NCAA AAC Roundup: Memphis vs East Carolina Could be Best Game of the Week

Tulane's Defense Looks to Continue Flexing Its Muscles During Trip to Tampa

Bye Weeks Takes a Bite Out of AAC Week 7 Schedule

NCAA AAC Roundup: Cincinnati and Houston, who played in the conference title game a season ago join Tulsa as teams not playing this weekend. Cincinnati is the lone team in the conference appearing in the national polls. The Bearcats moved up three spots to No. 21 in the Associated Press poll and jumped into the top 25 in the American Football Coaches Association poll at No. 21. Tulane could inch closer to the top 25 in both polls with another victory this week. Tulane is a 12.5-point favorite on the road against South Florida.

Tulane (+10000) is second only to Cincinnati among AAC teams in the national championship odds.

When looking at the NCAA AAC Roundup, Saturday’s game between Memphis and East Carolina could be the best game in Week 7.

Tulane (+10000) is second only to Cincinnati among AAC teams in the national championship odds.

Three of the four games on the schedule have double-digit point spreads according to the college football point spreads.

Game of the Week

Memphis Tigers vs East Carolina Pirates

Date, time (TV): (ESPNU)
Line: East Carolina -4½

The teams will have a hard act to follow after last year’s 30-29 thriller with Keaton Mitchell, currently the leading rusher in the American Athletic Conference, rushing for 81 yards and adding 44 on two receptions. Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan threw for three scores in the game. Now it has the potential to be the best game in the NCAA AAC Roundup.

Memphis’ leading tackler, Xavier Cullens, is coming off his first double-digit tackle game of the season for the Tigers (4-2, 2-1 AAC).

Memphis has scored on 26 of its 27 trips to the red zone. However, nine of those drives have ended in field goals. East Carolina (3-3, 1-2) has points in 21 of 25 trips to the red zone. The Pirates feature one of the best receivers in the conference as Isaiah Winstead, who has 44 catches for 565 yards.

East Carolina’s Holton Ahlers is second in the AAC with 1,820 passing  yards. Seth Henigan of Memphis has passed for 1,517 yards with 10 touchdown passes and one interception.

The Pirates have won eight of the last 10 meetings with Memphis and covered in each of those eight victories.

Other Games to Watch

Temple Owls vs UCF Knights

Date, time (TV): (ESPN)
Line: UCF -23

The NCAA AAC Roundup begins with a Thursday night affair being televised on ESPN with Temple playing at Central Florida.

The Owls (2-3, 0-1) are trying to figure some things out on offense as Temple is averaging a conference-low 282.8 yards per game. The running game has been especially horrible as only six teams average fewer yards per game than Temple’s 83.8. Just one of Temple’s first 155 running plays have gone for at least 20 yards. The good news is that Temple has also allowed the fewest yards per game in the American Conference.

The Knights (4-1, 1-0) are not quite at the level when they were competing for the conference title on an annual basis. Still, the Knights are second only to Cincinnati in scoring offense.

Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee is the team’s leader with 431 rushing yards. He has also thrown for 1,143 yards with seven TDs and just three interceptions for UCF.

Alabama transfer leads UCF with 24 catches and 395 receiving yards.

The Knights have won five games in a row against Temple with the average margin of victory in those games being 29.4 points.

Navy Midshipmen vs Southern Methodist Mustangs

Date, time (TV): (ESPN)
Line: SMU -13

Talk about a difference in offensive philosophies. Navy leads the American Athletic Conference with 292 rushing attempts and has attempted nearly 100 fewer yards than another other AAC squad. SMU is averaging more passing attempts per game (45.4) than any other team in the conference. When looking at the NCAAF schedule, this is one of two Football Bowl Subdivision games scheduled on Friday.

It will be interesting to watch who SMU handles Navy’s option offense considering that the Mustangs are ninth out of 11 AAC teams in rushing yards allowed per game, rushing touchdowns allowed as well as 4.3 yards allowed per rushing attempt. Navy is ninth in passing defense so both offenses could get into a rhythm in this one.

SMU’s Rashee Rice is the conference leader with 46 receptions while Navy’s Dana Fontana is ninth with 275 rushing yards.

This has been one of the most competitive rivalries in the American Athletic Conference with four of the last five meetings being decided by seven points or less.

Tulane Green Wave vs South Florida Bulls

Date, time (TV):(ESPNU)
Line: Tulane -12.5

Defense is the calling card for the Green Wave as they are one of two teams in the conference to allow less than 300 yards per game.

Tulane owns a win over nationally ranked Kansas State and opened 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2019.

South Florida’s defense is a mess, giving up a conference-high 475.5 yards per contest and 7.1 yards per play.
Former Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon has thrown more interceptions than touchdown passes in his first season at USF.

Tulane has won the last two meetings with the Green Wave outscoring USF 86-29 in those two contests. Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt threw for three touchdowns in the 2021 meeting.

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