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Around The American: Week 2 Football Recap

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A massive mental error in the first conference game of the year and East Carolina’s annual upset of an ACC school lead this week’s headlines.

NCAA Football: Connecticut at Navy
“HOW DO I TIMEOUT” - Bob Diaco
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s our weekly recap of how the other teams in The American fared this past weekend, ranked in relative order of importance.

Navy 28, UConn 24

Navy raced out to a 21-0 lead, only to see the Huskies score 24 unanswered points to grab the lead. Bryant Shirreffs had an almost perfect passing day, completing 23 of 26 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown. Even when the Midshipmen put together a late touchdown drive to regain the lead, UConn answered with a drive all the way to the Navy 1-yard line and it looked like the Huskies would get the victory. Until...

Yes, the Huskies tried to run it up the middle with no timeouts, got stuffed, forgot they had no timeouts, and watched the clock run out. Game over. And for those of us who are extremely tired of UConn fans laughing at our last-second disasters over the years, and even comparing meltdowns in completely different sports by completely different teams to ours... what a time to be alive!

For more, click here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here.

East Carolina 33, NC State 30

The Pirates have now won six straight games against ACC teams. Here’s why: they have nothing else to look forward to. No one wants to invite them to a better conference. They’re unlikely to win this conference unless all the good teams leave. So when the state of North Carolina forces UNC or NC State to go to Greenville and play them*, it’s the freaking national championship for ECU.

(And also because NC State is a classic fake good team. Schedule absolute trash out of conference, beat Syracuse and Wake Forest and Virginia every year, win a low-rent bowl game, and claim your 8-5 was a good season. This loss has been coming for about three years.)

Anyway, the game. It was a fun, back-and-forth contest that was finally won by East Carolina on an Anthony Scott touchdown run. The five-yard score capped off a 14-play, 84-yard drive that took almost half the fourth quarter. Who would have thought ECU was capable of mashing another team out like that late in a game? We may have to keep an eye on them.

* Can’t help you here, Virginia Tech. No one made you agree to that 10-year home-and-home.

Cincinnati 38, Purdue 20

The Bearcats improved on their week one performance offensively, and collected five interceptions from Purdue quarterback David Blough for a fairly easy win. Surprisingly, Cincinnati ran for more yards (262) than they passed for (250). Wide receiver Kahlil Lewis led the team in rushing with his 79-yard run. Mike Boone was right behind with 78.

This was the return visit for a game these two teams played to begin the 2013 season. It was Tommy Tuberville’s first game at Cincinnati and Darell Hazell’s first game at Purdue, and the Bearcats won 42-7. Hazell only has seven wins at West Lafayette, and four were against FCS teams. Purdue is where head coaching careers go to die.

Michigan 51, UCF 14

For the first time ever, I might have overestimated UCF coming into this season. Granted they had a big talent disadvantage yesterday, and they did pop a couple big plays on offense (notably elfin Adrian Killins’ 87-yard touchdown run) so you can see what they eventually want to do. But it’s going to take a little longer than I thought to put the pieces together. Add to that the multiple blocked kicks and the horrible passing game and... yeah. Justin Holman, who left the game with an injury, and backup Nick Patti combined to go just 6-of-22 for 56 yards.

Baylor 40, SMU 13

SMU has reached the “we can hang with you for a half” portion of the Chad Morris rebuild project. They certainly did that in Waco yesterday, holding Baylor without a touchdown and going into the locker room tied 6-6. But the Mustangs’ squandered scoring chances in that first half came back to bite them when the Bears scored touchdowns on their first three second-half possessions to take control. Ben Hicks, filling in for the injured Matt Davis, threw for 229 yards, and SMU ran the ball unexpectedly well. But Hicks only completed 17 of 44 passes and threw three interceptions.

Ohio State 48, Tulsa 3

The Buckeyes were sluggish out of the gate, like many of the top teams facing inferior competition were this weekend, but Tulsa was so horrible they couldn’t help but pull away to a big win. The Golden Hurricane were undone by six turnovers, including four interceptions thrown by Dane Evans. They gained only 188 total yards and their only points came following a 19-yard drive. Ohio State returned two of Evans’s interceptions for touchdowns late in the second quarter, which gave them a 20-3 lead. When J.T. Barrett scored on the first possession of the second half, the rout was on.

Houston 42, Lamar 0

Greg Ward, Jr. didn’t play in this game as a precaution. Not that Houston needed him. Backup Kyle Postma and running backs Kevrin Justin and Mulbah Car* all ran for over 100 yards, while the FCS Cardinals gained only 73 yards from scrimmage. The game was a complete bore, and after a three-hour, 36-minute weather delay in the first quarter, many fans from the announced sellout crowd decided to call it a day. Houston should face a sterner test Thursday night when they travel to Cincinnati for one of three potentially tough conference road games.

* THIS CANNOT BE A REAL NAME

Temple 38, Stony Brook 0

The Owls bounced back from their borderline shocking loss to Army by making quick work of Stony Brook. Temple’s win was triggered by their defense, which held the FCS Seawolves to 133 total yards and seven first downs while collecting four takeaways. Philip Walker continued to struggle, completing only 11 of 23 passes, but three went for touchdowns. Temple had a 35-0 lead by the middle of the third quarter and then pretty much messed around the rest of the game.

Tulane 66, Southern 21

Willie Fritz’s first win was the result of an overwhelming rushing attack. Fritz clearly figured out that the Green Wave are going to be a horrendous passing team and didn’t even attempt it against the FCS Jaguars. Johnathan Brantley and Glen Cuillette combined to throw only six times, but Brantley led a brutally effective ground game that had two 100-yard rushers (Brantley and Dontrell Hilliard) and rolled up 437 rushing yards. Tulane also got a 96-yard pick-six and a kickoff return for a score on their way to a 49-7 halftime lead.

Bye Week

Memphis had this week off.