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Three Things we learned in the AAC in Week 2

Hurricane Irma canceled two league games, preventing us from getting much clarity

NCAA Football: Houston at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Oliver is still Ed Oliver

The sophomore picked up where he left off in 2016, and Arizona’s offensive lineman didn’t like what they saw in film the next day. Not all of the blame should be shouldered by the Wildcats lineman, as the schemes weren’t the greatest either. Oliver was consistently left one-on-one with a number of lineman, and he’s just too talented to leave one guy on him. There were numerous plays where Oliver also split double teams and simply threw lineman to the ground like ragdolls. It truly was like watching a man play against boys.

Oliver accounted for 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a blocked field goal. He also had multiple quarterback hurries and closed running lanes by himself and was also name AAC Defensive Player of the Week. Simply put, if #10 was on the field, he was near or making the play. Oliver’s motor never stops running and, combined with his talent, is what makes him the elite player he’s worked so hard to be. If anyone doubts how good he is, watch him for one game. He’s nearly impossible to block and dominates any matchup presented to him.

Tulsa’s offense can still put up points

The Golden Hurricane put up 66 points this week, and proved that they can still be explosive even with new faces running the offense. Tulsa ran for 424 of their 667 total yards, and might just have to outscore everyone on their schedule at this point.

While their defense needs a ton of work, as they now have allowed 1,236 yards that have resulted in 101 points. Their offense can’t keep outscoring their opponent at this rate, but until they figure it out defensively, the offense will keep running the ball with their stable of running backs.

D’Angelo Brewer had a career day on the ground, rushing 38 times for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Corey Taylor II, Shamari Brooks and Chad President combine to score the other five touchdowns on the ground, giving Tulsa eight overall. President also looked more comfortable than last week, and that should mean good things going forward. Now if the defense would do their part.

Cincinnati isn’t backing down

You can already see the culture change for Cincinnati. Heading into the Big House to face Michigan, there was an expectation that when the Bearcats got down, they would quit. That never happened. Head coach Luke Fickell’s team continued to fight, and the defense played extremely well on the road.

Cincinnati was acutally down just three in the third quarter before Michigan started to pull away. They forced two turnovers, and had the Maize and Blue faithful nervous for a while. While the Wolverines did seal the game with two defensive scores, it was a positive sign for FIckell’s squad.

They may have lost, but you can already tell this team is completely different from last year. Even while they were down most of the game, players seemed invested in the game and were still fired up well into the fourth quarter. Eventually Michigan’s talent won out, but the Bearcats proved that the AAC needs to take them seriously. Fickell’s defense will be stingy all year, and the offensive improvement will come with time.