AAC update: Week 6

USF played its last non-conference game of the season Sept. 27 in a 27-10 loss at Wisconsin.

With the Bulls in a bye week, they couldn’t move in the conference standings, but three AAC games took place this weekend with the schedule moving primarily into only conference games.

UCF began the week Thursday when it won its first conference game of the season 17-12 against Houston. 

The win was made possible when senior defensive back Brandon Alexander forced a fumble on what was nearly a 19-yard touchdown run for Greg Ward Jr. with 24 seconds remaining. 

Neither team had much success on offense throughout the game, with no quarterback throwing for over 116 yards and no player rushing for more than 53.

Houston quarterback John O’Korn’s ineffectiveness (98 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions) resulted in his being pulled from the game. Backup Greg Ward Jr. finished the game for the Cougars, throwing for 116 yards and no touchdowns. 

USF will host Houston (2-3, 0-1) on Nov. 1 and UCF (2-2, 1-0) on Nov. 28.

No. 19 East Carolina (4-1, 1-0) continued its dominance this season in a 45-24 win against SMU (0-5, 0-1) in its AAC debut. 

ECU quarterback Shane Carden became the passing leader after throwing for 410 yards and four touchdowns on 31-for-41 passing. 

Carden’s two top targets were Isaiah Jones and Justin Hardy. The two wide receivers combined for 250 receiving yards and all four of Carden’s touchdowns. 

SMU scored the most points of its entire season as it was playing from behind nearly the entire game with ECU taking and holding the lead with six minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The SMU offense was led by quarterback Garrett Krstich, who threw for 339 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 42-for-67 passing in the loss. 

USF will host ECU on Saturday and will play at SMU on Nov. 15. 

The final AAC matchup of the week was played between Memphis and Cincinnati (2-2, 0-1). After scoring the opening touchdown on an 80-yard pass, the Bearcats gave up 27 unanswered points to the Tigers.

Memphis (3-2, 1-0) would go on to win 41-14 with running back Sam Craft leading the offensive attack with 170 rushing yards and one touchdown. 

USF will play at Cincinnati on Oct. 24 and at Memphis on Nov. 22.