After Week 14 of the 2013 college football season, the picture has become really clear in The American. What we learned is that UCF has already claimed a share of the conference title and could win the AAC outright with a victory over SMU next week. Temple's win this week also ensured that no team will finish this season winless in AAC play.
#19 UCF 23, USF 20: It was not easy for UCF to claim a piece of the first American conference title–their five turnovers and ineffective running game helped give USF a chance to pull off the upset. The win was the first for the Knights in the brief series between the teams. Quarterback Blake Bortles, who had been so key in UCF's run this season, had a bad game overall with three turnovers but delivered the game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. USF had a chance to respond but Mike White's pass was picked off at the UCF 26 with a little over a minute to play.
Houston 34, SMU 0: The Cougars forced four turnovers in the shutout victory over SMU. The Mustangs missed Garrett Gilbert badly while suffering their first shutout since 2004 against Fresno State. Backup quarterback Neal Burcham started in place of an injured Gilbert and was just 27-of-52 passing for 212 yards, three interceptions and zero touchdowns. Houston quarterback John O'Korn had an up and down day (two touchdowns, two interceptions) for Houston which was happy to snap a three-game slide which put them out of the race in the AAC.
UConn 28, Rutgers 17: Rutgers' margin for error in trying to qualify for a bowl game became non-existent after a shock loss to UConn on the road. The Scarlet Knights held the lead through three quarters, 17-14. UConn scored quickly on a sustained drive to take the lead early in the fourth quarter utilizing an uncharacteristically good passing game. The Huskies signal caller Casey Cochran was 25-of-33 for 311 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Rutgers got nothing on the ground all game and was unable to lean on the passing game when a rally was needed down two scores. With the UConn win, the Huskies and Rutgers are tied in conference play at 2-5.
Temple 41, Memphis 21: Temple got their first American conference win with a convincing rout of Memphis on Saturday. The Owls more than doubled the Tigers' total yards and got four touchdown passes from quarterback P.J. Walker, who also threw for 328 yards. Memphis seemingly got back into the game early in the third quarter when the Tigers cut the lead to 17-14. On the next possession, the Owls started to pull away for good with a quick strike for a 75-yard touchdown pass. Memphis had a punt blocked for a Temple touchdown soon after the long bomb.
Player of the Week: Daniel Spencer, WR, Houston: Spencer was the go-to receiver in the Cougars bounce back win over SMU, finishing with seven grabs for 100 yards and a touchdown.