American Week Eight Preview
No. 6 Louisville (6-0, 2-0 AAC) plays its second-straight weeknight game, hosting UCF (4-1, 1-0 AAC) on Friday. The Cardinals picked off two fourth-quarter passes to survive a Thursday night clash with Rutgers, 24-10, and keep their perfect record intact. UCF and Louisville have been stingy on defense, both ranking in the top 15 in points allowed. The Knights have not played since defeating Memphis in week six.
Memphis (1-4, 0-2 AAC) returns home to face SMU (1-4, 0-1 AAC). The Tigers and Mustangs are riding two-and-three game losing streaks, respectively, but have each lost close games in recent weeks. Memphis lost by a touchdown at home to UCF and by ten points to undefeated Houston on the road, while SMU took Rutgers to triple overtime before falling, 55-52, in week six. SMU has won its last two meetings over Memphis.
Connecticut (0-5, 0-1 AAC) makes its second road-trip of the season, traveling to Cincinnati (4-2, 1-1 AAC). The Bearcats evened their conference record with a home win over Temple in week seven. Senior QB Brendon Kay had one of his best games since taking over for injured starter Munchie Legaux, tossing for 270 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Owls. UConn begins a tough three-week stretch featuring a road game at UCF and a home matchup against Louisville.
Houston (5-0, 2-0 AAC) faces one of its toughest tests of the season to date, hosting BYU (4-2). Brigham Young has won three-straight games by 17 points or more, including an 18-point home win against Georgia Tech last weekend. Houston has started 5-0 for the second time in the past three seasons, ranking in the top 25 nationally in both points for and points allowed. The game features a contrast in offensive styles as Houston relies on a passing attack that averages 287.8 yards per game, while BYU rushes for 263.0 yards per contest.
Temple (0-6, 0-3 AAC) completes its nonconference slate with a home game against Army (3-4). The Owls lost their seventh-straight game last Friday, falling 38-20 on the road at Cincinnati. Army defeated Eastern Michigan, 50-25, behind a school-record 304 rushing yards and four touchdowns from RB Terry Baggett. Temple has won five-straight against Army with its last loss coming in 2007.