Around the American: Houston falters while UConn shines on Saturday

Navy wide receiver Brandon Colon (87) makes a catch as he runs for a touchdown against Houston safety Khalil Williams (2) during the second half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Annapolis, Md. Navy won 46-40. (Nick Wass/AP)

The two best American Athletic Conferences games over the weekend were UConn against Cincinnati and Houston against Navy.

Navy (4-1, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) defeated the dominant Houston Cougars 46-40, which sent shockwaves through the American and all of college football. The Cougars saw their national ranking fall from six to 12 and their playoff hopes have likely vanished.

Houston (5-1, 2-1) came into the game having won 19 of their last 20 games, but turnovers made the difference in this game. Of the three turnovers, the interception returned by Josiah Powell to put Navy up by two touchdowns proved to be most costly. Navy was able to capitalize off of each of the three turnovers by scoring 17 points.

The Houston defense had no answer for Navy’s triple option, allowing the Midshipmen to run for 306 yards. The Cougars surrendered more points in this game than they had in the previous four games combined.

Navy quarterback Will Worth was able to control the game by picking up 115 yards on the ground and throwing for two touchdowns. Houston’s star quarterback, Greg Ward Jr., had a solid statistical game throwing for 359 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for another touchdown, but his two interceptions contributed to their first loss of the season.

UConn (3-3, 1-2) won a game that they needed to win in order to keep their bowl hopes alive Saturday against conference rival Cincinnati (3-3,0-3).

UConn found themselves behind 9-0 quickly, but stormed back to score 20 unanswered and win the game 20-9.

The story of the game was UConn’s run-stopping defense, which allowed only two rushing yards.

“We have a great defensive line,” UConn safety Obi Melifonwu said, according to CBS Sports. “We just ended up stopping them, stopping them in the run game.”

Cincinnati quarterback Hayden Moore was able to throw for 315 yards and two interceptions, but failed to throw any touchdowns.

UConn running back Arkeel Newsome was able to rush for 116 yards, including a 67-yard run, which set up UConn for a field goal to put them up 17-9. The 67-yard run was the Huskies’ longest play from scrimmage this season.

UConn wide receiver Noel Thomas made a terrific touchdown catch to put the Huskies up by a score of 14-9. Thomas beat out a Cincinnati defender on a jump ball that could have been intercepted by the defender.

The USF Bulls (5-1, 2-0) defeated the ECU Pirates (2-4, 0-2) by a score of 38-22 on Saturday.

The Bulls were led by running back Marlon Mack and quarterback Quinton Flowers. Mack rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, while Flowers threw three touchdowns to go with 250 passing yards.

The Bulls extended their school-record streak of 10 straight games of 35 points or more and extended another streak with their sixth consecutive conference win.

Memphis (4-1, 1-0) defeated Temple (3-3, 1-1) by a score of 34-27 on Thursday night.

Memphis scored 27 straight after trailing 13-0 in the second quarter.

Tony Pollard recorded the team’s first kickoff return for a touchdown since 1996, which helped them maintain their fourth-quarter lead.

Games to look ahead to are UConn at USF on Saturday at 7 p.m., Navy at ECU on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Tulsa at Houston on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Michael Logan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at