A cluster of high-profile conference match-ups mark the calendar in week 4 of the American Athletic Conference schedule.
Let’s have a look:
Thursday Night Clash of the Possible Titans
Houston at Tulane:
A rapidly-improving Tulane teams enters this Thursday night match-up on the cusp of big things. The 2-1 Green Wave are on the verge of busting out as an AAC power. Quarterback Justin McMillan has adapted to Willie Fritz’s triple-option offense and has run it efficiently through three games.
Houston (1-2) is off to a sluggish start on both sides of the ball. Unless the defense, which has proven quite porous, improves dramatically against the run, this could be a long afternoon for Dana Holgorsen’s club. The Houston offense, led by versatile quarterback D’Eriq King, has yet to hit its stride either.
UConn at Indiana
If I could wave a magic wand over this game, I would make it a “loser leaves FBS” rules match. This is a much better basketball game than it is football...
Wyoming at Tulsa
Wyoming enters this game with a 3-0 mark, winning a trio of tight games, including a road win against Missouri in Week 1. Wyoming has been out-gained in each of their games but found a way to win through efficient road zone production. This is thanks in large part to their crafty offense, led by their Grogan-esque quarterback Sean Chambers.
Tulsa’s 1-2 record is deceptive. Their losses are to Oklahoma State and Michigan State. Tulsa is an offensive juggernaut led by quarterback Zach Smith and top-notch target Sam Crawford Jr, plus a strong running game. Expect this one to be a legitimate battle.
Temple at Buffalo
Temple QB Anthony Russo gave Maryland everything he had last weekend. He may be the best quarterback in the AAC. He is also the handsomest quarterback in the AAC. After scoring 143 points in their first two games (79 and 63, respectively), the Owls held Maryland to just 17 in week 3. Buffalo beat Temple in week 2 last season, so they should not take them lightly.
UCF at Pitt
How is UCF not ranked in the top 10? They are knocking out people left and right. To quote the great Don Brown, they are going to solve their problems with aggression this weekend.
SMU at TCU
SMU has gotten off to a strong 3-0 start, including wins over Sun Belt favorites Arkansas State, C-USA favorites North Texas, plus Texas State. The offense, led by Texas transfer QB Shane Buechele is clicking on all cylinders. Buechele is 0-2 in his career as a starter against TCU and it’s hard to see him getting that first win against a very good and underrated Frogs team, that won at Purdue last week.