Sports Q&A: AAC Quick Hits- Week 4

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Conference play kicked off for a couple of more teams this week and while not everyone has jumped into AAC play, that doesnt mean that there still werent some great games — including a shocker over an ACC foe.

EAST DIVISION:

Cincinnati Bearcats 2-2 (0-2)

Even with quarterback Gunner Kiel going down early with an injury, the Bearcats hung around with the Memphis Tigers thanks to the accurate arm of true freshman Hayden Moore who passed for 557 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately for Cincinnati it was a freshman-like decision to throw an ill-advised pass while being sacked that ended any comback hopes in the 53-46 loss. Cincinnati had three receivers over 100 yards led by Max Morrison’s 162 yards and two touchdowns.

East Carolina Pirates 2-2 (0-1)

Despite the gap in talent ECU is not intimdated by ACC foe Virginia Tech and it showed as the Pirates defeated the Hokies 35-28 for its second straight victory in the series. Quarterback James Summers was the key to victory as he showed his versatility in rushing for 196 yards and passing for another 110 yards as well. This was a game where most of the stats pointed in the Hokies favor, but ECU just seemed to want it more and got the big play/stop when it mattered the most.

Temple Owls 3-0 (1-0)

no scheduled game

UConn Huskies 2-2 (0-1)

UConn put up a great effort but in the end it was the inability to slow down the triple-option that ultimately did in the Huskies. Navy rushed for over 300 yards and won the time of possession battle by four minutes. Quarterback Bryant Shirreffs played well in defeat completing 19-of-32 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

USF Bulls 1-2 (0-0)

no scheduled game

UCF Golden Knights 0-3 (0-0) 

UCF rebounded after a lackluster performance against Furman to give South Carolina a scare. Going into halftime the Knights held a 14-8 lead but the lack of offensive playmakers eventually caught up to them as they loss 31-14. Bo Schneider had his best performance of the season — which isnt saying much — passing for 189 yards… unfortunately he also had two interceptions. Tre’Quan Smith led the receivers with 82 yards on five catches.

West Division:

Houston Cougars 3-0 (0-0)

The Cougars made quick work of Texas St. on the way to a 59-14 victory; by halftime it was already 42-7 and the offense went into coast mode. Before they shut it down Greg Ward Jr., in limited action, showed why he could be one of the most dangerous young quarterbacks in the nation passing for 274 yards, running for 91 more and accounted for six touchdowns. Running back Javin Webb had his best game of the year rushing for 90 yards on 15 carries. The Cougars defense did their job as well forcing four turnovers.

Memphis Tigers 4-0 (1-0)

Paxton Lynch’s 412 yards led an arial assault the resulted in a 53-46 defeat of East Division foe Cincinnati. Interestinly enough even with all those passing yards Lynch only had two touchdown passes and the Tigers offense bogged down a lot settling for four field-goals from kicker Andrew Gantz. It wasn’t until Leonard Pegeus intercepted a tipped pass from the Cincinnati quarterback late in the fourth quarter that the fans at the Liberty Bowl were able to finally exhale. Giving up 752 yards is unacceptable and Memphis must address that immediately.

Navy Midshipmen 3-0 (2-0)

Navy is getting pretty comfortable being in a conference, last week it was ECU, this week its UConn. The midshipmen were able to do what they do well, run the ball (303 rushing yards) and quarterback Keenan Reynolds had three rushing touchdowns on the way to the 28-18 victory.  In his career Reyonlds has 73 rushing touchdowns putting him only four behind all-time NCAA leader Montee Ball. Navy defense did an excellent job in limiting the Husky offense to only four third-down conversions in 12 attempts.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2-0 (0-0)

no scheduled game

SMU Mustangs 1-3 (0-0)

It doesnt matter if you hang with the big dogs, if you cant handle the little pups. After good showings against Baylor and TCU, SMU layed a major egg against FCS opponent James Madison. Matt Davis had another stat-filled game with 357 total yards and three touchdowns, but two costly turnovers and the inability to stop the big play by the Dukes did in the Mustangs. Cortland Sutton had 137 yards on five receptions and will be a problem in conference play if Davis keeps looking for him.

Tulane Green Wave 1-2 (0-0)

no scheduled game

Sports Q&A AAC Player of the Week:

Paxton Lynch QB Memphis: When you know you are in a shootout its sometimes hard to stay poised and not try to force the issue, Lynch did a great job taking what the Bearcats defense gave him all Thursday night on his way to a career high 412 yards.

Game of Week 4:

Houston vs. Tulsa

A West Division showdown between two very talented quarterbacks in Greg Ward Jr. and Dane Evans. The defense that is able to slow down the opposing quarterback the most will have the best shot at victory and after watching Oklahoma put up video game numbers against the Golden Hurricane defense two weeks ago, I have to give teh edge to H-Town. Houston 45 Tulsa 38 

 

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