One team punched their ticket to the conference championship, another two are ready to do the same. The AAC provided some crazy action this weekend, and we’re close to knowing who will play for the championship. Some teams were disappointed, but still have plenty to be proud of this season. They just didn’t end as well as they hoped.
The Tigers left nothing up to chance by stomping USF 49-10 on Saturday, and need to win to get into the AAC Championship Game. Losing doesn’t eliminate them, but they’ll need Navy to lose as well to still get in the game. If they win, they’ll face Cincinnati two games in a row.
A blocked extra point returned for two points was the difference in the game, but the Bearcats clinched the AAC East. While the passing game struggled for a second game in a row, Michael Warren and the defense carried the Bearcats to a win.
Malcolm Perry rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns, and also threw for over 100 yards in the Midshipmen 35-28 win over SMU. Navy needs to win next week and Memphis to lose to get in the championship game, but this season continues to be a major surprise.
After jumping out to a 8-0 start, the Mustangs haven’t looked good since, going 1-2 with the one win coming in a 59-51 win over ECU. SMU’s defense is allowing nearly 47 points per game in the last three games, and they were eliminated from the AAC Championship Game with the loss. Sonny Dykes’ squad still has plenty to be proud of, as they exceeded expectations this season.
We won’t see the Knights in the championship game, but they rebounded after a tough loss last week with a 34-31 win over Tulane. Dillon Gabriel threw for 317 yards and rushed for another 58 to lead UCF, and they now turn their attention towards USF next week.
Special teams killed Temple all year, but it finally cost them a game. The aforementioned blocked extra point was the difference, and ended the Owls chances of winning the AAC East. Temple was exceeding expectations up until this point, but another loss to end the year would put them at 7-5. In Rod Carey’s first season, the Owls have done well and look promising in 2020.
The Green Wave have lost four of their last five games, and are in danger of finishing 6-6. Justin McMillan passed for 181 yards, and also led Tulane with 102 yards rushing. It wasn’t enough to beat UCF, but the Green Wave put up a good fight. Next week’s game against SMU doesn’t have big implications like previous years, but it’s a chance to build momentum for the bowl game.
Houston’s defense, yes you read that right, the defense put on a show, holding Tulsa to just 14 points. The Cougars got a defensive score, and a kick return touchdown by Marquez Stevenson to lead the way. We saw more new faces getting valuable reps with the first team offense and defense, and Houston can build momentum for next year.
A week after beating UCF, the Golden Hurricane loses to Houston. Is this it for Phillip Montgomery? He won two games in 2017, three in 2018, and now will finish with the same record or one win better. That doesn’t seem like enough progress to keep him around, but we’ll see.
Another year, and another game in which the Pirates struggle to put away the Pirates. Holton Ahlers threw for 374 yards, but threw two interceptions that allowed the Huskies to stay in the game. Another win next week would give the Pirates a 5-7 record to end the season, and drive some hype their way in 2020.
When the highlight of the game is a cat running on your field, that’s a tough game. USF was thoroughly dominated by Memphis on Saturday, and they end the year with UCF. A 4-8 finish appears to be where the Bulls are headed.
UConn lost, but they saw their quarterback explode against ECU. Jack Zergiotis threw for 418 yards and three touchowns in the loss.