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American Athletic Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
CINCINNATI: After posting an impressive win in week one, Cincinnati suffered a pair of difficult losses in week two. The Bearcats were routed, 45-17, by Illinois and also lost quarterback Munchie Legaux with a leg injury in the fourth quarter. Legaux was taken off the field in an ambulance and hospitalized. Before the injury Legaux threw for 237 yards on 17-of-31 passing, with a touchdown pass and an interception. Legaux also led the squad with 52 yards rushing. Anthony McClung was the lead receiver with six receptions for 94 yards, both team-highs. Max Morrison caught four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. As a team Cincinnati picked up 456 yards of offense, but allowed 522 to Illinois. Greg Blair led the Bearcats with 9.5 tackles while Brad Harrah collected a team-high 2.5 tackles for loss. Cincinnati returns home to Nippert Stadium to face Northwestern State next week.
CONNECTICUT: The Huskies were idle this past weekend after taking a 33-18 loss to FCS Towson in week one of the campaign. UConn gets back on the field at home against Maryland next Saturday.
HOUSTON: In their first league game as a member of the American Athletic Conference the Houston Cougars survived in a 22-13 victory on the road over Temple. The win moves Houston to 2-0 for the fourth time in the last five years. Normally a team that earns it success on offense, it was Houston's defense that carried the Cougars on Saturday. Houston allowed just 13 points, keeping the Owls scoreless in the second half. It was the first time since 2011 that the Cougars have shut out a team in a half. Houston has allowed just 26 combined points through the first two games, the best two-game total by the Cougars since 2011. Though the defense was strong, Houston still had a solid effort on offense with 524 yards of total offense and 32 first downs. David Piland completed just 6-of-17 passes for 72 yards but was replaced by John O'Korn (23-of-31, 233 yards) after the first quarter. Deontay Greenberry had a career-high 14 receptions for 165 yards and Ryan Jackson set a career-high with 22 runs for 118 yards and a score. Derrick Mathews led the Cougars in tackles for the second straight week with 13 stops. Next week Houston faces cross-town rival Rice.
LOUISVILLE: Teddy Bridgewater was impressive once again as he led the now seventh-ranked Cardinals to a 44-7 win over FCS foe Eastern Kentucky. Bridgewater completed 23-of-32 pass attempts for 397 yards and four touchdowns. It was the third time he has thrown for at least four touchdown passes and the 14th consecutive game he has thrown for at least one. Bridgewater completed all four of his passes on the first drive of the game after going 6-of-6 on the opening drive last week against Ohio. Both drives ended in touchdown passes to Damian Copeland. DeVante Parker caught five passes for 134 yards and two scores as one of eight different receivers to catch a pass in the contest. Gerald Christian had five receptions for 74 yards and a score as well. The Cardinals rushed for only 78 yards led by 36 from Senorise Perry. Louisville held the Colonels to just 76 yards in the first half and 206 in the game overall. Preston Brown had a team-high eight tackles and also recorded two sacks. Calvin Pryor had seven stops, a forced fumble and an interception. Louisville hits the road for the first time this season next week against instate rival Kentucky.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers fought hard but a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns doomed them in a 28-14 loss to Duke. Redshirt freshman Paxton Lynch started the game for the Tigers, marking the first time since 1986 that a freshman has started under center for Memphis. Lynch completed 14-of-24 pass attempts for 148 yards. The Memphis offense accounted for just a single score, an 11-yard touchdown run from Jai Steib, while collecting only 12 first downs, two of which came in the first half. Memphis finished with 237 yards of total offense while letting up 470 to Duke. The Blue Devils also had more than twice as many first downs (25) as the Tigers. Anthony Brown led the defense with 11 tackles including a sack, Martin Ifedi had six stops and a pair of quarterback takedowns. Bobby McCain returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and finished with four tackles. The interception return was the second of at least 75 yards for McCain in his career. Tom Hornsey had seven punts in the contest including a 79-yard boot, which was the second longest in program history. Memphis will battle instate foe Middle Tennessee next weekend.
RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights got in the win column for the first time this season with a 38-0 rout of FCS foe Norfolk State on Saturday. With the win Rutgers became the only school to post a shutout in the last eight seasons. The Scarlet Knights allowed just 133 yards of total offense to Norfolk State to improve to 45-5 since 2000 when holding a foe to less than 300 yards. Paul James rushed for a team-high 119 yards and three touchdowns and Savon Huggins had a team-high 21 carries for 96 yards and a score. Rutgers had 273 yards rushing as a team, the most in a single game since 2008. Rutgers is 33-8 since 2006 when rushing for at least 150 yards as a team. Gary Nova completed 12- of-21 pass attempts for 150 yards and a touchdown to go with an interception. Steve Longa recorded five tackles and also forced a pair of fumbles, while Kevin Snyder had a team-high seven tackles. Rutgers will once again be at home next Saturday when the Scarlet Knights host Eastern Michigan.
SMU: A touchdown pass from Garrett Gilbert in the waning seconds on Saturday allowed SMU to avoid becoming yet another FBS team to lose to an FCS program, as the Mustangs topped Montana State, 31-30. Gilbert found Darius Joseph for a four-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left. The Mustangs trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half and 17 points in the game overall. The 17- point comeback was the third-largest by SMU in program history. Gilbert's touchdown pass to Joseph was his only one of the contest, as he completed 35- of-48 pass attempts for 317 yards. Gilbert has thrown for 300 yards in each of the first two games this season. Joseph caught 12 passes for 113 yards and the score, all game-highs. Jeremy Johnson had seven receptions for 112 yards including a game-long 66-yard catch. The Mustangs finished with 461 yards of total offense compared to 378 by Montana State. The Mustangs did hurt themselves by committing 11 penalties, while failing to score on 2-of-5 trips to the red zone. Three different players had more than 10 tackles in the game in Stephon Sanders (11, 3.0 TFL), Kevin Pope (11) and Hayden Greenbauer (10).
SOUTH FLORIDA: Willie Taggart failed to get his first win as head coach of the Bulls yet again on Saturday as USF dropped a 21-6 decision on the road to Michigan State. The Bulls were solid defensively in the contest, allowing just 265 total yards while letting the Spartans into the red zone just twice. However the Bulls had just 155 total yards of offense themselves including a paltry 66 yards passing. Bobby Eveld got the start for the Bulls and completed just 6-of-25 pass attempts for all 66 yards, while being intercepted once. That one interception was returned 56 yards for a touchdown and gave Michigan State a 14-6 lead midway through the third quarter. Marcus Shaw had a solid game rushing the ball as he picked up 94 yards on 23 carries. However, Eveld was sacked three times and lost 25 yards rushing, leading to the Bulls' total of 89 yards on the ground. DeDe Lattimore recorded a game-high 15 tackles. Taggart will try again for his first win next weekend when the Bulls host FAU.
TEMPLE: The Owls faced Houston in the first ever league contest of the new American Athletic Conference but even at home, Temple fell short in a 22-13 decision to the Cougars. Temple had a 13-9 lead as late as the third quarter but was shut out in the second half when Houston scored 13 unanswered points. Temple allowed the Cougars to total 524 yards of offense, while gaining 32 first downs and eight chances in the red zone. The score didn't indicate how often the Cougars got into scoring range as the Owls did force the Cougars to settle for field goals on four of those trips while stopping them from scoring overall on three chances. Temple had 300 yards of total offense itself. Connor Reilly completed 20-of-38 pass attempts for 200 yards but was also intercepted twice. Ryan Alderman had five receptions for 65 yards. Kenny Harper had 95 yards of total offense and two scores split between 14 carries and five receptions. Jim Cooper, a week after missing a pair of field goal tries and an extra point attempt, missed a 25-yard attempt and also failed on an extra point chance in the first quarter. Punter Paul Layton, who has been used in kickoff situations this season, connected on a PAT attempt in the second quarter. Temple will have a chance to earn a win next Saturday at home against Fordham.
UCF: Earning its second 2-0 start of the last 15 years was UCF which posted a 38-0 win over former conference foe FIU on Friday night. The Knights last opened a season with two wins in 2011 but before that had not done so since 1988. UCF limited the Panthers to 173 yards of total offense, the first time since 2011 the Knights have held a team under 200 yards. Led by Blake Bortles at quarterback the Knights picked up 390 yards of total offense. Bortles completed 12-of-19 pass attempts for 214 yards and a touchdown and was sacked just once. Bortles has thrown a touchdown pass in 10 straight games and has not been intercepted in a program-record 217 attempts. Storm Johnson totaled 89 yards on 18 carries ,while scoring a career-high three touchdowns. Rannell Hall caught four passes for 127 yards. Along with Breshad Perriman's 113 yards last week, the Knights have now had 100-yard receiving efforts in back-to-back games for the first time since 2010. UCF will next travel to Happy Valley for a showdown with Penn State.
09/09 11:16:16 ET