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Out of Bounds: An Unconventional Weekly American Athletic Conference Preview

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

UCF Athletics

Ok so that sage smudging stuff seemed to work. The American Athletic Conference went 7-4 in Week 2 which is complete 180 from Week 1’s 4-7, literally.

Granted the slate was slightly easier and the stakes were definitely not as high but even the losses from ECU and Tulsa felt like wins given the degree of difficulty and fight factor. Nothing can be done about the USF loss to powerhouse Florida, but at least the Bulls didn’t lie down. As for Navy, they are taking a much-needed bye this week so we will leave it at that.

Fresh selection of AAC games for Week 3, so let’s dive in and see what’s exciting outside the lines.

UCF at Louisville

Drip. The UCF Knights are breaking out the all-white uniforms for their Friday night battle with Louisville at Cardinal Stadium.

The DripU report brought to you by UCF is as follows: UCF is breaking out the reverse UCF decal and removing the sword stripe from its helmet for the team’s marquee matchup against Louisville, creating one of the cleanest looks in all of college football. This look takes things to another level by focusing on the white itself. A white decal. No sword stripe. White all the way through the uniform. And just enough accents to keep things interesting, with the hint of gold in the decal playing off the gold number trim and the black numbers and sleeves popping more than ever before. In honor of what could be Gus Malzahn’s first road win, the Knights took ques from another great, Leonardo Da Vinci – “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

This is just the fourth time since 2007 that UCF will go without a helmet stripe and is the first UCF whiteout since November 2019 against Tulane. The Knights have now worn a brand new look in nine of their last 10 games. They are 4-0 in the white on white on white.

Cincinnati at Indiana

Speculation. As the No. 8 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats head to Big Ten country to face the Indiana Hoosiers, rumors about head coach Luke Fickell being a possible candidate for the USC job are swirling. But the fifth-year HC set the record straight on Tuesday.

“Look, I don’t talk to anybody – I barely talk to my own family during the season,” said Fickell. “So I wouldn’t ever talk about it, not would I even answer a phone call of anything like that… it’s nothing but distractions if people allow it to be, and for us it can’t be.”

I personally don’t think Fickell is a real candidate for the Trojans but as far as fielding phone calls, isn’t that what agents are for?

Boston College at Temple

Frontline Heroes. The Owls host the Eagles in an aviary altercation at Lincoln Financial Field for Temple’s first home game of the season. The Owls will honor Covid Frontline Workers in this First Responders game presented by Temple Health. There will be a IBEW Thunderstick giveaway for all Essential Workers, First Responders and the first 5,000 fans. We love a Frontline Heroes theme by Team IMPACT.

Tulsa at Ohio State

Coaching location. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day fielded questions about his defense all week after suffering his first regular season loss as Buckeye HC to Oregon last Saturday. Ohio State gave up 35 points and 505 yards to the Ducks, showing little to no in-game adjustments or any real defensive game-plan. Day has yet to say who will call defensive plays this Saturday against Tulsa, but he has confirmed that Kerry Cooms remains defensive coordinator. Will Coombs remain on the sideline this game with first-year secondary coach Matt Barnes in the press box or will we see a shake up in location?

SMU at Louisiana Tech

Streaking. The Mustangs will look to extend a swift start to the season with a win at Louisiana Tech on Saturday. The Mustangs opened the 2020 season 5-0, giving them consecutive 5-0 starts for the first time since the 1982-1983 seasons. SMU led or was tied after the first quarter in 18 of the past 24 games, and were leading or tied at halftime in 18 of the past 24. The Mustangs opened the 2019 season 8-0 for the first time since 1982.SMU will also look to limit points - The Mustangs have allowed only 21 points over the first two games of 2021, the fewest to open the season since 1996 and the fewest in consecutive games since 2011. The total is the lowest in the conference to start the season (Cincinnati - 21).

Mississippi State at Memphis

No moreore cowbell. Memphis announced Tuesday, to the dismay of many Mississippi State fans that cowbells wouldn’t be allowed inside Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The SEC allows Bulldogs fans to bring cowbells into their home Davis Wade Stadium as long as they aren’t ringing once the center has his hand on the ball. The ensuing cowbell debate in the comments of the tweet is worth scrolling through. The internet is awesome.

Photo from Memphis Athletics

ECU at Marshall

Young Herd. Marshall is asking all of its fans at the Joan to wear green this weekend as the historic program honors a very special group of men - the Young Thundering Herd.

Grambling at Houston

75 years. On Saturday, Houston will pay tribute to 75 years of Houston Athletics with commemorative Jerseys that feature a nod to several different eras of Houston football.

Florida A&M at USF

Coaching connection. This is a must-win game for the Bulls and head coach Jeff Scott said this week that absolutely no one in the program is taking the FCS opponent Florida A&M lightly. It will be personal for Scott though - FAMU’s Willis Simmons played football with Scott at Clemson.

“Great opportunity to do something special, take on an FBS opponent in their backyard,” said Simmons. “Obviously this game is personal to me for many reasons, one being their head coach, Jeff Scott, played college football with me at Clemson, came in the same year and so I’m looking forward to a great football game.”

Tulane at Ole Miss

Helmet bling. Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin started a fire this week when he called Tulane an “SEC team.” Sounds like a compliment right? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t but the Green Wave took to Twitter to troll Kiff & Co. with a not-so-subtle nod to his comment. Just a single image of Tulane’s helmet with a historical SEC sticker on it proclaiming the Wave champions in 1934, ‘39 and ‘49.

Tulane Athletics