UCF’s conference opener against Memphis was canceled due to the impending impact of Hurricane Irma. The Knights will remain 1-0 heading into week three’s home game against Georgia Tech. What went down around the AAC for those that did play this weekend?
USF: Due to potential travel issues caused by Irma, the Bulls (2-0) had their conference opener at UConn canceled. The game likely won’t be rescheduled. Up Next: vs. Illinois
Cincinnati: The Bearcats (1-1) gave No. 8 Michigan a bit of a scare at the Big House on Saturday afternoon before falling 36-14. They got within 17-14 in the third quarter before the Wolverines went on a 19-0 run to end the game. The defense forced two fumbles in the loss. Up Next: at Miami (OH)
UConn: UConn (1-0) had its conference opener against USF canceled due to the impending hurricane. Up Next: at Virginia
East Carolina: Following a season-opening loss, the Pirates (0-2) were dismantled at West Virginia, falling 56-20. The Mountaineers built up a 49-3 halftime lead, which was insurmountable. ECU junior Trevon Brown caught just two passes, but went for 103 yards and a touchdown. Up Next: vs. Virginia Tech
Temple: It took a late field goal, but the Owls (1-1) beat Villanova 16-13 on Saturday. Sophomore Aaron Boumerhi nailed a 49-yarder with a minute left to get the defending conference champions their first win of the season. The team’s offense was outgained 402-353 in the win. Up Next: vs. UMass
Memphis: As previously mentioned, the Tigers had their conference opener against the Knights canceled due to the hurricane. The game likely won’t be made up. Up Next: vs. UCLA
Navy: Navy (2-0) edged Tulane 23-21 in its conference opener on Saturday. The Midshipmen turned the ball over twice, which kept the game close throughout. Junior Zach Abey followed up his huge season opener with 240 total yards and a touchdown. Up Next: vs Cincinnati (week four)
SMU: The Mustangs (2-0) lit up the scoreboard for the second straight week, beating North Texas 54-32. They fell behind 10-0 early, but went on a 38-0 run to separate themselves. Sophomore Ben Hicks connected with junior Courtland Sutton on four touchdowns. Up Next: at TCU
Tulane: The Green Wave (1-1) kept it close with a solid defensive effort, but ultimately fell short in a 23-21 loss to Navy. They lost their quarterback in the second quarter, but their sophomore backup almost led the way to a comeback win. Johnathan Brantley threw for just 58 yards, but rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown. Up Next: at Oklahoma
Houston: The Cougars (1-0) turned the ball over twice at Arizona, but came up with a 19-16 win in their season debut. Sophomore Ed Oliver finished the night with 11 tackles, with 1 ½ of those for a loss. Up Next: vs. Rice
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane (1-1) needed 667 yards of total offense to beat Louisiana-Lafayette in a 66-42 shootout. The team’s defense, which struggled heavily in its season-opening loss, gave up 596 yards in the win. Senior D’Angelo Brewer ran for 262 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries. Up Next: at Toledo
What does this all mean for UCF?
It was unfortunate that the Knights were unable to play their conference opener this weekend. The game was initially moved up from 8 p.m. on Saturday to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, but word of the cancellation came early Friday morning. Of course, at a time like this, football is far from anyone’s first priority. Safety comes first, which made the game’s cancellation the smart move.
As far as the rest of the conference goes, there wasn’t a lot to be impressed about. Some teams put up a lot of points, but very few of them were very solid defensively. If you’re UCF, you can look at the conference’s relative struggles in two different ways. In one way, the Knights could gain some confidence in the idea that they truly can challenge for the conference championship this year. On the other hand, conference mates failing to put up much of a fight against bigger programs doesn’t do a whole lot for the “American Pow6r” initiative. There are several big games in week three for the AAC, with three teams facing ranked opponents and four more playing Power Five conference teams.