Around the American Week 8: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

 Houston Cougars wide receiver Greg Ward Jr. (1) runs with the ball on a keeper during the first quarter against the Temple Owls at TDECU. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Cougars quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (1) runs with the ball on a keeper during the first quarter against the Temple Owls at TDECU. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Silver

We are starting to finally see some separation in the American. Right now, East Carolina, ranked No. 18, is the class of the league but don’t count out UCF, which is 4-2 after a win over Tulane this week and is starting to hit its stride.  

PrintThis week also brought us another good week out of Houston, which has been revitalized since Greg Ward Jr. has entered the lineup at quarterback. Houston beat Temple 31-10, beat Memphis last week, and is now 4-3 and perhaps dispelled the notion as the most disappointing team in the league. Cincinnati rolled SMU for its first league win and South Florida rallied from a 27-7 halftime deficit to beat Tulsa 38-30. 

To read more of this story, click here

Sunday presser: UConn’s football R&D project

UConn coach Bob Diaco will take the Huskies to East Carolina on Thursday.

UConn coach Bob Diaco will take the Huskies to East Carolina on Thursday.

John F. Silver

STORRS, Conn. — The UConn football team is in beta testing right now.

UConn head coach Bob Diaco, playing about 20 freshmen during the game, sends out the Huskies for a game and then goes back to the drawing board. Each week the Huskies are improving, tinkering and seeing what they havce and how it runs.

The only way to get better is to play. The only way to learn what the defenices are is to see them exposed on the field.

The Huskies have played six games this year. Each week, Diaco goes back to the laboratory to tweak and improve. It’s a painstaking process.

UConn is 1-5, and a frustrating 1-5 on top of it. The Huskies have been in every game since the season opener against BYU. The last five games — all games where the opponent has had 302 yards or less of offense — have led to a 1-4 record.

To read more of this story, click here

Commit: OT Bryan Cespedes, New London, CT

John F. Silver

UConn picked up its second commit in three days and its first offensive lineman as New London tackle Brian Cespedes committed to the Huskies on Friday.  

The Huskies now have 17 official commits for the 2015 class and picked up their first offensive lineman, a weak spot on the team.

To read more of this story, click here

Commit: WR Tyraiq Beals, (East Orange, N.J.)

 

John F. Silver

UConn received a verbal commitment from WR Tyraiq Beals of  East Orange, New Jersey, as the Huskies added a third wide receiver to the class of 2015.  

Beals camped with UConn this summer and started to receive a lot of interest after the camp circuit. Beals was being recruited by Rutgers, Temple and Virginia and the Huskies saw some senior season film before offering. They were the first to pull the trigger on an offer and the Huskies locked down their third WR of the class. The Huskies have a commitment from 6-foot-5 Frank Battle from Miami and well as 6-6 wide receiver Aaron McLean of Massachusetts.

Beals leads the state of New Jersey in receiving through six weeks with 41 catches for 622 yards and eight touchdowns in six weeks.

To read more of this story, click here

Silver’s Top 25 Ballot: Miss. State No. 1, Rutgers enters

Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen with his daughter Breelyn Mullen celebrate their 38-23 victory over the Auburn Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen with his daughter Breelyn Mullen celebrate their 38-23 victory over the Auburn Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

 

John F. Silver

The season makes complete sense right now. Who had Mississippi State No. 1? A year ago, Dan Mullen was a dark horse rumor to UConn with his upcoming dismissal from Mississippi State. He won some games towards the end, and here you go he has me putting him at No. 1 in the land. Big changes can happen in college football year to year and I think Mississippi State has been more impressive than Florida State. Ole Miss looks very good and I love me some Baylor Bears, though the defense is frightening. You can win with dominant offense and no defense, hard to do it the other way around. Some of the poll make no sense. USC beat both Arizona and Stanford, but I have two loss USC behind both of them. Arizona beat Oregon, but I have Pregon ahead. I think Oregon’s win over UCLA earned them the mulligan. The poll will sort itself out. It’s not survivor. Every week is independent. I threw Rutgers in there because I don’t think Minnesota or Iowa are that much different. Why not put the Scarlet Knights 25?  East Carolina sneak by, Marshall is undefeated.  East Carolina could run the table and will get the G5 auto-bid. But, will a 2 loss ECU beat out undefeated Marshall? Hmm. Maybe. I don’t know. Best for the Pirates to keep winning. Marshall will break into the Top 25 soon. As always, criticize away.  

Silver’s Top 25 Ballot

1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Ole Miss
4. Baylor
5. Notre Dame
6. Auburn
7. Alabama
8. Michigan State
9. Georgia
10. TCU
11. Oklahoma
12. Oregon
13. Ohio State
14. Arizona
15. Oklahoma State
16. East Carolina
17. Kansas St.
18. Arizona State
19. Marshall
20. Stanford
21. Southern California
22. Clemson
23. Washington
24. Duke
25. Rutgers

Here is the full AP Poll with Mississippi State No. 1

Postgame wrap: Offensive struggles continue

Connecticut Huskies quarterback Chandler Whitmer (10) is sacked by Tulane Green Wave defensive end Royce LaFrance (48) in the fourth quarter at Yulman Stadium. Tulane defeated Connecticut 12-3. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Connecticut Huskies quarterback Chandler Whitmer (10) is sacked by Tulane Green Wave defensive end Royce LaFrance (48) in the fourth quarter at Yulman Stadium. Tulane defeated Connecticut 12-3. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Silver

NEW ORLEANS — The goal the last two weeks for the UConn offense was the scale things back and try and do a small contingent of plays well.

The Huskies were going to get back to basics and try and find someway to generate offense.

The only thing that was scaled back was the scoring.

The Huskies scored only three points and had another sub 300-yard offensive game managing 217 yards in a 12-3 loss to Tulane before 23,076 fans.

The Huskies (1-5, 0-3 American)) scaled back on offense all right. They were different, went with quick throws early to isolate receivers, got Arkeel Newsome involved with Ron Johnson spelling him at running back. They tried. They mixed things up. They tried to cover up weaknesses. UConn took the pass rush out of the equation for a three quarters by going with quick dropbacks.

But, the production still wasn’t there. And, the turnovers were all over the place.

To read more of this story, click here

Recap: Tulane 12, UConn 3

Result: Tulane dropped the struggling Huskies to 1-5 with a 12-3 win at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans.

Need to know: What you need to know is that the Huskies  lost another frustrating game, managed only 214 yards of offense, and had three turnovers, all in Tulane territory. UConn visited Tulane territory eight times, came away with a field goal (opening drive of the game), punted three times,  committed three turnovers and missed a field goal late. All of that added up to UConn’s lowest point total since a 26-0 loss to Louisville in 2010.  The Huskies are in a bit of a catch 22 as Arkeel Newsome is a playmaker that needs to play, and had 40 yards receiving, 47 on a kickoff and 27 on three catches. He also fumbled twice in Tulane territory. Chandler Whitmer was 17 of 24 passing for 141 yards, but was sacked four times. The Huskies also had a safety. UConn took a 3-0 lead on a Bobby Puyol field goal, but Tulane’s Nick Montana drove Tulane 80 yards on six plays finishing with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Charles Jones. Tulane added a safety in the third quarter, after backing UConn up, the fifth-time in six games the Huskies’ offense has surrendered points directly.   Geremy Davis led UConn with 63 yards receiving on right catches. UConn’s defense gave up 302 yards of total offense. They’ve held the last 5 opponents to 302 yards are less and are 1-4 in those games.

Links: AP |Box 

Next up: UConn will have another bye week and will head to play East Carolina on a Thursday, Oct. 23 in Greenville, N.C.