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Around the AAC - Week 2 Preview

What’s going on in the American Athletic Conference heading into week 2?

Tulane v Florida International Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

American Athletic Conference teams went a combined 8-4 in week 1, with Cincinnati, Memphis, Tulane the big winners and USF and Tulsa the big losers. There are 10 teams in action in week 2 (all on Saturday) and Navy and Temple are both idle.

THE Game

Cincinnati vs #5 Ohio State

Obviously, not just because we cover them, Cincinnati @ Ohio State is the biggest game in the AAC in week 2. Buckeyes haven’t lost to Bearcats since 1897 and are ranked 5th in the country.

You can read more about this game

vs Major Conference Opponents

Tulane vs #10 Auburn

Auburn won a dramatic week 1 game, after trailing 21-6 and winning 27-21 against Oregon. Tulane rolled out a new offense and it was impressive! Green Wave rolled up over 550 total yards, including 350 yards rushing.

USF vs Georgia Tech

What on Earth happened on Friday night? USF came into 2019 with a ton of hype a new Offensive Coordinator and a returning quarterback, with high expectations and completely flopped, losing 49-0 to Wisconsin at home.

They need to rebound quickly, in a second consecutive game against a “power 5” school. Georgia Tech is not expected to be good. They lost by 37 to Clemson in week 1 and are in a major transition year, going from old coach Paul Johnson’s triple option to new coach Geoff Collins’ more traditional offense, that involves pass blocking and throwing the football down the field, two concepts most players on the roster are unfamiliar with.

Illinois vs UConn

Huskies were not impressive in week 1, beating Wagner 24-21. Wagner is coming off a back-to-back 4-7 seasons and the Huskies managed to eek out a victory and match their win total from 2018.

Week 2 is much tougher, facing an Illinois team who put up 42 points against Akron.

Fun Group of Five Games

#18 UCF vs Florida Atlantic

These two teams met last year and UCF won 56-36. Lane Kiffin’s squad got steam rolled week 1 by Ohio State and I would expect this game to go the same way. UCF put up 62 points and 695 yards of total offense against a terrible Florida A&M team and will certainly be tested much more in this game.

North Texas vs SMU

SMU picked up a nice week 1 road win against Sun Belt contender Arkansas State and now face Conference USA contender, North Texas. UNT is led by QB Mason Fine.

SMU QB Shane Buechele had a solid debut in week 1 and RB Xavier (boooo) Jones ran for 3 touchdowns.

vs FCS

Tulsa at San Jose State

I know, I know this isn’t technically an FCS game. But there was no other worthy category. Tulsa lost to Michigan State 28-7. After RB Corey Taylor proclaimed he and teammate Shamari Brooks woulde each run for 100 yards, they combined for -1 and as a team, Tulsa ran for -73.

San Jose State has gone 3-22 the last two seasons, so we might as well include them in the FCS category.

Houston vs Prairie View

Cougars are facing “the purple team” as coach Dana Holgorsen referred to them as earlier this week. Houston’s defense is exactly the same as 2018 - not good. Yes, Oklahoma’s offense is awesome, but giving up 49 points in week 1 is never encouraging. Houston has a chance to get right on both sides of the ball.

East Carolina vs Gardner Webb

ECU struggled against NC State in week 1 and QB Holton Ahlers will look to get on track. The running game gave ECU absolutely nothing and Gardner Webb offers a chance to get right and get new coach Mike Houston his first win.

Memphis vs Southern

Tigers beat Ole Miss in one an ugly game. RB Patrick Taylor Jr was impressive and QB Brady White struggled a bit. Like ECU above, this is a get right game, for a team with Cotton Bowl aspirations.