American Athletic Conference News and Notes

    10:22 AM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
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    Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

    CINCINNATI: Behind a dominating defensive effort, the Bearcats managed to post a 14-0 win over in-state rival Miami-Ohio. Cincinnati has now beaten the RedHawks in eight straight seasons, the longest such streak in the 118-year history of the series. Cincinnati let up only 87 total yards, the lowest yardage total by an opponent against the Bearcats since 2004. Cincinnati also surrendered only seven rushing yards to the RedHawks, while tying season highs with two interceptions, five sacks and nine tackles for loss. Jordan Stepp had two of the team's sacks. On offense, Cincinnati compiled 369 total yards but had a pair of interceptions and just a 2-of-4 success rate in the red zone. Shaq Washington brought in a career-high 11 receptions for 68 yards. Brendon Kay completed 23-of-37 pass attempts for just 171 yards and two interceptions. Ralph David Abernathy had 98 yards on 24 carries to the lead the rushing attack. Cincinnati is off next weekend before facing South Florida in its American Athletic Conference opener.

    CONNECTICUT: The Huskies came close but fell just short in an upset bid against No. 15 Michigan at Rentschler Field. The Huskies led 21-7 midway through the third quarter, but then allowed the Wolverines to score 21 unanswered points to escape with the victory. UConn let up just 97 yards passing in the contest, the first time it has held a foe to less than 100 yards through the air since 2008. Yawin Smallwood had a game-high 13 tackles including a pair for loss and a sack while the Huskies defense forced four turnovers. UConn finished with just 206 yards of total offense itself, including only 47 on the ground. The Huskies have been held under 50 yards rushing in each of the last two games. UConn also converted on just 1-of-11 third down chances. Chandler Whitmer completed 16-of-32 pass attempts for 159 yards and two scores but was also intercepted once and sacked four times. Lyle McCombs rushed for 38 yards on eight carries and also caught a touchdown pass. Deshon Fox led the team with five receptions for 60 yards. UConn gets one more non-conference game next week against Buffalo.

    HOUSTON: For the second time in the last three seasons, Houston is 3-0 after a 31-26 victory over cross-town rival Rice. The Cougars had allowed only 26 points total in the first two contests. Houston registered 494 yards of total offense but scored just a single touchdown on two trips in the red zone. John O'Korn completed just 15-of-33 pass attempts and was intercepted once but did total 281 yards and three scores. Deontay Greenberry hauled in six of O'Korn's passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Greenberry has had a 100-yard receiving games in back-to-back weeks. Houston has had a 100-yard receiver in every game this year. Ryan Jackson (87 yards, TD) and Greg Ward Jr. (80 yards) led the rushing attack for the Cougars. Jackson has scored a touchdown in three straight games. Steven Taylor finished with 11 total tackles and a sack, while Tyus Bowser had a pair of quarterback takedowns. Next weekend, Houston will face off with Texas-San Antonio.

    LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals put on one of the most impressive shows of the weekend, posting a 72-0 rout of FIU. The win was the third shutout for the Cardinals under head coach Charlie Strong and tied for the sixth-largest victory in team history. Louisville held FIU to just 30 yards of total offense, the lowest output by an opponent since 2000. Marcus Smith totaled a pair of sacks, while Roy Philon led the team with five total tackles and three for loss. Teddy Bridgewater completed 17-of-22 pass attempts for 212 yards and four touchdowns. Bridgewater completed passes to 10 different receivers and has now thrown a touchdown pass in 16 straight games. DeVante Parker brought in six passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns, all team-highs. Louisville picked up 464 yards and went 7-of-10 on third down attempts. The Cardinals get a break next weekend before kicking off their league schedule at Temple.

    MEMPHIS: Thanks to a fast start, Memphis was able to earn its first win of the season with a 31-7 victory over Arkansas State. Memphis scored on its first drive of the game with a six-yard touchdown run from Brandon Hayes. The Tigers scored 14 points in the first period for just the third time since 2009. Memphis had 505 yards of total offense in the game, including 329 yards on the ground, while averaging 7.1 yards per play. Marquis Warford rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown and Hayes also finished with more than 100 yards to go with a score. Paxton Lynch totaled 176 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-26 passing. Alan Cross caught Lynch's touchdown pass and has now brought in a touchdown in four of the last five games. Martin Ifedi finished with team- highs in total tackles (10), tackles for loss (4.5) and sacks (2.5). Ifedi has registered a sack in each game this season. Next weekend Memphis will be idle as it prepares for kick off its conference schedule against UCF.

    RUTGERS: A furious second-half rally allowed Rutgers to down Arkansas for the second straight season with a 28-24 victory at High Point Solutions Stadium. The Scarlet Knights scored 21 unanswered points to finish the contest and come back from a 24-7 deficit. Rutgers defeated Arkansas on the road last year and has now won three straight games against SEC opponents. Leonte Carroo caught a pair of touchdowns, including the 33-yard game winner and finished with five catches for 80 yards. Rutgers finished with 400 yards of total offense and has now reached the 400-yard mark in three of the first four games this season. Gary Nova completed just 22-of-43 pass attempts but finished with 346 yards and three scores. However, he was sacked five times and intercepted once. Tyler Kroft led the team with six receptions for 133 yards and a score. Kroft is the first Rutgers tight end since 2006 to have more than 100 yards in a contest. Paul James led the team with 80 yards on 17 carries. However, the team's top tailback will miss a couple of games after suffering a leg injury against the Razorbacks. Like many other AAC teams. Rutgers does not have a game next weekend. The Scarlet Knights will be back in action on Oct. 5 in the league opener against SMU.

    SMU: Despite their best efforts, the Mustangs were unable to go into College Station and record an upset as they were bested, 42-13, by Texas A&M. The Mustangs did compile 434 yards of total offense and have now reached the 400- yard mark in each game this season. Garrett Gilbert completed 37-of-62 pass attempts for 301 yards. He connected with 10 different receivers in the contest and tied an SMU record by throwing for 300 yards in a third straight game. Keenan Holman was Gilbert's favorite target with 10 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown. The Mustangs ran the ball only 17 times, while amassing 67 pass plays. Both teams combined to commit 29 penalties in the contest, with SMU guilty of 16 infractions. SMU also went 5-of-16 on third down chances and failed to score on both of its red zone trips. The Mustangs allowed 581 yards of total offense to Johnny Manziel and the Aggies. Kevin Pope finished with a team-high 11 tackles. SMU will face off with another Lone Star State rival next week against TCU.

    SOUTH FLORIDA: After a brutal 0-3 start, the Bulls had this past weekend off. They certainly need the extra time to prepare as they face off with a nationally ranked Miami-Florida squad next.

    TEMPLE: The Owls have had an extra week to get over their shocking 30-29 loss to FCS foe Fordham last time out. This weekend Temple is back in action with a non-conference bout against Idaho.

    UCF: The Knights, who have started the season at 3-0, were also off this past weekend. UCF faces a real challenge this weekend when it hosts nationally- ranked South Carolina.

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