Around the AAC: Teams seek redemption in Week 8
The American Athletic Conference is in for yet another exciting slate of games, beginning with the Memphis Tigers coming to Houston to face the Cougars at TDECU Stadium at 7 p.m Thursday.
Three ranked teams enter the week including, the No. 25 Tigers after they narrowly beat the previously undefeated and ranked Navy Midshipmen 30-27 on Saturday. South Florida also joins Memphis in the Top 25 and are the highest ranked AAC team at No. 16. Central Florida is the other ranked team at No. 20. The Knights remain undefeated at 5-0 and are set to face a Navy team that just suffered an agonizing defeat.
The rest of the AAC is struggling to find answers to their troubles but should not be counted out because the conference is still wide open.
Here is a look at some of the best matchups coming up this week in the AAC.
Houston (4-2, 2-1 Conf.) Vs. #25 Memphis (5-1, 2-1 Conf.)
This has to be the game of the week. Memphis has a loss this season, but they aren’t playing like it right now. That loss came against an undefeated Central Florida team that has been mowing down every opponent they have faced. The Cougars will have their hands full against the Memphis offense, which is led by senior quarterback Riley Ferguson who has 1,814 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.
The Cougars aren’t as bad as East Carolina (1-6, 1-3 conference), but they seem like a group still trying to find out what kind of team they are going to be. The defense’s bend-don’t-break mentality from the last few weeks broke into little pieces against Tulsa by allowing them to score 45 points.
Look for the Cougars to prove their doubters wrong and upset the Memphis Tigers at TDECU Stadium.
#20 UCF (5-0, 3-0 Conf.) Vs. Navy (5-1, 3-1 Conf.)
This game also has the potential to be the game of the week. Not only does it feature the undefeated Knights, but also a Navy team that is looking to bounce back after a loss.
UCF isn’t just undefeated by chance. They are the No. 1 scoring offense in all of college football with 48.8 points per game and are in the top 15 in points allowed on defense with just under 17.
The fact that they have had to cancel games is likely the only reason they are not ranked higher. UCF presents a tough opponent, but Navy isn’t exactly the underdog after its loss last week.
The Midshipmen come into the game with the best running offense in the country, averaging almost 400 yards per game on the ground. They are extremely one-sided and have barely thrown the ball all year. Navy averages less than 100 passing yards per game and needs to be able to run the ball if they want to win.
This game will likely solidify UCF and further sink Navy with their second loss in a row.
Best of the rest
The rest of the games in the AAC are not that great. Southern Florida will likely remain undefeated as they head to New Orleans to face a 3-3 Tulane team. SMU and Cincinatti would be interesting if the Bearcats weren’t 2-5 on the season.
Other games include Tulsa vs. Connecticut. The Golden Hurricane will look to prove they didn’t just catch lighting in a bottle in their win against the Cougars and see if they can get their second victory in a row.