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Out of Bounds: An Unconventional Weekly American Athletic Conference Preview - Week 9

This isn’t your grandfather’s weekly conference preview. This is AAC game day, outside the lines.

NCAA Football: Tulane at East Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

What did we learn from the American Athletic Conference in Week 8?

There appears to be no end to Tulane’s misery, UCF can still take care of business in the Bounce House, even Cincy has trouble with the triple option, two Houston’s make quite a night and South Florida’s got more fight than people realize.

This week, three pretty straightforward bouts are sandwiched between a Thursday night clash in Greenville where ECU will try to grab the Bulls by their horn and some Saturday afternoon delight in the 1-45 showdown as Houston tries to hand SMU its first loss. The gridirons are about to be hot, but let’s check out what’s going on outside the lines.


Mayhem. Thursday night ECU hosts USF in the Pirates “Paint it Black” game also known as Night of the Boneyard. ECU will be celebrating its 900th football game in school history with a night full of contests, prizes and an attempt to break the all-time student attendance record of 11,395 set in 2016. Fans are encouraged to wear black BUT Halloween costumes are also welcome and the ECU student with the most creative costume will be awarded $1,000 tuition waiver at halftime.

ECU Athletics

In-game giveaways include: brand new 55’’ Samsung TV, free textbooks for a semester to three winners, free pizza for a year from pizza hut, a spring break cruise, Apple Airpods and more. And for the first time ever, ECU will host an “Early Bird Special” at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – all Pirate concession stands will offer $2 popcorn, candy, hotdogs and fountain drinks. Plus, students can use their meal plans at the Boneyard Concession Stands.

Navy at Tulsa

Fame. Not only is it very appropriately Tulsa’s Military Appreciation Night Friday night, but the Golden Hurricane are also honoring recent Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee and TU alumnus Drew Pearson at halftime. The Dallas Cowboys legend and Golden Hurricane star receiver is the fourth former Tulsa student-athlete to receiver induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If you listen to the Underdog Dynasty Pawdcast, you already know that the other three are Bob St. Clair (1990), Jim Finks and Steve Largent (both 1995). Pearson becomes just the 22nd undrafted player to ever make the Hall of Fame.

UCF at Temple

Free. The Owls return home for the first time in the last 28 days when they take on the UCF Knights Saturday. The only thing I can find of note is that Temple is offering free tickets to students in an effort to draw a crowd.

But kudos to ESPN+ and Temple for the incredible feature on the women of Temple football that aired at halftime during last week’s game against USF. Check it out.

Cincinnati at Tulane

Honor. Tulane University will recognize the groundbreaking Green Wave football debuts of former players Charlie Hall, Charles Inniss, Robert Johnson and John Washington on Saturday inside Yulman Stadium during their matchup with Cincinnati.

Tulane Athletics

All four individuals broke the color barrier 50 years ago by joining the Green Wave football team in the fall of 1971. The department will honor the former players with an on-field recognition between the first and second quarters. Fans that attend the game also will receive a commemorative poster honoring the trailblazing efforts of Hall, Inniss, Johnson and Washington. A video salute to the four gentlemen will be shared in the stadium as well. In addition to being recognized at the game, Tulane also will have the honorees raise the No. 18 flag prior to the game in honor of Devon Walker. The four former players also will serve as honorary team captains.

SMU at Houston

Blackout. Houston fans are encouraged to wear black for Saturday’s “blackout” game against in-state rival SMU. The UH Team Shop will have black shirts and hats in addition to other gear including apparel featuring the “Cougar Paw” logo worn by Houston Football coaches and staff.

Also, because October is the most beautiful month, the Houston Men’s Basketball program will host its Red-White scrimmage at 2 p.m. Saturday inside the Fertitta Center and admission is FREE.