The battle atop the American Conference standings is getting good, three undefeated teams remain, all of which are ranked. South Florida is ranked 18th, Central Florida is ranked 22nd and Navy is ranked 25th. Although, it was a successful week for these three teams along with many other teams in the AAC, there were some clear winners and losers in the action.
Winner: The Memphis Tigers Offense
Now when an offense puts up over 700 total yards, it would be safe to say that they played extremely effectively. But not only did the Tigers play effectively, they played confidently and it showed. Quarterback Riley Ferguson (above) threw for 431 yards and 7 touchdowns, four of which went to wide receiver Anthony Miller. Miller hauled in 15 catches for 224 yards in addition to his four touchdowns.
Not only were the Tigers moving the ball through the air, they had a very successful rushing attack led by Doroland Dorceus. Dorceus had 22 carries for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns. When all was said and done, and even some backups got to pad their stats. Memphis put up 70 points on the Huskies of UConn en route to blowout win.
Loser: The SMU Mustangs
The Mustangs were quite literally, losers this week as they were dealt a loss at the hands of the Houston Cougars. SMU could not seem to convert redzone opportunities into touchdowns. The lack of redzone efficiency and their defensive struggles did not make it an easy day on the gridiron. And the two turnovers on offense did not help their efforts against a strong Houston program. The Mustangs will take on the Cincinnati Bearcats next week in a must win matchup to keep their American Conference title hopes afloat.
Winner: McKenzie Milton and Tre’Quan Smith
The Knights of UCF have looked close to invincible so far this season, and that is partly due to the play of offensive standouts QB McKenzie Milton (above) and Tre’Quan Smith. The Knights are still undefeated for a reason and if it wasn’t for the 35 combined points added by Smith and Milton, the Bearcats just might have been able to pull off the comeback some felt was possible.
Milton tossed 374 yards for 5 TDs and 0 interceptions while Smith caught just five passes for 165 yards and 3 TDs and rushed for an extra 5 yard rushing score. UCF has some big games still to come including matchups against Navy and USF, both Milton and Smith will need to be firing on all cylinders if the Knights want any chance at finishing the season undefeated.
Loser: The Navy Midshipmen Defense
Navy did win this week over Air Force but it was not pretty. Normally the Midshipmen defense is ‘bend but don’t break’ but last weekend against Air Force they did not do much bending and did a whole lot of breaking. If it was not for the impressive performance by Navy QB Zach Abey (above), this matchup definitely would have ended differently.
In the third quarter, the Midshipmen had a 21 point lead but AIr Force clawed their way back into the game and forced Navy to win the game in the closing seconds. The Midshipmen defense was able to force two turnovers but gave up 621 yards of offense from Air Force. The lack of consistency from the Navy defense allowed what should have been an easy win for the Midshipmen to come down to a nail biting drive led by QB Zach Abey. Thankfully, Abey pulled it off for the 48-45 win.
Cover Photo via Illumination Fireworks
Article Photos via Capital Gazette, Go Tigers Go, Orlando Sentinel,