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Around The American: Week 1 Football Roundup

How did the other 11 teams in The American fare this weekend? It’s pretty great to be a Houston fan right now. Not so much a Temple fan.

NCAA Football: Texas Kickoff-Oklahoma vs Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Each week we’ll review how the rest of USF’s conference mates did. All 12 teams were in action this past weekend - let’s review the results in approximate order of importance.

Houston 33, Oklahoma 23

I think the whole idea of a single game determining someone’s worth to the Big XII is ridiculous. It’s not like the Big XII has talent scouts at all these games, wearing dark sunglasses and carrying binoculars and clipboards like Little League tryouts, or the zoo scene in Anchorman.

Houston, though... that was a convincing win over the preseason Big XII favorite. The game wasn’t even as close as the score indicates, because the Cougars fumbled at the goal line trying to make the score 40-17. They worked their favorable matchups (and they had quite a few), took advantage of every Oklahoma mistake, allowed Bob Stoops plenty of space to Big Game Bob things up real bad, and earned their victory.

Plus they did this:

The mothership has it right. If the Big XII doesn’t include Houston, they skeered. In the meantime, it’s time to wait for Houston Twitter to completely ruin everyone’s love for Houston by being obnoxious jerks.

Army 28, Temple 13

OHHHHHHHHHHHHH TEMPLE. The Owls actually did a pretty good job against Army’s triple option for awhile. But in the second half the Black Knights mashed them out for two long touchdown drives that took a total of 13:42 off the clock. Converted linebacker Andy Davidson led Army with 121 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile, P.J. Philip Walker had an absolutely horrible game for Temple. He was just 12-of-26 passing, took four sacks, and threw three interceptions. Two were on Temple’s last two possessions, the first of which Army converted for the game-clinching score. The running game struggled to replace Jahad Thomas, gaining just 83 yards.

And to top off a truly awful night for the cherry and white, news came out right before the game that Temple had been crossed off the Big XII’s expansion candidate list. Oof.

Cincinnati 28, Tennessee-Martin 7

This looked like trouble in river city for awhile. The Skyhawks went right down the field on Cincinnati’s chronically shaky defense for the opening score of the game, and it took a long time for the Bearcats’ offense to get in gear. Like, a really long time. Cincinnati didn’t take the lead until late in the third quarter, when new starter Kellen Moore threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Kahlil Lewis. A Mike Boone rushing touchdown and a late pick-six by Tyrell Gibbert padded out the final score.

Side note: If you want to bet on the college football coach most likely to pull a June Jones and completely mail it in this year, Tommy Tuberville is the overwhelming favorite.

UConn 24, Maine 21

The Huskies tried really hard to blow this game. They probably would have if Maine’s kicker wasn’t so college kicker-y. Patrick Leonard missed a 37-yarder badly in the first half, then had a 47-yarder blocked late in the fourth quarter that would have given the Black Bears the lead. After the second miss, UConn drove downfield for a 37-yard field goal from Bobby Puyol with 11 seconds left for the win.

Maine’s Jaleel Reed, who only had 128 career receiving yards before the game, caught eight passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. Also, this happened to UConn quarterback Bryant Shirreffs:

He made up for it by rushing for a game-high 95 yards and completing 16 of 23 passes.

C.Florida 38, South Carolina State 0

The free beer is over in Orlando as the Knights finally broke their 13-game losing streak. Tre’Quan Smith caught four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, and UCF outgained the wildly outmatched Bulldogs 462-223. South Carolina State also committed 13 penalties (several of the frustration variety) for 138 yards.

The Knights still have problems at quarterback, where Justin Holman was only 12-for-24 passing. And the run game isn’t clicking yet (55 carries for 197 yards). But at least the 0 is gone from the front of their record.

Navy 52, Fordham 16

Here’s another team that didn’t have any problems with their FCS warmup opponent. The Midshipmen ran for 427 yards on Fordham, averaging over eight yards per carry. Chris High led the way with 176 yards on only 10 carries, scoring twice. Navy threw the ball four times and completed them all.

The highlight of this game was when Navy pulled their third-string quarterback out of the stands and put him in uniform after starter Tago Smith was injured.

Malcolm Perry was sick in the week leading up to the game, and the Navy coaches didn’t expect to need him. So he marched into the stadium in his dress whites with the rest of the brigade. When Smith went down, though, the call went out for Perry. He got into uniform at halftime, then ran seven times for 30 yards in the second half.

Wake Forest 7, Tulane 3

We’ve only played one week, but I’m fairly sure the worst game of 2016 has already taken place. This game was absolutely appalling. Tulane took the field in their badass new helmets and controlled the game statistically under new coach Willie Fritz. They held the Demon Deacons to 175 total yards and kept the ball for 35 minutes, but could not create any scoring chances after their first possession of the game.

Unlike Rodger, I only watched the last few minutes of this train wreck, when the Green Wave were trying to mount a winning drive. Glen Cuiellette (a name I did not even try to spell correctly) threw seven passes and most of them sailed deep into the benches. He also took a fourth-down sack to end the game. He’s awful. It makes me angry USF doesn’t get to play Tulane this year.

East Carolina 52, Western Carolina 7

New Pirates quarterback Philip Nelson, he of the rather sordid past, was almost flawless, completing 28 of 32 passes for 398 yards and five touchdowns for debuting Pirates coach Scottie Montgomery. ECU racked up 688 total yards and got all the starters out of the game by the middle of the third quarter. Zay Scott had 10 catches for 180 yards.

Western Carolina also had a new starting quarterback, Tyrie Adams, who did not fare as well as Nelson. He replaced four-year starter Troy Mitchell, who USF fans remember from that ridiculous 44-for-64 performance in Tampa a couple years ago.

Memphis 35, Southeast Missouri State 17

The Tigers, shockingly left off of the Big XII’s list of final candidates, jumped out to a 29-0 lead in the second quarter, then kind of messed around for the rest of the game in Mike Norvell’s debut. Riley Ferguson threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns, and running back Doroland Dorceus scored touchdowns on the ground and through the air.

THIS WEEK IN #MENPHIS: The start of the second half was delayed by 10 minutes because the power went out in the press box and in the Liberty Bowl’s surrounding area.

SMU 34, North Texas 21

The last time SMU visited Denton, North Texas retired June Jones with a humiliating 43-6 beatdown. This time the Mustangs took a quick 17-0 lead in the first quarter and didn’t look back. Courtland Sutton caught four passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns, including an 88-yarder from Ben Hicks, who played a few series in place of regular starter Matt Davis. Xavier Jones ran for 115 yards and a touchdown, and SMU’s defense intercepted Alec Morris three times.

Tulsa 45, San Jose State 10

The Golden Hurricane jumped on San Jose State early and often. They scored two defensive touchdowns and led 38-7 at halftime. Tulsa ran for 305 yards, led by D’Angelo Russell with 164 yards and three touchdowns. Keevan Lucas returned from the knee injury that ended his 2015 season to catch six passes for 112 yards.