Wednesday, October 4, 2023
5-Hour Energy

CFB Week 7 Previews: American Athletic Conference


THURSDAY, OCT. 14 • 7:30 P.M. • ESPN

Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (58,318/AstroTurf)
Memphis, Tennessee
Matt Barrie, Roddy Jones and Harry Lyles Jr.
Navy Radio Memphis Radio
WBAL-AM 1090 WKIM-FM 98.9
SiriusXM 84 SiriusXM 380/970

Thursday’s game will be the seventh meeting between Navy and Memphis in a series that dates to Navy’s arrival in The American in 2015 … Each team has won three games in the series … The Tigers won 10-7 winners last season as a 26-yard field goal by K Riley Patterson in the fourth quarter was the difference.

1-4, 1-2 American
Head Coach
Ken Niumatalolo (Hawaii ‘89)
102-71, 14th season

Navy looks to get back to .500 in conference play as the Midshipmen try to bounce back from a 31-24 setback to SMU last Saturday … The Midshipmen had dropped their first three games before scoring a 34-30 win against UCF Oct. 2 … Navy has been led by QB Tai Lavatai, who has started three games and has 128 rushing yards and two touchdowns to go with 130 passing yards and a TD pass …  FB Isaac Ruoss has a team-high 233 rushing yards with two touchdowns, while FB James Harris II is not far off the pace with 214 yards … WR Mychal Cooper, who averages 21.3 yards per reception, is the top threat when Navy goes to the air … The defense is led by LB Diego Fagot, who has a team-high 46 tackles to go with 6.5 tackles for loss, a sack, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and a defensive touchdown.

3-3, 0-2 American
Head Coach
Ryan Silverfield (Hamden-Sydney ’03)
11-7, second season at Memphis

Memphis looks to snap a three-game slide after the Tigers fell 35-29 at Tulsa last Saturday … Memphis began the season with three consecutive wins, including a 31- 29 decision against Mississippi State Sept. 18, but the Tigers have fall to UTSA, Temple and Tulsa by a combined 12 points … Memphis’ only game that has been decided by more than six points was the 42-17 win against Nicholls in the season-opener … Freshman QB Seth Henigan has completed 130 of 215 passes for 1,938 yards and 14 touchdowns against three interceptions … The leading receiver is WR Calvin Austin III, who has 48 catches for 837 yards and eight touchdowns, leading The  American in all three categories … Austin ranks second nationally with 139.5 receiving yards per game … LB JJ Russell is second nationally with 11.0 tackles per game.



Nippert Stadium (40,000/UBU Speed Series 55-M)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky and Kris Budden
UCF Radio Cincinnati Radio
WYGM-FM 96.9 WLW-AM 700
SiriusXM 113/201/964

Saturday’s game will be the seventh meeting between UCF and Cincinnati … The series stands tied at 3-3, while Cincinnati has taken the last two matchups, including a 36-33 win in Orlando last year … The Bearcats are 2-1 against the Knights at Nippert Stadium …  UCF’s lone win in Cincinnati was a 51-23 decision Oct. 7, 2017.

3-2, 1-1 American
Head Coach
Gus Malzahn (Henderson State ‘90)
3-2, first season at UCF 80-40, 10th season as collegiate head coach

UCF snapped a modest two-game slide with a 20-16 victory against East Carolina last Saturday in Orlando … The Knights trailed 16-10 late in the fourth quarter, but got the go-ahead touchdown with 23 seconds remaining against East Carolina … UCF was without its  leading rusher, passer and receiver for the second straight week as RB Isaiah Bowser, QB Dillon Gabriel and WR Jaylon Robinson all sat out due to injuries … QB Mikey Keene has started the last two games and has completed 43 of 68 passes for 427 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions … WR Brandon Johnson has a team-high five touchdown receptions, while RB Johnny Richardson has averaged 7.1 yards per carry … DE Big Kat Bryant has 18 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries.

5-0, 1-0 American
Head Coach
Luke Fickell (Ohio State ’97)
40-14, fifth season at Cincinnati
46-21, sixth season as collegiate head coach

Cincinnati is one of the nation’s 13 unbeaten teams after the Bearcats scored a 52-3 win against Temple last Friday … Cincinnati is ranked No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press poll, marking the highest AP ranking in program history and the highest by an American Athletic Conference team in the conference’s nine years … The Bearcats have held four of their first five opponents to 14 points or fewer and have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 205-61 … QB Desmond Ridder is firmly in the Heisman Trophy race as he has thrown for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns against two interceptions and has three rushing TDs as well … RB Jerome Ford has 520 rushing yards and eight touchdowns … LB Darrian Beavers has 36 tackles and 3.5 sacks.



Raymond James Stadium (65,857/Natural Grass)
Tampa, Florida
Mike Couzens and Dustin Fox
Tulsa Radio South Florida Radio
KXBL-FM 99.5 WHNZ-AM 1250
SiriusXM 380/970

Saturday’s game will be the fourth meeting between Tulsa and South Florida … South Florida won the first three meetings, but Tulsa captured last year’s game 42-13 in Tampa … The Golden Hurricane got two rushing touchdowns from RB Deneric Prince and  interception return for a score by LB Zaven Collins in last year’s win.

1-4, 0-1 American
Head Coach
Philip Montgomery (Tarleton State ’95)
32-44, seventh season

Tulsa has won two of its last three games after the Golden Hurricane scored a 35-29 victory against Memphis last Saturday at Chapman Stadium … Tulsa had opened the season with three straight losses, including near-misses in road games at Oklahoma State and Ohio State … QB Davis Brin has started every game and has thrown for 1,649 yards and eight touchdowns against eight interceptions … RB Shamari Brooks has a team-leading 416 rushing yards with three touchdowns, while WR Josh Johnson leads a deep group of receivers with 35 catches for 508 yards and two touchdowns … RB Anthony Watkins averages 8.3 yards per carry and has 282 yards and three TDs, while RB Deneric Prince has 261 yards and two touchdowns … LB Tyon Davis has a team-high 42 tackles, while DT Cullen Wick leads the squad with 7.5 tackles for loss.

1-4, 0-1 American
Head Coach
Jeff Scott (Clemson ’03)
2-12, second season

South Florida returns from an open week looking to snap a two-game slide after the Bulls fell 41-17 at SMU last week … South Florida has faced one of the nation’s most challenging schedules … Four of the Bulls’ first five opponents are ranked in this week’s top 25 … USF has scored 45 points in the third quarter and 67 in the other three periods combined … QB Timmy McClain has emerged as
the starting quarterback and has thrown for 781 yards and a touchdown while gaining 158 rushing yards … RB Jaren Mangham has 189 rushing yards and leads the American Athletic Conference with nine touchdown runs … WR Xavier Weaver is the top receiver with 17 receptions for 328 yards and a touchdown … LB Dwayne Boyles leads the defense with 34 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss … K
Spencer Shrader has gone 6-for-6 on field goal attempts.

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