In addition to Cincinnati vs UCLA, 11 other AAC teams were in action, with mixed results. The conference went 8-4 in week 1.
Memphis over Ole Miss
Tigers are the favorites to win the AAC West and Ole Miss is not projected to do well in 2019, but regardless, a team from the AAC beating an SEC team is a huge deal.
It wasn’t pretty or easy for Memphis, but RB Patrick Taylor Jr carried the offense, running 27 times for 128 yards and a touchdown.
The Memphis defense held Rebels to just 173 yards of total offense and 10 points. Ole Miss was 1-10 on third downs and Memphis controlled the clock, holding the ball for almost 39 minutes.
Tulane over FIU
FIU is considered one of the favorites to win Conference USA, but you would never know it based on how Tulane took care of business on Thursday night.
Everything went right for the Green Wave who ran for 350 yards as a team - 90 yards for RB Darius Bradwell, 76 yards (on 3 carries!) for RB Corey Dauphine and 51 yards yards for QB Justin McMillan, who scored one on the ground and threw for another 2 touchdowns. One of those passing TDs went to highly regarded WR Darnell Mooney.
SMU over Arkansas State
This was another hyped Group of Five game, as Arkansas State is among the top pre-season contenders in the Sun Belt.
Shane Buechele, the transfer QB from Texas, started for SMU and threw 49 passes in his debut but no touchdowns. All of the TDs went to RB Xavier Jones, who found the endzone three times. SMU compiled 508 yards of total offense, but allowed Arkansas State to score 30 points and get 414 yards of offense themselves.
Houston defense picks up where it left off
Oklahoma’s new QB Jalen Hurts combined for 6 TDs (3 pass, 3 rush) and the Sooners beat Houston 49-31. Not the debut that new Houston coach Dana Holgorsen wanted, who is now 0-8 lifetime against Oklahoma.
Houston’s defense? Still not good. Last time we saw Cougars, they gave up 70 points to Army in their bowl game, which cost Major Applewhite his job. QB D’Eriq King, who combined for 50 TDs in 2018 (38 pass, 12 rush) threw for 2 TD and ran for 1, along with running for 103 yards.
USF blanked by Wisconsin
This was embarrassing. Bulls had high hopes coming into 2019, especially with new Offensive Coordinator Kerwin Bell and a healthy, returning QB Blake Barnett. Yes, Wisconsin is a very good team but this seemed unexpected. I had much higher hopes, personally, for USF in this game. I thought if the Bulls could contain RB Jonathan Taylor, they could pressure QB Jack Coan and force him to make mistakes. Instead, they did the opposite. Taylor combined for 4 TDs (2 rush, 2 catch) and the Badgers blanked USF 49-0 on their home field.
USF turned the ball over 3 times, had just 131 total yards and had 26 yards rushing. This is not the start that Bulls coach Charlie Strong needed and USF has now lost 7 consecutive games dating back to last season (started 2018 7-0, ended 7-6).
Tulsa backs fail to impress
Before week 1, Tulsa RB Corey Taylor claimed both he and Shamari Brooks would run 5 yards per carry each and would each exceed 100 yards. Well, what happened was kind of the opposite. As a team, Tulsa ran for -73. NEGATIVE 73! Brooks had 0 yards on 6 carries and Taylor had -1 on 7 carries. Michigan State won 28-7.
ECU limited by NC State
I like ECU’s new head coach Mike Houston and QB Holton Ahlers, and they should be much improved and much more competitive in 2019. But they aren’t close to NC State’s level talent-wise, so this result was never really in doubt. ECU was never really able to establish a running attack (41 total yards).
UCF keeps regular season win streak going
Knights have won 26 straight regular season games and 26 of their last 27. UCF compiled 694 yards as a team, compared to 96 yards for Florida A&M.
Navy runs past Holy Cross
Last year was a very disappointing season for the Midshipmen as Navy finished 4-9. They started off 2019 on a high note, running for 428 yards.
Temple opens up with a W
Temple lost to an FCS team (Villanova) to open 2018, so they weren’t going to take Bucknell lighly and they did not. Owls opened up the Rod Carey era with a 56-12 victory. NFL prospect QB Anthony Russo threw 4 touchdowns and 400 yards.
UConn sneaks past Wagner
Huskies won 24-21. Connecticut had to grind out a win despite running 81 plays, to 44 for Wagner. Wagner finished 4-7 each of the last two seasons. This was a rough night for UConn.
In week 2, USF goes to Georgia Tech, UCF plays at Lane Kiffin’s FAU, who got blown out by the Ohio State team that Cincinnati plays. Tulane is a +18.5 point underdog at Auburn and SMU hosts North Texas. And UConn hosts Illinois. Everyone else faces an FCS opponent. More to come on week 2, later this week.