UCF used two big scoring runs on Saturday to beat UConn 49-24. The Knights (9-0, 6-0 AAC) are now ranked No. 15 in the College Football Playoff. They hit the road next weekend to face off with Temple, but before looking ahead, what else went down around the AAC in week 11?
USF: The Bulls (8-1, 4-1 AAC) were off this week. Up Next: vs. Tulsa (Nov. 16)
Temple: The Owls (5-5, 3-3 AAC) won their second straight on Friday night, picking up a 35-24 win at Cincinnati. Junior David Hood rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in the victory, while sophomore Isaiah Wright returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Up Next: vs. No. 14 UCF
UConn: The Huskies (3-7, 2-5 AAC) fell to No. 14 UCF by a score of 49-24 on Saturday afternoon. Junior quarterback David Pindell stepped up in place of an injured Bryant Shirreffs and had a solid game. He threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 96 rushing yards and a touchdown. The defense held the Knights scoreless in the third quarter, marking just the second scoreless quarter of the season for UCF. Up Next: vs. Boston College
Cincinnati: The Bearcats (3-7, 1-5 AAC) lost for the sixth time in their last seven games, dropping a 35-24 game to Temple on Friday night. Junior Hayden Moore threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns and added 75 yards on the ground. Cincinnati fell behind 13-0 early, but got back within six before ultimately falling. The defense was a problem, giving up 429 yards. Up Next: at East Carolina
East Carolina: The Pirates (2-8, 1-5 AAC) fell short on Saturday night, losing 31-24 in overtime to Tulane. They trailed 24-14 heading into the fourth, but rallied for 10 straight to force the game into overtime. The Green Wave then scored on its first possession before the Pirates were stopped short of the end zone on fourth and goal. Sophomore Hussein Howe rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries in the loss. Up Next: vs. Cincinnati
Memphis: The No. 22 Tigers (8-1, 5-1 AAC) were off this week. Up Next: vs. SMU
Houston: The Cougars (6-3, 4-2 AAC) were off this week. Up Next: at Tulane
SMU: One week after pushing UCF to its limit, the Mustangs (6-4, 3-3 AAC) lost a 43-40 heartbreaker at Navy. Sophomore Ben Hicks threw four touchdowns, two of which went to junior Courtland Sutton. Sutton caught seven passes for 123 yards and the two scores. SMU trailed by 15 late in the third quarter before storming back, but the Midshipmen connected on a game-winning field goal as time expired. Up Next: at No. 18 Memphis
Navy: The Midshipmen (6-3, 4-3 AAC) snapped their three-game losing streak in a 43-40 win over SMU. Sophomore J.R. Osborn hit the game-winning 18-yard field goal as time expired. Navy only completed one pass, which fell incomplete, but ran for 559 yards. Sophomore Malcolm Perry ran for 228 of those yards on 33 carries. He scored four touchdowns. Up Next: at No. 9 Notre Dame
Tulane: The Green Wave (4-6, 2-4 AAC) kept bowl hopes alive with a 31-24 overtime win at East Carolina. Senior Dontrell Hilliard rushed for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries in the victory. The Tulane defense had blown a 24-14 victory to force overtime, but came up with a big stop on fourth down in overtime to seal the win. Up Next: vs. Houston
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane (2-8, 1-5 AAC) were off this week. Up Next: at USF (Nov. 16)
What does this all mean for UCF?
There were no surprises in the AAC this week and it wouldn’t be a shock if the same is said for week 12. UCF heads to Temple on Saturday and will get a streaking Owls team that is now playing for bowl eligibility. Regardless of next week’s outcome, though, the AAC East will be decided on Black Friday when the Knights host USF. The two teams have been on a collision course throughout the whole season and both have just one more test before the rivalry showdown. As for the rest of the division, Temple is most likely the only team with any chance at making a bowl game.
In the AAC West, most teams were idle this week. But with SMU’s lost to Navy, next weekend’s matchup between the Mustangs and Memphis carries less weight. At this point, the only way the Tigers don’t win the division is if they lose out. Even then, other teams would have to win out to give themselves a chance. With just two more weeks in the regular season, the likely matchup for the AAC Championship Game on Dec. 2 is Memphis against the winner of the War on I-4.