Around The American: Defenses struggle in Power 5 showdowns

UConn fell to former big east rival Syracuse 31-24 at Rentschler Field on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The team's record fell to 2-2 and they will taken on Houston this Thursday. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The common theme around the American this week seemed to be the lack of defense. UConn struggled to stop Syracuse early, Houston demolished Texas State, South Florida surrendered 55 points to Florida State and Eastern Carolina suffered a blowout defeat to Virginia Tech.

The best game of the week in the American came between Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio). This game was close throughout and really got interesting towards the end. With Cincinnati down by three early in the fourth quarter, kicker Josh Pasley tied it up at 20 apiece.

The Bearcats would not look back after that. Running back Tion Green, who rushed for 83 yards, also scored the game-winning touchdown with 5:10 remaining in the game.

Ross Trail, a redshirt freshman quarterback, made his debut for Cincinnati and it was not a perfect outing for him. He finished the day throwing for 276 yards on 25 completions with two interceptions and a rushing touchdown.

Trail admitted that he was nervous, but was happy with the offense.

“It was nerve-racking at first,” Trail said, according to CBS Sports. “But overall, I played well, not just me but the whole offense.”

The Bearcats improved to 3-1 overall and remain at 0-1 in the American. It was a nice bounce-back victory after losing to Houston by a score of 40-16 last week. They will take on South Florida on Saturday.

The Houston Cougars demolished Texas State by a score of 64-3. Houston improved to a record of 4-0 and are currently 1-0 in the American. Houston was favored to win by five touchdowns heading into the game and they did not disappoint.

Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. had himself a stellar day throwing for 289 yards with two touchdowns on 20 completions.

However, the star of the game for Houston was freshman wide receiver D’Eriq King, who was recruited to play quarterback. Since two wide receivers were injured, King decided to make a position change.

King caught four passes for 61-yards and a touchdown. He even tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass.

The Cougars look to continue their undefeated season against the UConn Huskies on Thursday.

The South Florida Bulls (3-1) suffered a defeat to No. 13 Florida State by a score of 55-35 on Saturday.

Dalvin Cook ran for a career-high 267 yards and two touchdowns in a game that featured minimal defense.

The Bulls quarterback, Quinton Flowers, had a solid day running the ball by accumulating 169 yards, but his two interceptions proved to be costly.

South Florida running back D’Ernest Johnson had a great day, gaining 82 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

Eastern Carolina suffered a 54-17 loss to Virginia Tech in a laugher. Virginia Tech scored on each of their final five possessions of the first half, which proved to be more than enough to win the game.

The two games to keep an eye on for next week will be when South Florida takes on Cincinnati Saturday and when UConn meets Houston on ESPN at 8 p.m. Thursday.

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