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Three things we learned from the AAC in Week 11

Four potential blowouts delivered an upset and two close games.

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Southern Methodist Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

What was supposed to be a quiet week quickly turned the other direction. A sloppy game between Temple and USF was follwed by an upset and a shootout. Writing this article figured to be a struggle heading into Week 11, but we found out a few things about a couple coaches, and found a future star in the AAC.

Phillip Montgomery might not be done yet

After a run of disappointing close losses, Tulsa found a way to win one. Phillip Montgomery’s status as head coach took a break for a week after his Golden Hurricane team upset the UCF Knights. Even when Zach Smith went down with an injury in the first half, Seth Boomer took over and kept the upset bid alive. While it was a little too late for Tulsa in terms of a bowl bid, they at least added a close win to their resume. Many figured Montgomery was on the hot seat with the number of losses his teams produced, but he might have bought more time with this win. On the other side, UCF finds itself one game away from elimination from the AAC Championship Game.

Holton Ahlers can ball

If you like offense, the conference produced yet another thrilling game in that category. SMU and ECU went toe to toe on Saturday, producing 1,280 yards of total offense and 110 points. While the playmakers for the Mustangs did what we thought, it was the Pirates quarterback that surprised us. Ahlers came into the season with higher expectations as a sophomore, but we hadn’t seen the consistency. Over the last two weeks, he’s shown how high his potential can go.

We haven’t seen production like this from an ECU quarterback since 2014 when Shane Carden was the starter. Ahlers has his flaws still, but we’ve seen how his ceiling can get, and the Pirates are in good hands for the future. Now, he must learn how to win more games, though there’s not much more he could do outside of playing defense.

Charlie Strong must go

USF’s struggles continue, an it seems like the latest provides more questions than answers. Charlie Strong’s Bulls lost 17-7 to Temple this weekend, making it the fourth time this season they’ve scored 10 or less points in a game. With Cincinnati, Memphis and UCF still on the schedule, USF appears headed for a 4-8 season just two years after going 10-2. Regardless of how much it costs to make a change, it’s just time.