American Week Twelve Previews
Houston (7-2, 4-1 American) travels to No. 20 Louisville (8-1, 4-1 American) for its second-straight road game against a ranked opponent. The Cougars suffered their first conference defeat last weekend, falling 19-14 at UCF. The matchup features the top two scoring offenses in the conference with Louisville averaging 38.4 points per contest, and Houston close behind at 38.1 points per game, despite only scoring two touchdowns against the Knights. The Cardinals won 31-10 at Connecticut last Friday night. The teams last met in 2004 as members of Conference USA.
No. 17 UCF (7-1, 4-0 American) makes its first road trip since an October 18 trip to Louisville when it visits Temple (1-8, 0-5 American) this weekend. The Knights sit atop the conference standings as the only unbeaten team after beating Houston, 19-14. UCF held the Cougars out of the end zone on their final drive to secure the win and reach their highest ever national ranking in this week’s polls. The Knights defense continued its stellar play, lowering its points allowed to 18.6 per game. Temple returns home following a two-game road stretch at SMU and Rutgers, both losses.
Rutgers (5-3, 2-2 American) welcomes Cincinnati (7-2, 4-1 American) to Piscataway for a conference matchup. The Bearcats come in riding a four-game winning streak in which they have scored more than 35 points per game. Cincinnati begins a three-game stretch to end the season featuring trips to Rutgers and Houston, and then a home game against No. 20 Louisville. Rutgers snapped a two-game skid with a 23-20 win over Temple in week 10 before sitting idle this past weekend. Rutgers has won two-straight over Cincinnati following a five-game skid from 2006-2010.
SMU (3-5, 2-2 American) hosts Connecticut (0-8, 0-4 American) for the second time in school history. The teams have met once previously with SMU claiming a 31-30 win over UConn in 1989 before the Huskies joined the FBS. SMU has established one of the best passing attacks in the nation behind quarterback Garrett Gilbert. The senior transfer has tossed for 3,037 yards and 17 touchdowns, including back-to-back 400-yard games against Temple and Cincinnati. UConn junior Lyle McCombs ranks third in the conference in all-purpose yardage, accumulating 112 yards per game.
Memphis (2-6, 0-4 American) and South Florida (2-6, 2-2 American) meet in Florida for the first time since playing in the 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl. The Bulls started 2-0 in conference play before dropping games against Louisville and Houston to even their record at .500. Despite being winless in conference play, Memphis ranks fourth in the conference in scoring defense, allowing just 21.9 points per contest. USF holds a 3-2 record in the series dating back to 2001.