offense ………………………..44.7 …………………. 2nd
Scoring Defense ………………………29.0 …………………..4th
• QB Dillon Gabriel figured in five UCF touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough for the Knights to get the road win against Louisville.

• Gabriel threw for 188 yards and three touchdowns and had one rushing TD and one touchdown catch against the Cardinals.

• UCF has scored a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown in 52 consecutive games, the longest streak in the nation.

• The Knights are 43-9 in their last 52 games.

• RB Johnny Richardson rushed for a career-high 101 yards on only nine carries against Louisville.

• Gabriel suffered a fractured clavicle on the final play of the game against Louisville and will be sidelined indefinitely

CINCINNATI
3-0, 0-0 American
@BearcatsFB
Last: Won at Indiana, 38-24
Next: Oct. 2 at Notre Dame (NBC))
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………. 420.3 …………………..6th
Total Defense………………………….298.7 …………………. 2nd
Scoring Offense ……………………….43.0 …………………..3rd
Scoring Defense ……………………….15.0 …………………..3rd

• Cincinnati’s defense forced four turnovers to lead the Bearcats past Indiana.

• The Bearcats trailed the Hoosiers 14-0 after the first quarter, but outscored Indiana 38-10 the rest of the way.

• Cincinnati is 34-5 since the start of the 2018 season. The Bearcats are 16-1 all-time as a top-10 team.

• Cincinnati has won its last 22 home games.

• The Bearcats have nine takeaways in their last two games.

• RB Jerome Ford has scored a touchdown in five consecutive games, dating to last season.

EAST CAROLINA
1-2, 0-0 American
@ECUPiratesFB
Last: Won at Marshall, 42-38
Next: Sept. 25 vs. Charleston Southern (ESPN+)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………. 402.3 ………………….. 7th
Total Defense………………………… 485.3 …………………10th
Scoring Offense ……………………….26.0 …………………..6th
Scoring Defense ………………………30.3 …………………..6th

• QB Holton Ahlers threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns and added rushing and receivng TDs in the Pirates’ come-from-behind win against Marshall.

• East Carolina trailed by 17 points midway through the fourth quarter against Marshall, but closed the game with 21 unanswered points.

• CB Ja’Quan McMillian registered his ninth career interception when he had a pick on the 1-yard line with six seconds remaining to clinch the win.

• Ahlers was 13-of-19 for 151 yards in the fourth quarter against Marshall.

• East Carolina (571) and Marshall (647) combined for 1,218 yards of total offense.

HOUSTON
2-1, 0-0 American
@UHCougarFB
Last: Defeated Grambling State, 45-0
Next: Sept. 25 vs. Navy (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..329.7 …………………..8th
Total Defense…………………………200.0 ……………………1st
Scoring Offense ……………………….34.3 …………………..6th
Scoring Defense ……………………….15.3 …………………. 2nd

• RB Alton McCaskill rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns, while QB Ike Ogbogu threw two touchdown passes in the shutout win against Grambling State.

• McCaskill became the first Houston freshman with 100 rushing yards in a game since Mulbah Car (109) and Kervin Justice (111) both hit triple digits against Lamar in 2016.

• CB Marcus Jones registered his second career punt return for a touchdown with his 48-yard scoring play against Grambling State.

• QB Clayton Tune left the game against Grambling State in the first quarter with an apparent hamstring injury.

• WR Nathaniel Dell had eight catches for a career-high 134 yards and two touchdowns against Grambling State.

MEMPHIS
3-0, 0-0 American
@TigersAthletics
Last: Defeated Mississippi State, 31-29
Next: Sept. 25 vs. UTSA (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense………………………….504.3 …………………..3rd
Total Defense………………………… 482.3 …………………..9th
Scoring Offense ………………………..42.7 …………………..4th
Scoring Defense ………………………32.0 ………………….. 7th

• WR Calvin Austin III scored three touchdowns — two TD catches and one on a game-changing punt return — to lead Memphis past Mississippi State.

• Austin scored on a 94-yard punt return in the fourth quarter, marking the longest punt return in American Athletic Conference history.

• Austin finished with 212 all-purpose yards as he had nine receptions for 105 yards.

• Memphis won its 17th consecutive game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The Tigers have won 22 straight nonconference home games.

• The Tigers are off to a 3-0 start for the fifth time in seven seasons.

NAVY
0-2, 0-0 American
@NavyAthletics
Last: Lost to Air Force, 23-3
Next: Sept. 25 at Houston (ESPNU)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………. 233.0 ………………….11th
Total Defense………………………… 344.5 …………………..4th
Scoring Offense ………………………….5.0 ………………….11th
Scoring Defense ………………………36.0 …………………..9th

• Navy was limited to 36 rushing yards and 68 total yards in the loss to Air Force in the first game of the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy series.

• The Midshipmen gained only six first downs against Air Force and had moved the chains only once through the first three quarters.

• Navy’s defense limited Air Force to 225 yards.

• The loss to the Falcons ended an eight-game winning streak by the home team in the series between Navy and Air Force.

• LB Diego Fagot had 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss against the Falcons.

• The Midshipmen were idle in Week 3 and begin conference play Sept. 25 at Houston

SOUTH FLORIDA
1-2, 0-0 American
@USFFootball
Last: Beat Florida A&M, 38-17
Next: Sept. 25 at BYU (ESPN2)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..319.3 …………………..9th
Total Defense………………………….523.7 ………………….11th
Scoring Offense ………………………..19.3 …………………10th
Scoring Defense ……………………….34.7 …………………..8th

• QB Timmy McClain passed for 163 yards and a touchdown and added 51 rushing yards in his first career start to lead the Bulls against Florida A&M.

• RB Jaren Mangham had three rushing touchdowns on seven carries against the Rattlers.

• South Florida snapped a 10-game losing streak with the win against Florida A&M.

• RB Brian Battie rushed for 110 yards on 10 carries against the Rattlers, turning in his second career 100-yard game.

• The Bulls visit BYU Saturday in search of backto-back wins for the first time since 2019, when they defeated UConn and BYU in succession.

SMU
3-0, 0-0 American
@SMU_Football
Last: Won at Louisiana Tech, 39-37
Next: Sept. 25 at TCU (FS1)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………..524.3 …………………. 2nd
Total Defense………………………….441.3 ………………….. 7th
Scoring Offense ……………………….43.3 ……………………1st
Scoring Defense ……………………….19.3 …………………..4th

• QB Tanner Mordecai threw for 395 yards and five touchdowns, including a 33-yard touchdown to WR Reggie Roberson Jr. as time expired to give the Mustangs the win against Louisiana Tech.

• SMU is off to a 3-0 start for the third consecutive season. The Mustangs were 8-0 to start the 2019 season and won their first five games last year.

• The Mustangs have won 11 consecutive regular-season nonconference games.

• Mordecai has 16 touchdown passes in three games — five more than any other FBS player in 2021.

• WR Danny Gray has had a touchodwn reception in all three games this season.

TEMPLE
1-2, 0-0 American
@Temple_FB
Last: Lost to Boston College, 28-3
Next: Sept. 25 vs. Wagner (ESPN+)
American Ranks
Total Offense……………………………312.7 ………………….. 7th
Total Defense………………………….316.0 …………………..3rd
Scoring Offense ………………………..20.7 …………………..8th
Scoring Defense ………………………..37.7 …………………10th

• QB Justin Lynch was 17-of-24 for 161 yards, but Temple was kept out of the end zone in the loss to Boston College.

• The Owls limited Boston College to 239 yards and 13 first downs. Temple held the Eagles to 34 passing yards and allowed only five completed passes.

• Lynch also finished as Temple’s leading rusher with 27 yards. The Owls were held to 78 rushing yards.

• P Adam Barry averaged 46.7 yards on six punts against Boston College.

• The Owls return to Lincoln Financial Field Saturday for their first meeting against Wagner.

TULANE
1-2, 0-0 American
@GreenWaveFB
Last: Lost at Ole Miss, 61-21
Next: Sept. 25 vs. UAB (ESPN+)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………. 428.3 …………………..5th
Total Defense………………………… 455.0 …………………..8th
Scoring Offense …………………………41.7 …………………..5th
Scoring Defense ………………………40.3 ………………….11th

• QB Michael Pratt threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns, but the Green Wave was unable to keep pace with Ole Miss.

• Pratt, a sophomore, has had multiple touchdown passes in 11 career games. He ranks ninth in program history in career touchdown passes (27) three games into his second season.

• K Merek Glover has 309 career points, which ranks third in program history. Glover needs 25 points to set Tulane’s career record.

• Tulane allowed 707 yards of offense to Ole Miss.

• The Green Wave hosts UAB Saturday in its first game at Yulman Stadium this season. Tulane had been based in Birmingham, Alabama, since Hurricane Ida moved in on New Orleans.

TULSA
0-3, 0-0 American
@TulsaFootball
Last: Lost at Ohio State, 41-20
Next: Sept. 25 vs. Arkansas State (ESPN+)
American Ranks
Total Offense…………………………. 432.0 …………………..5th
Total Defense………………………….406.7 …………………..5th
Scoring Offense ……………………….20.0 …………………..9th
Scoring Defense ………………………29.3 …………………..5th

• Tulsa was within seven points of No. 9 Ohio State in the final four minutes before the Buckeyes added two late touchdowns.

• QB Davis Brin threw for a career-high 428 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions against Ohio State.

• WR Josh Johnson had eight receptions for a career-high 149 yards and a touchdown against the Buckeyes.

• The Golden Hurricane allowed 508 yards to Ohio State, marking only the second time in the last 36 games that a Tulsa opponent surpassed 500 yards.

• WR Cannon Montgomery, the son of Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery, had his first career touchdown reception against Ohio State.

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