The two ranked teams in the American (#15 UCF, #19 Louisville-rankings after Saturday) held serve in Week 11. Houston lost control of their destiny with their narrow loss to UCF, which also put the Knights in the AAC driver's seat for the rest of the season. UCF is now the only remaining unbeaten team in AAC play at 4-0. What did we learn this week? Whenever SMU is involved in a conference matchup, it's going to be interesting.
#20 Louisville 31, UConn 10: Poor UConn? The Huskies fell to 0-8 on the season (0-4 in AAC play) after getting thumped by the Cardinals. Louisville's defense started in early on UConn, blocking a punt for a touchdown in the first quarter. After the Huskies got on the board with a second quarter field goal, the Cardinals rattled off 24 straight points to put the game out of reach. Tim Boyle threw three interceptions for UConn, including a pick six to Terell Floyd. The Louisville defense held Boyle to 113 yards on 14-of-29 passing and limited the UConn rushing attack to 58 yards (1.8 per carry). Teddy Bridgewater had a pedestrian day going 21-of-37 passing for 288 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Bridgewater added 21 yards rushing on seven carries.
#21 UCF 19, Houston 14: Blake Bortles did not have his best game at quarterback for UCF on Saturday. Luckily for the Knights, neither did Houston signal caller John O'Korn. The quarterbacks combined for three interceptions and just one touchdown (O'Korn run). Storm Johnson had a strong game for UCF (28 carries, 127 yards) but it was freshman William Stanback who provided the offensive spark with two touchdown runs on nine carries. The Cougars had a real shot at staying unbeaten in conference play when they blocked a UCF field goal trailing 19-7. After the block, Houston went 53 yards on eight plays in just over two minutes to score a touchdown and then forced a three-and-out from the Knights with three minutes remaining. O'Korn led the Cougars down to the UCF 7-yard line but could not find a receiver for a game-winning score.
Cincinnati 28, SMU 25: SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert continues to pile up yards (403 passing yards, 14 rush yards, 3 total touchdowns) and give opponents fits. After SMU took a 10-0 lead, the Bearcats got going on offense and scored 28 unanswered points during the second and third quarters. Gilbert tossed two fourth quarter touchdowns and ran in a two-point conversion to trim the Cincinnati lead to three points but SMU was not able to recover an onside kick. Cincinnati's Brendon Kay bounced back from a rough start to finish with 299 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Mustangs will look back on two missed field goals and ponder what could have been while the Bearcats will be happy to have gotten a fourth straight conference victory.
Memphis 21, UT Martin 6: The Tigers picked up their second victory this season when they pulled away from the Skyhawks in the fourth quarter. Memphis only held a 7-6 advantage at the half but was able to snap a four-game slide by keeping UT Martin out of the endzone. The Liberty Bowl left upright also rejected two field goals by the Skyhawks kicker. Memphis had some mistakes to clean up (two turnovers, 12 penalties) but were at least able to not add their name to the list of American teams which lost to an FCS opponent.
Player of the Week: Garrett Gilbert, QB, SMU. In a losing effort, Gilbert was 38-of-47 passing for 403 yards and two touchdowns. Gilbert also rushed for a touchdown and 14 yards on seven carries and rushed for a two-point conversion.