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Week 4 Previews: American Athletic Conference

SATURDAY, SEPT. 25 • NOON • FS1

SMU at TCU
Amon G. Carter Stadium (47,000/Natural Grass)
Fort Worth, Texas
Television
FS1
Dan Hellie and Robert Smith
Radio
KTCK-FM 96.7 (SMU flagship)
SiriusXM 380/970

THE GAME • THE IRON SKILLET
Saturday’s game will be the 100th meeting between SMU and TCU as the Metroplex rivals battle for the Iron Skillet … TCU holds a 51-47-7 series lead, but SMU won the last meeting with a 41-38 decision in Fort Worth in 2019 … The teams did not meet in the pandemic-adjusted 2020 season.

-/rv SMU
3-0, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Sonny Dykes (Texas Tech ‘93)
25-14, fourth season at SMU
66-59, 11th season as collegiate head coach

Notes
SMU is off to a 3-0 start for the third consecutive season after the Mustangs won a 39-37 decision at Louisiana Tech in Week 3 … SMU started the season with wins against Abilene Christian (56-9) and North Texas (35-12) … The Mustangs have averaged 43.3 points and 524.3 yards through their first three games … QB Tanner Mordecai has led the way with 1,023 passing yards and 16 touchdown passes … Mordecai has five more TD passes than any other NCAA FBS player … RB Ulysses Bentley IV is averaging 6.6 yards per carry and has 219 rushing yards on 33 attempts … WR Danny Gray and WR Rahsee Rice have four touchdowns each … S Isaiah Nwokobia has two interceptions to lead the defense … LB Delano Robinson has a team-high 21 tackles.

rv/rv TCU
2-0, 0-0 Big 12
Head Coach
Gary Patterson (Kansas State ’83)
179-74, 21st season

Notes
SMU took a 2-0 record into last week’s early open week … The Horned Frogs opened with a 45-3 win against Duquesne and edged Cal 34-32 in Week 2 … TCU is 2-0 for the 13th time in 21 seasons under Gary Patterson … The Horned Frogs are looking for their 10th 3-0 start under Patterson … TCU has gone 148-57 since 2005 … The .722 winning percentage since then is the best among private schools in FBS … TCU is led offensively by RB Zach Evans, who rushed for a career-high 190 yards in the win against Cal, turning in his third 100-yard performance in his last four games … Evans has 217 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in 2021 … QB Max Duggan has completed 31 of 50 passes for 441 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions … WR Quentin Johnson has nine catches for 133 yards and two TDs.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 25 • NOON • ESPN+

WAGNER at TEMPLE
Lincoln Financial Field (69,596/Natural Grass)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Television
ESPN+
Bill Spaulding and Barrett Brooks
Radio
WPEN-FM 97.5 (Temple flagship)
SiriusXM 381/971

THE GAME
Saturday’s game will be the first meeting between Temple and Wagner, which are located about 90 miles apart … The Owls last faced an FCS opponent in the 2019 season-opener, when they took a 56-12 win against Bucknell in Rod Carey’s first game with Temple … The last loss to an FCS opponent was a 19-17 setback to Villanova in 2018.

WAGNER
0-3, 0-2 NEC
Head Coach
Tom Masella (Wagner ’82)
0-5, second season at Wagner
44-69, 12th season as collegiate head coach

Notes
Wagner has struggled to an 0-3 start against a schedule that has already included one FBS opponent … The Seahawks fell 69-7 to Buffalo in the season-opener before dropping games to Central Connecticut (21-19) and Saint Francis (Pa.) (39-24) … Wagner played two games in the spring of 2021, falling to Duquesne and Bryant … The Seahawks are looking to snap a 12-game losing streak that dates to 2019 … The last win was a 24-14 decision against Long Island Sept. 28, 2019 … Head coach Tom Masella is in his first full season at his alma mater after previously serving as head coach at Boston University, Central Connecticut and Fordham … QB Jaalon Frazier has thrown for 454 yards and three touchdowns on 33-of-55 passing this season.

TEMPLE
1-2, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Rod Carey (Indiana ‘93)
10-13, third season at Temple
62-43, ninth season as collegiate head coach

Notes
Temple looks to bounce back from a 28-3 loss to Boston College in the Owls’ home-opener last week … Temple opened the season with back-to-back road games, falling 61-14 at Rutgers before rebounding with a 45-24 win at Akron … QB Justin Lynch, a true freshman, made his second career start last week against Boston Colege after Opening Day starting QB D’Wan Mathis went down with an injury against Rutgers … Temple ranks fifth nationally in pass defense (123.3 ypg) … The Owls have limited their first three opponents to 320.0 yards per game … Lynch has completed 72.0% of his passes (36 of 50) for 406 yards and two touchdowns with one interception … WR Randle Jones has 14 receptions for 240 yards and two TDs … LB William Kwenkeu has 2.0 sacks to lead the defense.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 25 • 3:30 P.M. • ESPNU

UTSA at MEMPHIS
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (58,318/AstroTurf)
Memphis, Tennessee
Television
ESPNU
John Schriffen and Rene Ingoglia
Radio
WKIM-FM 98.9 (Memphis flagship)
SiriusXM 380/970

THE GAME
Saturday’s game will be the first meeting between Memphis and UTSA … The schools were originally supposed to play last season in San Antonio in a game that was canceled due to the pandemic … The Tigers are 67-89-3 all-time against current members of Conference USA, while UTSA is 3-1 against teams in The American.

-/rv UTSA
3-0, 1-0 Conference USA
Head Coach
Jeff Traylor (Stephen F. Austin ’90)
10-5, second season

Notes
UTSA has built a 3-0 start after a 27-13 win against Middle Tennessee last Saturday in San Antonio … The Roadrunners opened with a 37-30 win at Illinois before handling Lamar 54-0 in Week 2 … UTSA enters Saturday’s game ranked 10th nationally in total defense, allowing only 244.3 yards per game … UTSA has won six of its last seven games dating to last season after the Roadrunners closed the 2020 regular season with three straight wins … UTSA held Middle Tennessee to eight rushing yards in last week’s win … LB Trumane Bell II was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week after he had four tackles, 2.0 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against Middle Tennessee … RB Sincere mcCormick has 268 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while QB Frank Harris has passed for 662 yards and three TDs.

-/rv MEMPHIS
3-0, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Ryan Silverfield (Hamden-Sydney ’03)
11-4, second season at Memphis
Information Contact

Notes
Memphis takes a 17-game winning streak at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, the fourth-longest homefield streak nationally, into Saturday’s game … Memphis is 3-0 following a 31-29 win against Mississippi State last Saturday … The Tigers have averaged 42.7 points and 504.3 yards in their first three games … Memphis has been led by WR Calvin Austin III, who has 21 catches for 391 yards and six touchdowns and is averaging 130.3 receiving yards per game, ranking fifth nationally … Austin also is a special teams threat with 107 yards and a touchdown on two punt returns … RB Brandon Thomas leads The American in rushing at 140.3 yards per game … Thomas has 421 yards and four TDs on 50 carries … QB Seth Henigan has thrown for 841 yards and eight touchdowns as a true freshman … CB Greg Rubin leads the nation with 10 passes defended.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 25 • 5 P.M. • ESPN+

ARKANSAS STATE at TULSA
H.A. Chapman Stadium (30,000/FieldTurf)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Television
ESPN+
Courtney Lyle and Brandon Weeden
Radio
KXBL-FM 99.5 (Tulsa flagship)
SiriusXM 382/972

THE GAME
Saturday’s game will be the sixth meeting between Tulsa and Arkansas State … The Red Wolves hold a 3-2 series lead after a 29-20 win in Tulsa in 2018 that saw the Red Wolves get two offensive touchdowns, a defensive TD, two field goals and a safety … Tulsa has won two of the three previous games at Chapman Stadium.

ARKANSAS STATE
1-2, 0-0 Sun Belt
Head Coach
Butch Jones (Ferris State ’90)
1-2, first season at Arkansas State
85-56, 12th season as collegiate head coach

Notes
Arkansas State began the season with a 40-21 win against Central Arkansas, but looks to snap a two-game slide after losses to Memphis (55-50) and Washington (52-3) … The Red Wolves went 4-7 in 2020, ending a streak of nine straight winning seasons, but scored a notable road win against Kansas State … Head coach Butch Jones is in his first year in Jonesboro after spending the last three seasons on the staff at Alabama … Jones was formerly the head coach at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Tennessee … The Red Wolves have used two quarterbacks as QB James Blackman has 651 passing yards and four touchdowns, while QB Layne Hatcher has 470 yards and five TDs … WR Corey Rucker has 17 receptions for 257 yards and four touchdowns.

TULSA
0-3, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Philip Montgomery (Tarleton State ’95)
31-43, seventh season

Notes
Tulsa trailed No. 9 Ohio State 13-6 at halftime and 27-20 late in the fourth quarter before the Buckeyes got two late touchdowns in a 41-20 victory in Columbus … Tulsa is looking for its first win of the season after a season-opening setback to UC Davis (19-17) and a 28-23 loss at Oklahoma State … The game against Arkansas State is the first of three straight home games for Tulsa, which plays on the road only once until Nov. 6 … Tulsa reeled off 508 yards against Ohio State as QB Davis Brin threw for a career-high 428 yards with two touchdowns against the Buckeyes … Brin has completed 65 of 109 passes (59.6%) for 853 yards and two TDs … RB Deneric Prince has rushed for 223 yards and two touchdowns, while WR Josh Johnson has a team-high 14 catches for 190 yards and a TD … S Kendarin Ray leads the team with 23 tackles.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 25 • 6 P.M. • ESPN+

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN at EAST CAROLINA
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (50,000/Natural Grass)
Greenville, North Carolina
Television
ESPN+
Connor Onion and Stanford Routt
Radio
WNCT-FM 107.9 (East Carolina flagship)
SiriusXM 387/977

THE GAME
Saturday’s game will be the first meeting between East Carolina and Charleston Southern … Pirates head coach Mike Houston has faced the Buccaneers three times in his head coaching career, all while Houston was at The Citadel … Houston went 0-3 against Charleston Southern … East Carolina is 27-3 all-time against FCS opponents.

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
1-1, 0-1 Big South
Head Coach
Autry Denson (Notre Dame ’99)
9-9, third season

Notes
Charleston Southern evened its record at 1-1 after the Buccaneers dropped a 41-14 decision to Monmouth last Saturday … The Buccaneers opened with a 38-21 victory against The Citadel … The game against East Carolina is the first of two games against FBS opponents for Charleston Southern, which closes the regular season at Georgia Nov. 20 … QB Jack Chambers has passed for 454 yards and four touchdowns through two games and has completed 37 of 61 attempts (60.7%) … Chambers has two rushing touchdowns as well … WR Garris Schwarting has eight receptions for a team-high 158 yards with four touchdowns … LB Garrett Sayegh leads the team with 17 tackles, while LB Anton Williams has 2.0 sacks … Charleston Southern went 2-2 during a four-game spring season, closing with wins against Robert Morris and Gardner-Webb.

EAST CAROLINA
1-2, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Mike Houston (Mars Hill ’94)
8-16, third season at East Carolina
88-41, 11th season as collegiate head coach

Notes
East Carolina picked up its first win of the season as the Pirates rallied from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to top Marshall 42-38 last Saturday … East Carolina opened with a 33-19 setback to Appalachian State and fell 20- 17 to South Carolina in Week 2 … QB Holton Ahlers has completed 63 of 112 passes for 740 yards and four touchdowns against three interceptions … Ahlers has added a team-high two rushing touchdowns … RB Keaton Mitchell leads the team with 277 rushing yards and is averaging 7.1 yards per carry … WR Tyler Snead has 14 receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown and has thrown two TD passe … The defense is paced by CB Ja’Quan McMillian, who has a team-high two interceptions with four pass breakups … LB Myles Berry leads the Pirates with 19 tackles.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 25 • 7 P.M. • ESPNU

NAVY at HOUSTON
TDECU Stadium (40,000/FieldTurf)
Houston, Texas
Television
ESPNU
Tiffany Greene and Hutson Mason
Navy Radio Houston Radio
WBAL-AM 1090 KPRC-AM 950
SiriusXM 133/207/967 SiriusXM 380/970

THE GAME
Saturday’s game will be the eighth meeting between Navy and Houston … The Cougars hold a 5-2 series lead after a 37-21 win last year in Annapolis … Navy’s biggest win in the series was a 46-40 decision in 2016, when Houston was ranked No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll … Houston beat a No. 15-ranked Navy squad 52-31 in 2015.

NAVY
0-2, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Ken Niumatalolo (Hawaii ‘89)
101-69, 14th season

Notes
Navy returns from an early open week in search of its first win of the season as the Midshipmen have opened with a 49-7 loss to Marshall and a 23-3 setback to Air Force … Navy is looking to snap a seven-game losing streak that dates to last year and began with a 37-21 setback to Houston Oct. 24, 2020 … The Midshipmen begin a stretch in which they face the top five teams in The American’s preseason media poll followed by a road game against No. 10 Notre Dame … Navy has gone 30-17 all-time in conference games since joining The American in 2015 … Navy has averaged 186.5 rushing yards per game, led by QB Xavier Arline, who has a team-leading 107 yards with a touchdown on 32 carries … Navy’s quarterbacks have completed 8 of 26 passes (30.8%) … WR Mychal Cooper has three receptions for 45 yards.

HOUSTON
2-1, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Dana Holgorsen (Iowa Wesleyan ‘93)
9-14, third season at Houston
70-55, 11th season as collegiate head coach

Notes
Houston improved to 2-1 with a 45-0 win against Grambling State last Saturday … The Cougars opened 2021 with a 38-21 loss to Texas Tech and took a 44-7 win at Rice in Week 2 … The Cougars have outscored their first three opponents by a 38-0 margin in the first quarter … Houston has limited its opponents to 15.0 points and 230.3 yards per game … Houston is seventh nationally in total defense and third in pass defense (122.0 ypg) … The Cougars have scored 10 touchdowns in 11 red zone opportunities and have gone 5-for-5 in fourth down conversions … QB Clayton Tune has thrown for 474 yards and four touchdowns, but Tune left last week’s game against Grambling State with an injury … WR Nathaniel Dell has 22 receptions for 301 yards and three touchdowns.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 25 • 8 P.M. • ESPN+

UAB at TULANE
Yulman Stadium (30,000/UBU Spee Series 5M)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Television
ESPN+
Richard Cross and Brian Kinchen
Radio
KVDU-FM 104.1 (Tulane flagship)
SiriusXM 381/971

THE GAME
Saturday’s game will be the 11th meeting between Tulane and UAB in a series that dates to 1999 … The series is tied at 5-5 after the Blazers’ 31-24 win in Birmingham in 2018 … UAB had served as Tulane’s makeshift home base this season after the Green Wave left New Orleans in advance of Hurricane Ida.

UAB
2-1, 1-0 Conference USA
Head Coach
Bill Clark (Jacksonville State ’90)
53-27, sixth season at UAB
156-133, 15th season as collegiate head coach

Notes
UAB improved to 2-1 following an impressive 40-6 win against North Texas last Saturday … The Blazers are playing their seventh consecutive game away from home as they prepare to open Protective Stadium next week against Liberty … The Blazers have gone 21-1 at Legion Field since the restoration of the program in 2017 … UAB has won two of the last three Conference USA titles, claiming the championships in 2018 and 2020 … The Blazers are 25-7 against Conference USA teams since 2017 … WR Gerrit Prince earned Conference USA Player of the Week honors after he had three receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns against North Texas … Prince leads the nation with an average of 29.1 yards per reception (seven catches, 204 yards, three TDs).

TULANE
1-2, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Willie Fritz (Pittsburg State ’83)
30-35, sixth season at Tulane
184-104, 25th season as collegiate head coach

Notes
Tulane has faced two top-25 opponents in its first three games as the Green Wave looks to rebound from a 61-21 setback to No. 16 Ole Miss … Tulane opened with a 40-35 loss at No. 2 Oklahoma and rolled to a 69-20 win against Morehead State in Week 2 … Saturday’s game against UAB will be Tulane’s first at Yulman Stadium this season … QB Michael Pratt has completed 45 of 75 passes for 586 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception … RB Cameron Carroll has 106 rushing yards with a touchdown, while Pratt has a team-high two touchdown runs … WR Tyrick James has been the top receiver with 11 catches for 189 yards and two TDs … The defense is led by LB Kevin Henry, who has a team-high 18 tackles with an interception.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 25 • 10:15 P.M. • ESPN2

SOUTH FLORIA at BYU
LaVell Ewards Stadium (63,470/Natural Grass)
Provo, Utah
Television
ESPN2
Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison and Dawn Davenport
Radio
WHNZ-AM 1250 (South Florida flagship)
SiriusXM 143

THE GAME
Saturday’s game will be the second meeting between South Florida and BYU, completing a home-and-home series that began with the Bulls’ 27-23 win in Tampa in 2019 … RB Jordan Cronkrite led the Bulls with 158 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in that game as South Florida overcame a 23-14 fourth-quarter deficit.

SOUTH FLORIDA
1-2, 0-0 American
Head Coach
Jeff Scott (Clemson ’03)
2-10, second season

Notes
South Florida snapped a 10-game slide with a 38-17 win against Florida A&M last Saturday at Raymond James Stadium … The Bulls opened the season with losses to NC State (45-0) and No. 9 Florida (42-20) … South Florida is looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since the Bulls defeated UConn and BYU in succession in the 2019 season … Freshman QB Timmy McClain made his first career start against Florida A&M and passed for 163 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 51 yards on 14 carries … McClain has 372 passing yards in three games in 2021 … The leading rusher is RB Brian Battie, with 142 yards on 22 carries … WR Xavier Weaver is averaging 24.2 yards per reception with nine catches for 218 yards and a TD … LB Andrew Mims has a team-high 23 tackles to lead the defense.

15/16 BYU
3-0
Head Coach
Kalani Sitake (BYU ’00)
41-26, sixth season

Notes
BYU has been one of the more impressive teams nationally in 2021 as the Cougars stand at 3-0 with wins against Arizona (24-16), Utah (1-2) and Arizona State (2-1) despite the loss of 11 starters from last year, including No. 2 overall draft pick QB Zach Wilson … BYU finished last year ranked No. 11 nationally, going 11-1 … The Cougars have won their last three games against American Athletic Conference opponents, defeating Navy, Houston and UCF last season … QB Jaren Hall has completed 51 of 85 passes for 561 yards and seven touchdowns against two interceptions … RB Tyler Allgeier has rushed for 265 yards and two touchdowns on 65 carries, while WR Gunner Romney has nine catches for 108 yards and two TDs … The defense is led by LB Payton Wilgar, who has 19 tackles and 1.5 sacks … LB Keenan Pili has 31 stops with 3.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks.

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