5 AAC college football dates to watch during 2022 season – Orlando Sentinel

The American Athletic Conference released its 2022 football schedule Thursday, setting up some crucial conference matchups. Here are key dates on the schedule to keep an eye on during the upcoming season:
UCF allowed a season-high 631 yards to SMU, which snapped a 5-game losing streak in the series with a 55-28 victory. (Courtesy of UCF Athletics)
Key games on this date: SMU at UCF; Cincinnati at Tulsa; Temple at Memphis
The Buzz: Rhett Lashlee returns to SMU, where he served as offensive coordinator in 2018-19, but now he’s the Mustangs’ head coach. UCF had its 5-game winning streak against SMU snapped last season as Tanner Mordecai passed for 377 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Mustangs scored 31 straight points to cruise to a 55-28 win.
Cincinnati has won three straight games against Tulsa since 2019, including a 27-24 win that gave the Bearcats the AAC Championship in 2020 and secured a spot in the New Year’s Six Access bowl. Cincinnati enters this season riding a 16-game conference winning streak.
The home team has won the last five meetings between Temple and Memphis, including the Owls’ 34-31 win last season.
Houston quarterback Clayton Tune, throwing a pass during of a Nov. 19 game vs. Memphis, snapped a 5-game losing streak to the Tigers. (Eric Christian Smith/AP)
Key game on this date: Houston at Memphis
The Buzz: The 31st meeting between these programs, including their time as members of Conference USA. Houston has faced Memphis every season since 2009, but that could end with the Cougars’ move to the Big 12, possibly in 2023. UH snapped a 5-game losing streak to the Tigers last season as Clayton Tune had a rushing and passing touchdown in a 31-13 win.
Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell has the 2nd-longest home winning streak in the nation at 27 at Nippert Stadium, only behind Clemson with 34 in a row. (Aaron Doster/AP)
Key games on this date: Cincinnati at UCF; SMU at Tulsa
The Buzz: Cincinnati extended its winning streak over UCF to 3 games with a 56-21 win at Nippert Stadium. The Bearcats enter next season riding a 27-game home winning streak, the second-longest in the nation behind Clemson (34).
SMU and Tulsa previously faced off as members of the WAC and Conference USA, with the Golden Hurricane winning 6 of the last 8 meetings, including 2 in a row. The Mustangs haven’t won at H.A. Chapman Stadium since 2009 (0-5).
Houston coach Dana Holgorsen, on the sideline against SMU on Oct. 30, escaped with a win over SMU when Marcus Jones returned a kickoff 100 yards in the final seconds. (JUSTIN REX/AP)
Key games on this date: UCF at Memphis; Houston at SMU
The Buzz: While not necessarily considered rivals, UCF and Memphis have played some memorable games in conference history. The Knights won 13 straight games, including back-to-back victories against the Tigers in the conference championship game in 2017-18.
The second half of the season presents a difficult challenge for SMU, which features home contests against Cincinnati, Houston and Memphis. The Mustangs had won two of the last three meetings but lost a heartbreaker in 2021 when UH’s Marcus Jones returned a kickoff 100 yards in the final seconds.
UCF backup quarterback Parker Navarro dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the regular-season finale vs. USF on Nov. 26. (Willie J. Allen Jr. / XX)
Key games on this date: UCF at USF; Tulane at Cincinnati; Tulsa at Houston
The Buzz: Due to a quirk in the schedule, one of these three games will move to Black Friday.
With UCF’s impending departure to the Big 12, this could be the final War on I-4 meeting with USF, at least for the foreseeable future. The Knights have won 5 straight in this rivalry, including 2 in a row at Raymond James Stadium. Couple that with wins in the Gasparilla Bowl in 2019 and 2020, UCF is 4-0 in Tampa since 2018.
Cincinnati wraps up its regular season by hosting Tulane for the sixth time since 1966. The Bearcats haven’t lost to the Green Wave during their collective time in the American (5-0) and the last road loss came in 1998.
Houston can make it four consecutive wins and 7 of 8 when the Cougars host Tulsa. This series began in the 1950s and continued as members in Conference USA and the AAC.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.
Copyright © 2022, Orlando Sentinel
Copyright © 2022, Orlando Sentinel


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