Despite a couple of scares, the top teams in the American conference held their place in the standings. UCF, unbeaten in AAC play, scored an improbable last second victory over Temple. Louisville had to grind out a win against Houston. Cincinnati was more fortunate and had a very comfortable and impressive win over Rutgers. What did we learn about the American in Week 12? UCF might have already locked up the American's BCS bid by dodging a potential upset.
#17 UCF 39, Temple 36: The Knights got all they wanted from Temple which has made a habit of putting a scare in teams this season. Everything started well for UCF with a safety and a field goal in the first quarter against the Owls. The teams traded scores from the second quarter onward and Temple had a lead that appeared would hold up. However, UCF was able to rally and score the game-tying touchdown and the game-winning field goal in under two minutes. Blake Bortles threw for four touchdowns and a career-high 404 yards for UCF. P.J. Walker was just as impressive for the Owls with 382 yards passing and four touchdowns to go along with his 41 rush yards and a rushing touchdown. J.J. Worton also had a career day receiving for the Knights with three touchdowns and 179 yards.
#20 Louisville 20, Houston 13: Neither starting quarterback was able to throw a touchdown in the game. The Cardinals survived a scare from the Cougars thanks to Dominique Brown's breakout day on the ground. Brown finished with 137 yards (career-high) and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the third quarter. Houston's powerful offense was held to just 195 yards (41 in the second half) by Louisville's stout defense. The Cardinals still need help to win the conference after Temple was unable to complete an upset of UCF.
Cincinnati 52, Rutgers 17: Cincinnati poured on the points in the first quarter, racing out to a 24-7 lead, and then never looked back during their rout of the Scarlet Knights in Piscataway. Rutgers never threatened in this game, nor were they able to slow down Bearcat quarterback Brendon Kay. Kay finished with 405 yards passing and four touchdowns as Cincinnati rattled off their fifth win in a row. Rutgers fell to 5-4 on the season and 2-3 in conference play.
SMU 38, UConn 21: Garrett Gilbert and SMU added to UConn's miseries this season. Gilbert threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns and added 23 yards rushing in the win. UConn was in the game until quarterback Casey Cochran threw a pick six with a little over three minutes remaining. The winless Huskies were hurt by a slow start in the game and were down 21-7 at the half. SMU improved to 4-5 on the season and still have a shot to make a bowl game.
Memphis 23, USF 10: Offensively, this game was offensive. The teams combined for seven turnovers and just two touchdowns on offense. However, heading into the fourth quarter this was a competitive game at 6-3 in Memphis' favor. The Tigers were able to score 17 straight points, including a pick six to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. USF was able to avoid being held without a touchdown for a fifth time this season when they scored their only touchdown of the game with under a minute to play.
Player of the Week: J.J Worton, WR, UCF. Worton's big day of 10 catches for 179 yards and three touchdowns helped UCF avoid a costly loss to upset-minded Temple. We were also treated to this fantastic one-handed grab by Worton.