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Around the AAC - Week 7 Preview

Saturday features 5 games involving AAC teams, including 4 conference games.

Temple v Memphis Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images

College football week 7 will feature 4 American Athletic Conference games and one non-conference game. 9 total AAC teams in action including Cincinnati, who takes on Houston on Saturday at 3:30 on ESPN2. This will be the 26th all-time meeting between these two teams.

AAC Game of the Week - Memphis @ Temple

Temple is consistently difficult to play, especially at home. Memphis is ranked #23 and is 5-0 but haven’t played a challenging schedule to date. Their notable wins are Ole Miss and Navy and have beaten three other low level teams (Southern U, South Alabama, and UL-Monroe).

Memphis RB Patrick Taylor has not played the last few weeks due to an injury and is not expected to play on Saturday either. That’s okay, because freshman Kenneth Gainwell has burst (literally) onto the scene and is averaging an absurd 8.2 yards per carry. He has 620 yards rushing in 5 games, and has 458 yards in the last 3 games. Gainwell is second in the conference in rushing, despite not being the starter to open the season.

Temple QB Anthony Russo has been inconsistent all year - he is third in the conference with 11 TD passes but leads all AAC QBs with 6 interceptions. Re’Mahn Davis and Jager Gardner make for a solid 1-2 punch at running back, and they will need to get going for the Owls to have a chance. Temple has been a weird team all year - they beat Maryland and Georgia Tech and lost to Buffalo. Saturday offers their toughest test yet.

Navy @ Tulsa

Tulsa is a hard team to read in 2019. They aren’t bad. But they might not be good. They are 2-3, with the losses coming to three teams who have all been ranked at some point during 2019 - Michigan State, Oklahoma State, and SMU. They actually led (21-20) at the half against OK State and had a two TD lead vs SMU last week but last in overtime.

Navy is coming off a big win against Air Force, who is considered one of the best teams in the Mountain West this year (after Boise State). Navy is back to their running ways after struggling last season. They are averaging 312 yards rushing per game.

UConn @ Tulane

Tulane has been awesome. They are 4-1 with the lone loss coming to Auburn (no shame there!). The “new” offense has been ridiculous as Tulane is averaging 468 yards per game and 37 ppg (tied for 22nd in the country). QB Justin McMillan has settled nicely into the starter’s role and along with Darius Bradwell and Corey Dauphine, those three offer a strong running attack. Tulane averages 283 yards rushing per game, which is 5th among FBS teams.

On the other side, UConn is terrible. They ranked 98th (out of 130) in pass yards, 120th in rush yards, and 118th in points per game. While Tulane is averaging 37 ppg, UConn is surrendering 38 ppg.

BYU @ South Florida

South Florida snapped an 9 game FBS losing streak last week, beating UConn. That means USF is not the worst team in the AAC. But can they make it two in a row? They have already lost OOC games to Wisconsin and Georgia Tech this year. Jordan McCloud has done a fine job at quarterback in place of Blake Barnett.

Looking at the rest of USF’s schedule (away- ECU, Navy, UCF; home - Temple, Cincy, Memphis) it’s hard to see them winning another game in 2019. This seems like the last realistic chance they have. BYU is vulnerable with QB Zach Wilson out for a few weeks.

Off this week:

UCF is off this week, a much needed break after suffering their first conference loss since 2016.

SMU is also off after a crazy comeback last week to beat Tulsa in overtime. Mustangs are 5-0 and ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 1986.

ECU is 3-3 and have certainly shown improvement in 2019. They come out of the bye and host UCF.

What are you looking forward to watching in college football during week 7?