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What we learned from the AAC in Week 2

There’s a gap to close, and another contender puts their name in the West race.

North Texas v SMU Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

One week doesn’t give us enough data to understand any given team. After two weeks, we’re closer to knowing who’s good and who’s bad. The AAC had a handful of big matchups, including two Power 5 games. Cincinnati struggled mightily against Ohio State, Tulane couldn’t drive on Auburn, but SMU pulled out a big win thanks largely to one guy. Here are three things we learned in the AAC after Week 2.

Cincinnati and Ohio State are miles apart

There were some who though the Bearcats could hang with the Buckeyes, but we saw that was far from the truth. Ohio State outgained Cincinnati 508-273 in total yards in a 42-0 win in Columbus. Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder was outplayed by fellow sophomore Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. The Bearcats were also held to just 107 total yards rushing. We expected them to take a step back this year, but we also expected them to compete better against a superior opponent.

UConn’s got some fight

A year after winning just one game, the UConn Huskies are trying to prove they won’t give up. Even though they gave up a 13-0 lead to Illinois on Saturday, the Huskies never game up. Their offense was held to just 10 total yards rushing, but the pass game picked up some of that slack with 275 yards. The biggest thing we learned from this team is that the defense appears to be better than last year. UConn allowed 617 yards per game last year defensively, good for last in the country. It’s only two games, but the Huskies improved that number already to 271 per game. A second win appears possible if they continue getting improved play from that side of the ball.

Xavier Jones is back

Just a year after rushing for 311 yards and two touchdowns, Xavier Jones is showing he’s back to his 2017 form. The Mustangs running back carried the ball 16 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns against North Texas, giving him 184 yards and six touchdowns in two games. Sonny Dykes’ offense needed some balance, and Jones gives the Mustangs a threat at running back. In an AAC West division that’s already crowded, SMU gives it another competitor.