We continue learning so much about the AAC after just a month of games. This conference, minus Cincinnati, appears to have the same explosiveness on offense as last year. A few start continue to dominate on game days, and others are emerging. What is new this year is that both divisions appear to be highly competitive going into conference play. Five teams have a chance in the West, and the East has four. Conference play will sort out who will be legitimate contenders, but let’s look at what we learned at the end (for most teams) of the nonconference schedule.
Don’t count out the Mustangs
SMU isn’t done yet, folks. A rough 0-3 start to the season gave us the impression that this team wasn’t going to be competitive in the AAC, but that isn’t the case. Same with Ben Hicks. While the senior quarterback struggled early in the season, he was put in at a crucial moment in the game. Hicks touchdown and two point passes gave SMU a stunning 31-30 win over Navy on Saturday. The Mustangs are 1-0 in the conference, and also atop the AAC West division. Were the first three games misleading? It’s looking like that.
UCF’s offense may be better than last year
Despite the coaching change, the Knights have looked unstoppable on offense. FAU couldn’t find an answer for McKenzie Milton, who accounted for six total touchdowns Friday night. The highly anticipated G5 Game of the Year went the way of the Knights because their offense took off. Josh Heupel’s staff has done wonders thus far with this group, and Milton has been the biggest benefactor of that coaching. He’s much more patient in the pocket and has done a tremendous job of reading defenses this year. The talent around him has continued to develop as well, making this team arguably more dangerous than last year.
Give Darrell Henderson All-Conference honors now
South Alabama planned to take Darrell Henderson away from the Tigers offense, but couldn’t. Memphis’ junior running back added 188 yards and two touchdowns to his impressive resume, and was a big reason why the offense thrived. Henderson continues to tear apart opposing defenses, and has given the Tigers offense a legitimate threat to score anytime he touches the football. If he doesn’t get the All-Conference nod at the end of the year, something must go seriously wrong.