Around The American Football: No. 25 SMU wins shootout over ECU  

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This weekend in the American Athletic Conference, SMU continued its winning streak moving to 9-1 in a tough shootout against ECU. The Mustangs came out on top in a close game, the final score 59-51.  Photo from the Associated Press.

This weekend in the American Athletic Conference, SMU continued its winning streak moving to 9-1 in a tough shootout against ECU. The Mustangs came out on top in a close game, the final score 59-51. Photo from the Associated Press.

The American had its fair share of scoring this past weekend. Four teams scored over 30 points in week eleven. No. 20 SMU moved to 9-1 as they outlasted ECU in a shootout thriller. Tulsa edged UCF in a back and forth battle. Temple squeezed past USF in a close game and No. 17 Cincinnati moved to 8-1 as they demolished UConn.  

No. 20 SMU: 59, ECU: 51  

SMU edged ECU in what proved to be the most exciting game of the weekend. Defensive stops were hard to come by as the two teams combined for 110 points total. Both teams came out firing, with SMU leading 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. The scoring continued in the second quarter, but SMU had the lead going into halftime. Down 28-20, the Pirates came out of halftime to score on their first drive. However, SMU would come right back with a touchdown of their own. The fourth quarter was more of the same as both offenses couldn’t be stopped. ECU scored with under two minutes left in the quarter to bring the contest to 59-51. That was as close as they were able to get as SMU held on to their lead to come out with the victory.  

SMU’s electric offense was able to outlast ECU’s in the afternoon shootout. The offense seemed to be unstoppable as they were able to throw and run the ball at will as they had 644 total yards of offense. SMU’s quarterback Shane Buechele had a great day throwing for 414 yards. He completed 33 of his 46 pass attempts, and he threw five touchdowns and one interception. Their running game was led by Xavier Jones, who ran the ball 20 times for 157 and three touchdowns.  

The Pirates’ offense was no pushover. They were able to gain 644 yards of total offense and did not turn the ball over once. The Pirates came out on top but that wasn’t the case Saturday. ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers had a stellar performance in the loss. He completed 32 of 42 pass attempts for 498 yards and six touchdowns. The running game for the Pirates was subpar as running back Tay Williams led the way with 14 carries for 61 yards. Wide receiver Tyler Snead also had an impressive performance for the Pirates as he hauled in 19 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns. 

SMU moved to 9-1, while ECU fell to 3-7. Neither team has a game this upcoming weekend. 


Tulsa made a surprise comeback against UCF to hand the Knights their third loss of the season and move to 3-7 on the year.  Photo from the Associated Press.

Tulsa made a surprise comeback against UCF to hand the Knights their third loss of the season and move to 3-7 on the year. Photo from the Associated Press.

Tulsa: 34, UCF: 31  

Tulsa was able to come from behind to beat the UCF in a close game. The game was back and forth between the Golden Hurricane and the Knights as both teams had solid days on the offensive side of the ball. The first quarter was full of action as the Knights scored two touchdowns while Tulsa found the endzone once. The second quarter was more UCF as they took a 28-17 lead into halftime. The rest of the game was all Tulsa. They held the Knights to three total second-half points. Tulsa outscored the Knights 7-3 in the third quarter. In the fourth, it was more of the same as Tulsa scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth to take the game from the Knights.  

Tulsa fought hard to win the game even after they lost their starting quarterback Zach Smith to an apparent leg injury in the second quarter. Smith was 10 for 14 on pass attempts for 127 yards and had one touchdown before leaving the game. Quarterback Seth Boomer came into the game and was 6-for-10 on passing attempts for 87 yards. The offense was a team effort as they received a mixed contribution from multiple players. The Golden Hurricane defense stepped up in a big way during the second half. The Tulsa defense was able to get to the quarterback five times for sacks and was able to pick off UCF twice.  

The Knights offense had a stellar first half but accomplished little in the second. Turnovers all around are what lost the game for UCF. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel had a decent day. He completed 23-of-38 passes for 290 yards. He threw for one touchdown but had two crucial interceptions in the fourth quarter. Running back Adrian Killins Jr. led the way for the Knights on the ground with 10 carries for 95 yards and one touchdown.  

The Golden Hurricane improved to 3-7 on the season while UCF dropped to 7-3. Both teams have a bye this upcoming weekend. 


Temple came out on top against USF off a strong performance from their quarterbacks as well as the defense, who sacked USF nine times.  Photo from the Associated Press.

Temple came out on top against USF off a strong performance from their quarterbacks as well as the defense, who sacked USF nine times. Photo from the Associated Press.

Temple: 17, USF: 7  

Temple was able to hold on to their lead to beat USF on Saturday. The game didn’t bring too much excitement as both teams’ offenses struggled throughout the game. In the first quarter, both teams had a hard time creating anything as neither team scored. In the second the Owls struck first with a touchdown late in the quarter as they took a 7-0 lead into halftime. The third quarter was another poor offensive performance for both sides until both teams were able to find the end zone for touchdowns late in the quarter. In the fourth Temple kicked an early field goal to make it 17-7. The Owls defense held strong not allowing the Bulls to score in the fourth. 

Temple played well enough to get past the bulls in a low scoring game. The offense was led by quarterback Anthony Russo who was 15-of-21 on pass attempts for 164 yards and an interception. However, backup quarterback Todd Centeio was the one who led the offense to their first touchdown of the game. He threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Yeboah late in the second quarter to put the Owls up. The Owls defense played extremely well, sacking the quarterback nine times throughout the game. The running game was also solid for the Owls as they were able to collect 153 yards throughout the game. Temples’ defense was able to force a fumble in the third which led to a Sam Franklin return for a touchdown that ultimately sealed the game for the Owls. 

The Bulls struggled only gathering 286 yards of total offense throughout the game. The running game was nonexistent for the Bulls as they couldn’t get anything going. USF’s quarterback Jordan McCloud was 23 -for- 38 on pass attempts for 225 and a touchdown. The Bulls defense was constantly called upon as they did what they could to stop Temple. The defense was able to tally three sacks and an interception in the loss.  

Temple improved to 6-3 and will take on Tulane this upcoming Saturday. USF dropped to 4-5 on the season and will take on No. 20 Cincinnati this weekend. 


Ty Reeves is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ty.reeves@uconn.edu.

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