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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Football

Weekend preview: Numerous key AAC match ups in busy weekend


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The Cougars are just one of the multiple AAC teams with big games coming up on Saturday. | File photo/The Cougar

With the weekend quickly approaching, the teams of the American Athletic Conference are preparing for a busy weekend, with a few match ups headlining Saturdays action.

Schedule:

The Cougars and the University of Memphis Tigers each kick off their games at 6 p.m. on Saturday night; both are looking to stay perfect.

UH plays host to Vanderbilt University, a Southeastern Conference foe, looking to improve its strength of schedule and its rankings in the polls with a win.

The 16th-ranked Memphis Tigers which play host to the University of Tulane Green Wave, are also looking to stay perfect. The Tigers are the highest ranked AAC team in the AP Poll and one of three conference teams in the poll.

The Temple University Owls wrap up the night with a prime-time game, to be featured on ABC.

The Owls will not only play host to the ninth-ranked University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but also to ESPN’s College Gameday program, which visits the biggest college football matchups each weekend.

Temple is ranked 21st in the nation and have started the season 7-0 for the first time in program history.

Story Lines: Owls soaring to the top of the conference

There are a couple of big storylines to watch for this week in the AAC. The great start of the Temple Owls is one of the most interesting to watch, as they have surpassed all expectations for this season and continue to surprise people each week.

Bearcats looking to claw their way back into contention

Another interesting game to watch will be the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, who, despite starting off the season 2-2, have bounced back in the past few weeks for a couple of good wins and one hard loss.

Despite their record, Cincinnati is able to play with anyone in the conference, as is evidence by their close 53-46 loss against Memphis.

This weekend, the Bearcats play host to the struggling University of Central Florida Knights, before traveling to face off with Houston, and will be looking to grab a defining win on the road.

O’Leary resigns position as head football coach                                                               

Following last week’s loss to UH, George O’Leary, the former-head coach of the UCF Knights, resigned his position with the team.

In his time with the Knights, O’Leary worked to make UCF a known name in the realm of college football.

UCF was one of the strongest teams in the AAC in its first two seasons of existence, including capturing a conference title in the inaugural season.

That conference title led to a Fiesta Bowl game against the Baylor University Bears, where the Knights earned a huge win over their Power 5 foe.

Entering this year, O’Leary was serving both as head coach, as well as interim director of athletics, with some reports coming out that O’Leary planned to retire as the head coach at the end of the year and pursue the Director of Athletics position full time.

A few weeks into the season, after a winless start, O’Leary resigned his position as interim athletic director, and now has resigned his position as head coach.

The Knights will be looking to find their footing in the last third of their season under interim head coach Danny Barrett, who previously served as the quarterbacks coach with the program.

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