American Athletic Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
CINCINNATI: Cincinnati fell short in its conference opener, a 26-20 setback to South Florida. With the loss the Bearcats are now 3-2 overall this season with both losses coming on the road. The Bearcats let up only 241 yards of offense to the Bulls and did not allow an offensive touchdown. The Bearcats even had nine more first downs (21-12) than the Bulls but they were just 1-of-2 on red zone conversions. Brendon Kay completed 24-of-36 pass attempts for 240 yards and three touchdowns but was also intercepted twice. Anthony McClng was the leading receiver with eight receptions for 90 yards. Mekale McKay scored on both of his receptions as 10 different receivers made at least one catch. Ralph David Abernathy was the leading rusher with 38 yards on just four carries. The Bearcats had 110 rushing yards overall. Nick Temple had a team- high eight tackles including one of two sacks for Cincinnati. The Bearcats will duel Temple at home on Friday.
CONNECTICUT: The big news out of East Hartford this week was the firing of head coach Paul Pasqualoni. The Huskies were on bye this weekend as they adjust to life under interim head coach T.J. Weist, who will be at the helm for UConn next week against South Florida.
HOUSTON: One of just two teams that remain undefeated in the conference, Houston was idle this past weekend after a 4-0 start. The Cougars begin league play next weekend against Memphis.
LOUISVILLE: Once again Teddy Bridgewater was sharp as the Cardinals rolled to a 30-7 win over the Temple Owls. Louisville is 5-0 for the third time in the last 11 seasons and just the sixth time since 1946. Louisville is also 29-6 under Charlie Strong when scoring at least 20 points. Bridgewater completed 25-of-35 pass attempts for 348 yards and two touchdowns. Bridgewater hit 10 different receivers and has now thrown a touchdown in 17 straight games. Dominique Brown finished with 74 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and Eli Rogers was the leading receiver with five receptions for 74 yards and a score. DeVante Parker missed the final three quarters after suffering a shoulder injury. Parker's status is still uncertain as the Cardinals await a MRI. Lorenzo Mauldin led the defense with a pair of sacks as the Cardinals held Temple to 255 yards of total offense. Louisville has a tough stretch in the next two weeks with games against Rutgers and UCF.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers nearly pulled off a major upset but a fumble in the final minutes cost them in a 24-17 setback against UCF. Memphis led 17-10 but after allowing a touchdown to the Knights , fumbled on the ensuing kickoff. The ball was then recovered in the end zone by UCF to hand the Tigers their first loss in AAC play. Memphis finished with 397 yards of total offense but turned the ball over three times. Paxton Lynch threw for 279 yards on 20-of-38 passing and was intercepted twice. Lynch's effort marked the first 200-yard passing game Brandon Hayes rushed for 73 yards on 12 carries and also scored a touchdown. The Tigers held the Knights to a season-low 270 yards of total offense and stopped them from scoring a touchdown in the first half for the first time this season. Tank Jakes recorded the Tigers' first sack of the season. Up next for Memphis is a trip to face undefeated Houston.
RUTGERS: Justin Goodwin's 17-yard touchdown run in triple overtime allowed the Scarlet Knights to escape with a 55-52 road win over SMU in the American Athletic Conference opener. Rutgers has won its conference opener in each of the last four seasons. Rutgers' 55 points was the most by the team in a single game since 2008. Rutgers scored touchdowns on all six of its red zone trips and also converted on 9-of-18 third downs. The Scarlet Knights finished with 474 yards of total offense but let up 558 to the Mustangs. Gary Nova completed passes to nine different receivers and threw four touchdown passes. Leonte Carroo caught two touchdown passes, both in overtime, and now has six touchdown receptions in the fourth quarter or later this season. Goodwin finished with 222 all-purpose yards, with 149 coming on the ground and 71 through the air. Goodwin also scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving. Rutgers will visit Louisville on Thursday in a major conference test.
SMU: The Mustangs rallied from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter but fell in a 55-52 triple-overtime thriller against Rutgers in their conference opener. The Mustangs smashed a number of single-game records in the contest including total offense (558 yards), passing yards (484), points (52), total plays (99) and total touchdowns (seven). Garrett Gilbert threw for 484 yards and a program-record five touchdowns, while also scoring a pair of touchdowns on the ground. The seven touchdowns that Gilbert accounted for set a school record as did his 45 completions. Jeremy Johnson hauled in 18 passes for 217 yards and three scores in the contest. Johnson is tied for the most games of 10 receptions of more in SMU history with four. Darius Joseph also had double- digit receptions (10) but for only 40 yards and a touchdown. Randall Joyner finished with a career-high 18 tackles, 11 of which were solo efforts. Beau Barnes recorded two of the Mustangs' three sacks. SMU will be off next week giving it time to prepare for a road trip to Memphis.
SOUTH FLORIDA: After failing to do so in their first four games, the Bulls finally gave Willie Taggart his first win as head coach with a 26-20 triumph over the Cincinnati Bearcats. Although the Bulls are 1-4 overall, they are off to a 1-0 start in league play. Marvin Kloss connected on all four of his field goal attempts in the contest and the Bulls scored a touchdown on both special teams and defense but the offense did not get into the end zone. Nate Godwin returned a blocked field goal 75 yards for a touchdown and DeDe Lattimore returned a fumble 10 yards for a touchdown. South Florida was out gained (350-241) and had almost 10 fewer first downs than Cincinnati (21-12). The Bulls captured four turnovers to bring the season total to 12. USF had just nine forced turnovers last season. Bobby Eveld completed just 10-of-16 pass attempts for 122 yards and Michael Pierre had 61 yards on 16 carries. Mark Joyce had seven tackles and two interceptions. Next week South Florida will visit Connecticut.
TEMPLE: It was not a banner day in Philadelphia for the Owls, who were dropped, 30-7, by Louisville. The Owls finished with just 255 yards of total offense, while having half as many first downs as the Cardinals (26-13). Temple also had just a pair of trips in the red zone, scoring on just one. Connor Reilly got the start at quarterback but completed just 3-of-7 passes for 25 yards. Freshman P.J. Walker took over from there and completed 10-of-19 pass attempts for 182 yards and a touchdown to match an interception. Walker also led the Owls with 33 yards rushing, though he was sacked four times. Ryan Alderman brought in four passes for 61 yards and Robby Anderson had three catches for 73 yards as well. Jalen Fitzpatrick scored the lone touchdown for the Owls on a nine-yard pass in the fourth quarter. Temple will be on the road next weekend against Cincinnati.
UCF: It wasn't the finest effort of the season, but the Knights managed to pull out a 24-17 win on the road over Memphis to take its first league contest of the season. The Knights scored two touchdowns in the final two and a half minutes to rally from a 17-10 deficit and capture the win. The game-winning score came when Drico Johnson recovered and returned a fumble, on a Memphis kickoff return, for a touchdown. The Knights have won nine straight games against Memphis, the longest streak against one team in school history. UCF finished with a season-low 270 yards of total offense while giving up 397 yards of total offense. The Knights also had nine fewer first downs than the Tigers (25-16). Blake Bortles threw for just 160 yards and completed only 17- of-36 pass attempts. Storm Johnson rushed for 86 yards on 16 carries, while Breshad Perriman finished with seven receptions for 107 yards. UCF now has two weeks before a showdown with Louisville.
10/07 11:29:20 ET