If someone told me that the AAC was the most undisciplined conference in the country, I wouldn’t argue. It seems like every other play there’s a yellow cloth on the field. Oh well, this conference still somehow finds a way to entertain, and the second biggest game (which turned into the biggest thanks to Cincinnati-Tulsa being canceled) gave us another thriller. Navy and Memphis are on the way up, while UCF continues spiraling downwards.
Navy remains undefeated in the conference
The Midshipmen started their 2020 season with arguably one of the worst performances in program history. A 55-3 loss at the hands of BYU wasn’t the way anyone wanted to start the season, but Navy’s bounced back in a major way with three conference wins. Granted, they’ve come against teams that are a combined 4-9 this year, but still. I don’t think anyone imagined this team being the top team in the AAC (at least record-wise in the conference) after Week 1, but here they stand. Nelson Smith has played a huge role in that regard, rushing for 277 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games.
Brady White deserves more respect
No, he’s not the most physically gifted player in the country, but Brady White knows how to get the job done (and then some). In a game where it seemed like UCF was going to pull away, White and the Tigers clawed their way back to pull off the upset in thrilling fashion. And it wasn’t like he just did enough. White was a star for the Tigers. He threw for 486 yards and six touchdowns, while also adding 30 yards rushing and another score. After this performance, it’s time we respect what he’s capable of doing, and treat him like one of the best players in the conference. His poise in the clutch Saturday is the biggest reason why Memphis won, ending a 13 game losing streak to the Knights.
Josh Heupel has a big problem on his hands
Not only did the Knights 13 game win streak end, but they lost two consecutive games for the first time since 2016. Memphis’ 50-49 loss was extra agonizing thanks to a missed kick that would have put UCF ahead late in the game. But that’s just the beginning of the trouble. UCF’s mental mistakes continued to plague them, further justifying that the Knights are their own worst enemy. Though the penalties weren’t as much of an issue this week as they were in the two previous game (37 penalties), frustrations came out.
Teammates had to be separated on the sideline after the game, further proving the struggles in discipline and leadership. Heupel’s 2020 season hasn’t been great, and he’s now 2-6 as a head coach in one score games. It wasn’t even a question that Memphis was going to score on their final drive, as the Knights defense hasn’t proven they can stop anyone outside of a turnover. Heupel certainly doesn’t deserve to get fired over one or even two games, but there are big red flags that must be addressed immediately. This is a team that’s seeing it’s season slip away from them, and it will only get worse if he doesn’t do something.