Memphis ruined senior night for the Bearcats with a 34-7 beating on Friday night. The loss ensures the Bearcats won’t be playing in a bowl game this year, and cements 2016 as their worst season since 2010. Here’s what happened in the rest of the league.
Houston 36 No. 5 Louisville 10
Houston’s Steven Taylor saved the best performance of his senior year for the biggest stage by racking up 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in Houston’s 36-10 victory over No. 5 Louisville. Houston scored 31 points in the first quarter, thanks in large part to an unrelenting defense that sacked Heisman hopeful Lamar Jackson 11 times. It was deja vu for Jackson, who played the worst game of his career in a 34-31 loss against Houston last year. The win for Houston should move it into the Top 25 this week, while the loss for Louisville essentially eliminates it from playoff contention.
Props to our own Clayton Trutor for correctly picking the upset in his weekly picks.
Boston College 30 Connecticut 0
The Huskies have been outscored 92-3 over their past three games and failed to show any signs of life in their contest against BC. The Huskies accumulated minus-6 yards rushing on 17 carries, while freshman quarterback Donovan Williams threw three interceptions for a 10.4 QBR. The win for BC kept its slim postseason hopes alive. The Eagles will need a win over Wake Forest to close out the season to become bowl eligible.
Temple 31 Tulane 0
The AAC’s stingiest defense stepped up again this week as Temple shut out Tulane 31-0 on Saturday. The win was Temple’s fifth in a row and its second consecutive shutout. Sophomore wide receiver Ventell Bryant had the best game of his college career, collecting nine passes for 168 yards, including a 12 yard touchdown pass from Phillip Walker. A win against 3-8 Eastern Carolina in the season finale will secure a spot in the AAC title game for the Owls. Tulane fell to 0-7 in AAC play this season, and has one last chance to break into the win column when it faces off against UConn.
Navy 66 East Carolina 31
Navy rushed for 480 yards and nine touchdowns in a dominant performance over East Carolina. Quarterback Will Worth only threw five passes the entire game, making it the fourth game this season Navy has attempted five or fewer passes. The win secured the West Division for Navy, which will face either USF or Temple in the AAC Championship game on December 3.
The star - as always - for ECU was senior wide receiver Zay Jones. Jones had 12 receptions for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. ECU dropped to 3-8 on the year and closes out the season against a Temple team fighting for a chance to play in the AAC championship.
USF 35, SMU 27
USF keptits AAC conference championship hopes alive with a 35-27 victory over SMU on Saturday. This was the most dramatic game of the week in the AAC as SMU rallied, but were ultimately stopped short on a 4th-and-1 run with less than two minutes remaining. Quinton Flowers starred for the Bulls by passing for 195 yards and three touchdowns and running for another 142 yards. It was a tough loss for SMU, which could have became bowl eligible with the win. Instead, the Mustangs will have to beat AAC West division champs Navy to play in the postseason. It was a coming-out game of sorts for SMU sophomore receiver Courtland Sutton who followed up a 12 catch, 166 yard, two touchdown performance against ECU with 13 catches for 252 yards and two touchdowns against the Bulls
Tulsa 35, Central Florida 20
UCF couldn’t find an answer to Tulsa’s rushing game and the Golden Hurricane used a 21-point third quarter to improve to 8-3 on the season. D’Angelo Brewer and James Flanders combined for 330 yards with three touchdowns and senior linebacker Matt Linscott hit UCF for four tackles for loss in a game that was never really as close as the final score indicates. UCF freshman quarterback McKenzie Milton continued his inconsistent season by turning in a 21.2 QBR against an experienced Tulsa defense. Overall, it’s been a season to build on for Milton and UCF, and a win against rival USF in its next game could be a precursor to what the AAC can expect from the Knights in 2017.
Current AAC Standings
Temple 8-3, 6-1
USF 9-2, 6-1
UCF 6-5, 4-3
Cincinnati 4-7, 1-6
ECU 3-8, 1-6
UConn 3-8, 1-6
Navy 8-2, 6-1
Houston 9-2, 5-2
Tulsa 8-3, 5-2
Memphis 7-4, 4-3
SMU 5-6, 3-4
Tulane 3-8, 0-7