Week 7: AAC Power Rankings

Billy checks in with an update on how the American Athletic Conference faired this past week!

1. East Carolina (5-1, 2-0; LW: 1): East Carolina looked out of sync against USF, but still managed a 28-17 win by holding the Bulls scoreless in the second half. Shane Carden was limited to just 250 yards passing and the Pirates racked up 148 yards of penalties on the road. With a strong running game from Breon Allen, who totaled 174 total yards and two TDs on 22 touches, the Pirates remained undefeated in AAC play. The Pirates are off this week before a game against Connecticut.

2. UCF (3-2, 1-0; LW: 2): UCF downed the BYU Cougars in a Thursday night matchup 31-24. UCF rallied from down 24-10 at one point by scoring the final 21 points of the game. UCF scored the lone touchdown of the second half to force overtime. Justin Holman found William Stanback for the winning score. It was a sloppy performance by the Knights, who had four turnovers, but the Knights down the Cougars. The Knights host Tulane this weekend.

3. Temple (4-1, 2-0; LW: 6): Temple rallied from down three against Tulsa to beat the Golden Hurricane 35-24. P.J. Walker had a solid day, with two 100-yard receivers, WR Jalen Fitzpatrick and RB Jamie Gilmore. Temple’s other running back, Jahad Thomas had 172 total yards and a touchdown. Temple did have two turnovers, but scored the final 14 points for the win. Temple faces Houston on Friday night.

4. Houston (3-3, 1-1; LW: 4): Greg Ward Jr. provided a spark for the Houston offense in his first start. Ward threw a 25-yard pass to Markeith Ambles to give the Cougars their first lead with 13:34 left. Tony Levine made it known today that Ward, a former receiver, is not a wildcat-QB, but a quarterback. Ward made plays with his legs, running for 95 yards, but still has work to do as a passer, throwing an interception against Memphis. The Cougars will take the Ward show on the road against SMU following a bye week.

5. Memphis (3-3, 1-1; LW: 3): In a sloppy game by both teams, Memphis couldn’t hold leads of 14-0 and 21-14 to beat the Houston Cougars. Paxton Lynch was intercepted three times with Memphis having five turnovers. Memphis was without much of a running game with Sam Craft leading with 49 yards. The Tigers were outscored 14-3 in the second half to lose their first conference game.

6. Cincinnati (2-3, 0-1; LW: 5): It keeps getting worse for Tommy Tuberville’s squad following their third straight loss, a 55-34 loss on the road to Miami. At one point, it was 41-13. Gunner Kiel threw for 355 yards and three TDs, but threw three INTs. Worse, Miami racked up over 600 yards of offense and it could’ve been worse if not for over 150 yards of penalties for the Hurricanes. Tuberville has plenty of work to do before a matchup against SMU this weekend.

7. South Florida (2-4, 1-1; LW: 7): USF actually put together a solid first half against the #19 East Carolina Pirates. Ultimately, Allen and the Pirates were too much scoring 21 points in the second half. The Bulls defense played admirably against Carden and the ECU offense until they got on the right track after penalties slowed them in the first half.

8. Tulsa (1-5, 1-1; LW: 9): The Golden Hurricane’s rough start to conference play continued, dropping a game against much-improved Temple. Dane Evans had a great game, throwing for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Tulsa held the ball for over 36 minutes, but had 108 yards of penalties. Tulsa had more first downs, third-down conversions and didn’t turn the ball over, but couldn’t get the win. The Golden Hurricane host the USF Bulls Saturday for a noon game.

8. Tulane (2-4, 1-1; LW: 8): In a terribly boring game, Tulane topped Connecticut for their first win in the AAC with the Green Wave’s defense stealing the show. Three turnovers and a safety were forced while Nick Montana played mistake-free football for the Green Wave to grab a 12-3 win over the Connecticut Huskies this past weekend. Tulane heads to UCF to try and get the upset this weekend.

10. Connecticut (1-5 0-3; LW: 10): Connecticut’s slide grew to four games after their loss to Tulane. Chandler Whitmer went 17-of-24 for 141 yards and was briefly replaced by Tim Boyle, but Boyle proceeded to throw an interception. Connecticut has a whole host of issues including at running back, where Arkeel Newsome lost two fumbles on the day. The Huskies have a bye before facing ECU.

11. SMU (0-5, 0-1; LW: 11): SMU is coming off a much-needed bye week after a physical game against East Carolina. The Mustangs showed some life and more importantly, Garrett Krstich flashed some potential to get the offense moving. SMU hosts lowly Cincinnati this weekend in a 2:30 CT matchup.

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