American Week Eleven Preview
The two remaining unbeaten teams in American Athletic conference play face off as Houston (7-1, 4-0 American) visits No. 21 UCF (6-1, 3-0 American). The winner takes sole possession of first place in the conference and controls its own destiny to a BCS bid. Both teams have found success on offense, as Houston leads The American in scoring (41.1 ppg), while UCF ranks third (37.0). Houston QB John O’Korn and UCF QB Blake Bortles rank in the top four in the conference in both passing yards and passer efficiency. The teams have met four times since 2005 with UCF claiming three of the victories, including most recently at home in 2010.
Cincinnati (6-2, 3-1 American) welcomes SMU (3-4, 2-1 American) and the conference’s leading passer, Garrett Gilbert. The senior quarterback has passed for 2,634 yards and 15 touchdowns, including 538 yards and four touchdowns in the team’s 59-49 victory over Temple two weeks ago. Cincinnati has won three-straight conference games over Temple, Connecticut and Memphis. The Bearcats are led by a defense that has not allowed more than 21 points in a game since September 7 against Illinois. SMU and Cincinnati have not met previously.
No. 20 Louisville (7-1, 3-1 American) makes a Friday night trip to play Connecticut (0-7, 0-3 American). While QB Teddy Bridgewater steals the headlines for Louisville, the defense has put together a stellar season, ranking second nationally in scoring defense (10.6 ppg). In the Cardinals’ seven wins, they have allowed seven points or less five times. Connecticut plays its second-straight ranked foe after falling on the road at UCF, 62-17, in week 10. UConn defeated Louisville on the road last season, and has won four of the last six meetings.
Memphis (1-6, 0-4 American) plays its final non-conference game of the season, hosting FCS foe UT Martin (6-3, 4-2 OVC).