Another compelling week has come and gone in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and there’s some movement in the rankings with the conference and the Top 25 nationwide. The Universities of Central and South Florida continue to represent the AAC at 20 and 16, respectively. The bad news for the American is that Navy has fallen the below the #25 mark. But the good news is that the University of Memphis was launched into that sport by defeating the Midshipmen.
While Navy stays on top of the Western Division, the loss to the Tigers makes the race even tighter. Both teams are 5-1 overall, but the Tigers 2-1 record has them a half-game back of the Naval Academy (3-1). Not to be forgotten, the University of Houston Cougars are only one game back overall at 4-2, also with a 2-1 conference record. With Navy facing UCF next week, and Houston and Memphis facing off on the coming Thursday, 10/19, there’s a lot that could change in the division lead.
The heads of the East are still the same with UCF and USF dominating their respective opponents East Carolina and Cincinnati. This gives each school a solid conference victory putting both teams undefeated overall. The Bulls still hold a half-game lead at 6-0 versus the Knights, 5-0. South Florida takes on the Tulane Green Wave and Central Florida faces the unique challenge of Navy’s Triple Option offense in Annapolis, Maryland.
We can’t seem to mention enough about the Knights, Bulls, and Tigers this week as they accounted for the American’s Players of the Week. Sharing Special Teams Player of the Week honors is UCF defensive back Mike Hughes, who returned a punt for a 66-yard touchdown. It’s the first for UCF in a decade, amidst his 118 in total return yardage on the night. For that are keeping score, that’s an average of 39.3 yards per attempt for Hughes. USF kicker Emilio Nadelman took home the other half of this week’s award bombing in four field goals and three extra points for 15 total on the scoreboard.
Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton keeps the Black and Gold in the conversation earning his second 2017 selection as the AAC Offensive Player of the Week. Milton zipped 324 yards passing with two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground to lead his offense for his program’s third straight game with 500+ yards.
And finally, Memphis defensive back Austin Hall was involved in three of the five turnovers his team snagged to beat Navy. This helped the Tigers sail into the #25 spot in the rankings and Hall into the books as the Defensive Player of the Week.