BCP, October 2, 2018– The American Athletic Conference is catching fire yet again, seeking rightful recognition around the nation. Let’s reflect on some conference stand-points and records to keep stored in your college history brain files.
A few Power6 benchmarks:
Three teams from The American’s East Division remain unbeaten through Week 5. Cincinnati stands at 5-0, while UCF and USF are both 4-0. The American’s East Division is the only division in college football with three undefeated teams. The American and the SEC are the only conferences with at least three unbeaten teams.
The nation’s longest winning streak reached 17 games (UCF), teams from The American scored three more non-conference wins and two teams won their respective conference openers in a thrilling fifth week of the CFB season.
USF recorded their first conference win in a defensive and special teams’ showdown versus Eastern Carolina, 20-13. That victory was the program’s 150th win, now holding the record as Florida’s fastest team to do so in 255 games.
Bulls nation led the stampede with a home crowd turn-out of 34,562- a high peak for USF in Raymond James Stadium this year. Australian punter Trent Schneider recorded a 72-yard punt which is now tied for the longest punt in team history- averaging 49.22 with 443 total punt yards on 9 kicks. RB Jordan Cronkrite finished with 129 yards on 15 carries and a TD. That score goes down in South Florida’s books as the longest touchdown run since Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s 75-yarder at ECU last season.
UCF was on point in non-conference action as the Knights extended their conference-record winning streak to 17 games with a dominate 45-14 win against Pitt at Spectrum Stadium with a home attendance of 44,904. QB McKenzie Milton figured in six touchdowns for the second straight week as the Heisman Trophy candidate threw for 328 yards and four TDs and rushed for 51 yards and two scores. RB Adrian Killins set the tone in the passing game with three catches for 140 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown.
For the Books:
USF registered back-to-back seasons with double-digit wins for the first time in program history- the Bulls are 21-4 since 2016. Quarterback Quinton Flowers finished his career as the American Athletic Conference all-time leader in total offense, amassing 11,802 yards. Flowers became the fourth player in NCAA FBS history to post 8,000 passing yards and 3,500 rushing yards in a career. Adding to South Florida’s track record, USF also tied for the national lead with 20 interceptions in 2017.
Heisman candidate and star quarterback McKenzie Milton was honored 2017 Offensive player of the year as a sophomore for UCF, landing the 8th spot among votes in Heisman hopeful campaign. Only two players of the seven above Milton returned for 2018, along with his former head coach Scott Frost who won coach of the year with an undefeated 13-0 record. Central Florida was the first FBS team to finish the season without a loss since Florida State’s 14-0 run in 2013, winning their third AAC title, ranking 6th in the final AP poll of the season.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor