Around the American: South Florida dominates East Carolina

South Florida's Quinton Flowers (9) looks to pass the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against East Carolina in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Flowers threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and No. 18 South Florida extended its school-record winning streak to 10 by routing East Carolina 61-31 on Saturday. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Conference play is in full swing across the nation in college football. Let’s a take a look at some of the results from around the American Athletic Conference in football action this past weekend.

South Florida 61, East Carolina 31

East Carolina was riding high off their first win of the season against UConn last week, but ran straight into a wood chipper in South Florida’s offense on Saturday.

South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers had an efficient day all around, completing 10 of 18 passes for 160 yards while rushing for 93 yards on 10 attempts; however, the real breakout star was senior wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Scantling had six receptions for 94 yards receiving and took a jet sweep to the house for a 75-yard touchdown.

East Carolina quarterback Thomas Sirk had a come-down game after his Cam Newton-like performance against UConn, completing only 20 passes out of 43 attempts and throwing two picks, including a pick six to South Florida linebacker Auggie Sanchez with one minute left in the first quarter.

UCF 40, Memphis 13

Central Florida sent a message to the rest of the American on Saturday as they made light work of Memphis, a team considered to be a top contender in the West division.

Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton had a career day, completing 19 of 31 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns and added 11 carries for 88 yards on the ground.

Running back Adrian Killens caught five passes for 64 yards and added a 96-yard touchdown run of his own to UCF’s offensive attack, the longest play from scrimmage in conference history. The Knights had over 600 yards of total offense on the day.

Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson did not have his best day, throwing three picks and fumbling once, giving the ball back to a UCF offense that clearly did not have any trouble scoring.

Houston 20, Temple 13

The Kyle Allen experiment at Houston seems to be over just two games into the season. Over the first three games Allen threw for 751 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions, prompting head coach Major Applewhite to make a change at quarterback to Kyle Postma.

Postma didn’t do too hot in his first start since September 2016, passing for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception against Temple. Running back Dillon Birden, who had been on a tear this year, didn’t fare well either, only rushing for 34 yards on the day.

This meant Houston’s defense had to step up to win this game, and step up they did in the first half. Houston held Temple to just -8 rushing yards before halftime, but began to let them back in the game in the second half.

Temple stormed back in the fourth quarter, going on an 11-play, 85-yard touchdown drive and tacking on a field goal one possession later, bringing the Houston lead down to one score.

The game came down to the final play. With four seconds on the clock, Logan Marchi heaved up a Hail Mary pass from his own 34-yard line, but safety Garrett Davis picked him off for the second time that day, allowing Houston to escape an upset in Philadelphia.

Navy 31, Tulsa 21

Tulsa scored two touchdowns in their first three drives of the game, then wouldn’t score again until garbage time as Navy ran wild on the Owls to stay perfect on the season.

After the first quarter, Navy dominated every segment of the game on offense. The triple-option tends to grind you down play after play throughout the game, and that’s exactly what happened here. The Midshipmen outgained Tulsa 511 yards to 344, and more than doubled their time of possession in a commanding performance.

Navy quarterback Zach Abey had 185 yards rushing on 5.1 yards per carry with three touchdowns. Running backs Malcolm Perry and Chris High got in on the fun too, rushing for 104 and 89 yards respectively.

Marshall 38, Cincinnati 21

Marshall set Cincinnati’s defense on fire Saturday as they defeated the Bearcats in their own house. Marshall quarterback Chase Litton completed 21 of 34 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns and receiver Ryan Yurachek beat the Bearcats’ secondary over and over again for six catches and three touchdowns on the day.

Cincinnati quarterback Hayden Moore had a very prolific yet average outing, completing 22 of 45 passes for 211 yards and one touchdown.

Turnover trouble ended up sinking the Bearcats for good, as they gave up three fumbles. The knockout blow came late in the second half when the Thundering Herd scored 14 points in nine seconds.

Litton found receiver Willie Johnson for a touchdown pass, Cincinnati fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and Litton found Yurachek on the next play for another touchdown, dispatching the Bearcats in timely fashion.


Luke Swanson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus.  He can be reached via email at luke.swanson@uconn.edu.