Around the American: UCF extends winning streak

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Boston College wide receiver Ben Glines (19) celebrates with teammate Korab Idrizi (85) after scoring a touchdown during a game against Temple on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Boston. (Mary Schwalm/AP)

Boston College wide receiver Ben Glines (19) celebrates with teammate Korab Idrizi (85) after scoring a touchdown during a game against Temple on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Boston. (Mary Schwalm/AP)

Yes, everybody knows that UConn football was obliterated by Cincinnati 49-7 this weekend. No one needs a reminder of that. But if you can stomach reading about more college football this week, here’s how the rest of the teams from the American Athletic Conference did.

Tulane defeats Memphis 40-24

Tulane entered the Friday night game as 14.5-point underdogs; however, it was apparent from the start that the teams were much more evenly matched. The Green Wave went up 17-7 at the half and managed to put the game out of reach midway through the fourth quarter with a 25-yard touchdown run from running back Darius Bradwell to make it 40-17.

The rushing game was strong, with Bradwell leading the team with 149 rush yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and Corey Dauphine accumulating 87 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. The 318 total rushing yards was their highest amount this season.

The passing game played second fiddle and quarterback Jonathan Banks threw the ball only 21 times. He completed 14 passes for 127 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions.

However, it was the defense that was the true star, as they held a Memphis offense that was averaging over 600 yards per game going into the day to just 277 total yards. Their biggest success was holding Memphis running back Darrell Henderson, who leads the country in rushing, to just 51 yards on seven carries, most of which came on one long 47-yard touchdown run.

Henderson had been averaging over 175 yards and two touchdowns a game, so stopping him was clearly their key to victory. UConn, who play Memphis on Saturday, will need to have the same kind of success if they want any chance of winning.

Tulane improves to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in conference, while Memphis drops to 3-2 and 0-2 respectively.

ECU defeats Old Dominion 37-35

Old Dominion… why do they ring a bell? That’s right, it’s because last week they beat top-25 ranked Virginia Tech!

Well, ECU brought them right back to reality on Saturday, narrowly escaping with a victory. It was a back and forth battle, and when Old Dominion blocked ECU’s game tying extra-point attempt with a little over five minutes left in the game, it looked like they were going to win their second straight. However, after the Monarchs went three-and-out and had to punt the ball back to ECU, the Pirates managed to hit a last minute 38 yard field goal to take the lead and ultimately win the game after Old Dominion couldn’t get anything going in the last 46 seconds.

ECU improved to 2-2 on the season while staying at 0-1 in conference. Their 492 yards of total offense and 37 points ranked second on the season, both behind their 41-19 win over North Carolina. Quarterback Reid Herring went 24/42 for 309 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. The team also rushed for 179 yards, with running backs Holton Ahlers and Anthony Scott each recording touchdowns.

Old Dominion recorded their 35 points on just 271 yards of total offense, largely a result of having just one scoring drive go over 50 yards. They took both of their interceptions back inside ECU territory and even got one all the way down to the 5-yard line.

UConn will travel to Greenville, North Carolina to face ECU on Saturday, November 11.

Temple falls to Boston College 45-35

Temple lost a close one to formerly ranked Boston College, dropping to 2-3 on the season.

Both offenses were on full display, with Temple and BC recording 452 and 423 yards of total offense respectively. Neither quarterback had particularly good days. Owls QB Anthony Russo threw for 255 yards, and two interceptions, and Eagles QB Anthony Brown threw for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

It was the rushing game that was the driving force for both schools, combining for over 350 yards. BC had two players rush for over 100 yards, as A.J. Dillon and Ben Glines rushed 28 and 23 times for 161 and 120 yards respectively. Dillon, who is third in the country in rushing, scored twice and Glines scored once.

Unlike BC, Temple stuck to just one lead back, Ryquell Armstead, throughout the game. Armstead, who is 13th in the country in rushing, took to the ground 24 times for 171 yards and a whopping four touchdowns.

Temple held the lead for about one quarter, when they went up 14-7 midway through the first. However, once BC tied the game with 4:25 left in the first half and recaptured the lead less than two minutes later, they never gave it up. BC was up 38-21 at one point before Temple brought it all the way back within three points with 9:02 left in the game. However once BC scored a touchdown on the next drive and Temple turned it over on downs, the Eagles were able to run clock out to finish the game.

UConn faces Temple to close out the season at home on Saturday, November 24.

#14 UCF defeats Pitt 45-14

The defending National Champion UCF Knights improved their win streak to 17 games, the longest in the nation, when they just demolished the Pitt Panthers.

Right from the beginning the game wasn’t even close, as UCF took a 14-0 lead with just over four minutes left in the first quarter. Pitt managed to narrow the lead to one touchdown after a return man Rafael Araujo-Lopes took a punt back 86-yards for the score. After that, the Knights scored 31 unanswered points and put the game out of reach before Pitt scored one more garbage time touchdown.

UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns as he furthered his Heisman caliber season. While it is extremely unlikely that he wins it with bigger-name quarterbacks from bigger-name schools such as Tua Tagovailoa leading the pack, he has certainly established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in college football.

UCF also had great success in the running game and even had five different people rush at least five times for over 35 yards. Milton was one of them, rushing 10 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns.

The defense was equally impressive, holding Pitt to just 272 yards of total offense, their lowest offense total of the season. It was also the second least for the season for UCF, behind only a 257-yard day against South Carolina State.

UConn played UCF to open up the season, and as I’m sure you remember got crushed 56-17.

SMU defeats Houston Baptist 63-27

The SMU Mustangs played their one game against an FCS opponent on Saturday and as expected it was not even a contest.

The Mustangs got out to a quick 14-0 lead less than halfway through the first quarter and didn’t look back, extending their lead to 35-10 by the half and winning by 36 points. The scoring outburst included a four-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the first half by punter Jamie Sackville, as the Mustangs executed a successful fake field goal.

SMU quarterback William Brown went 12/20 for 309 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and one lost fumble through almost three quarters. Late in the third quarter, Brown was replaced with backup Ben Hicks, who went 8/12 for 61 yards and a touchdown. SMU also got third-string QB Austin Upshaw into the game for the last few drives, and he even rushed for a touchdown.

The rushing game was strong, racking up 244 yards on the day. While no rusher had over 70 yards, eight players reached double digits. Braeden West lead the team with 69 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.

It was not a good day for Houston Baptist, and one of the few bright spots for them was a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown by LaDarius Dickens. Quarterback Bailey Zappe also went 27/49 for 266 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

UConn will play the now 2-3 (0-1 in conference) SMU Mustangs on Saturday, November 10.

All 12 American Athletic Conference teams will be back in action Week 6, and all but two will be playing conference games.


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.

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