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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Football

State of the AAC: How teams in The American opened 2020


UH football team prepares for the 2020 season | Courtesy of UH Athletics

UH football team prepares for the 2020 season. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

As the 2020 college football season has slowly gotten underway, several American Athletic Conference teams have kicked off their season over the past two weeks.

Memphis, Navy, SMU, South Florida and Tulane have each played one game against a non-conference opponent. 

Here is a look at how each of these teams fared in their season opener:

Memphis (1-0)

Reigning AAC champions Memphis kicked off its season with a 37-24 victory at home against Arkansas State led by senior quarterback Brady White’s 280 passing yards and four touchdowns.

This marked new head coach Ryan Silverfield’s first win with the Tigers.

Navy (0-1)

Nothing went right for Navy in their season opener, as they suffered a 55-3 defeat to BYU.

Offensively, the Midshipmen were held to 149 yards while their defense allowed BYU to march down the field at will, allowing 580 total yards.

SMU (1-0)

Opening their season on the road, SMU defeated Texas State 31-24 thanks to 179 combined rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns from running backs TJ MacDaniel and Ulysses Bentley IV. 

USF (1-0)

Jeff Scott picked up his first victory as head coach of USF in a 27-6 win over The Citadel.

Sophomore running back Kelley Joiner led the Bulls with eight carries for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Tulane (1-0)

Down by 11 at the start of the fourth quarter, Tulane rallied back behind two rushing touchdowns to beat Alabama State 27-24 on the road in their season opener. 

While these five programs have officially started their season, the remaining six AAC football teams are all set to open up their season in the coming weeks.

Here is a look at of each of these teams season openers:

UCF

Named the preseason favorites in the AAC by CBS Sports, No. 14 UCF travels to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Cincinnati

No. 13 Cincinnati is set to host Austin Peay on Saturday to kick off their season.

East Carolina

East Carolina’s first test of the season will come on Sept. 26 when the Pirates host No. 14 UCF in Greenville, North Carolina. 

Houston

After Houston’s season opener against Memphis was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the Tigers’ football program, an agreement was reached with Baylor for the Cougars to travel to Waco and kick off their season against the Bears this Saturday.

Temple

Because Temple does not have any non-conference opponents on their schedule, the Owls will have to wait until Oct. 10 for its first game of the season, when they head to Annapolis, Maryland, to take on Navy.

Tulsa

Tulsa will stay in-state for its first game of the season, as the Hurricanes go on the road to face 11th-ranked Oklahoma State on Saturday.

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