A potentially slow week ramped up quickly when Tulsa pulled off the upset of UCF. SMU also almost fell to ECU. The race for the AAC East is close to being decided, but the West remains wide open. Memphis is charge in the West, but that can change at any moment.
The Tigers got a week off after winning the biggest game of the season, and that gave them time to prepare for their final three games. With wins over the two teams they’re tied with (Navy and SMU), winning out puts Memphis in the conference championship game for the third consecutive year.
Losing the Memphis was tough, but the Mustangs almost added another loss this past weekend. ECU put up 51 points on SMU’s defense, behind Holton Ahlers 498 passing yards, but couldn’t quite pull off the upset. Xavier Jones (153 yards and three touchdowns rushing) and Shane Buechele (414 yards and five touchdowns passing) led the way for SMU. Sonny Dykes’ team gets the week off to recover, and still remains in contention (though they need some help).
UConn didn’t give the Bearcats much trouble in Saturday’s 48-3 win. Cincinnati rushed for 307 yards, led by Gerrid Doaks with 123 yards. UCF’s loss to Tulsa gives them a two games cushion, and the only way they might lose a tiebreaker is if they lose to Temple.
This week bears no meaning towards Navy’s goal of winning the AAC West, as the game doesn’t count towards their conference record. All they can do is try to pull off a huge upset against Notre Dame. With how Malcolm Perry’s been running the triple option offense, it wouldn’t be a surprise. The Irish are good, but they’re far from unbeatable.
What a run for the Knights. Saturday’s upset by Tulsa all but ended UCF’s chance to win the conference for a third year in a row. They’re still a contender, but chances are slim. Make no mistake about it though, they’ll be back next year. There’s still a ton of talent on the roster to win the conference next year, and this season’s far from a lost cause.
A sloppy game went in favor of the Owls, and their chances to win the conference remain intact (though it’s still a longshot). They relied on their defense to win, holding USF to just 1.6 yards per rush and seven points. They also added a fumble return for a touchdown. Jager Gardner led the offense with 133 yards rushing, one that didn’t look great to start the game.
Believe it or not, Tulane can still win the AAC West. Sure, they need some help, but they’re right there. A tough three game stretch features road games to Temple and UCF, and a home game against UCF. It won’t be easy, but they’ll earn if if they win the division.
With the season already decided, Houston’s just looking to stay healthy and ruins someones else’s season. They get Memphis this weekend, and the Cougars are ready to pull off an upset. Dana Holgorsen’s staff is looking to see continued improvement from both sides of the ball, and consistency from the quarterback (whoever that might be).
Phillip Montgomery got his big win, even if it took nine games. Beating UCF might be enough to keep him around for the 2020 season, but the next two games will factor into that. Houston and ECU aren’t the greatest competition, but the Golden Hurricane have opportunities to win both games and finish 5-7.
Holton Ahlers has the makings of a star in this conference, but his team needs to find ways to win these games. ECU’s looked better lately, but they’ve lost five in a row. At least they’re staying in these games, and showing promise for the future.
Whether you want Charlie Strong fired or not, this has been a tough season to watch. The Bulls have been wildly inconsistent on both sides of the ball, but the offense has looked the worst. Injuries haven’t helped, but this still wouldn’t be a great team even without them.
Another day, another loss. There hasn’t been much to say about the Huskies, and they haven’t given us much to think otherwise.