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Up-and-down Houston enjoyed an up week | AAC Football Notes

Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER

Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 4:48 PM

Houston quarterback D'Eriq King throws a pass against South Florida during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Is there any football team in the American Athletic Conference more unpredictable than Houston? The Cougars are 5-3 and 3-2 in the AAC and are coming off Saturday’s 28-24 win at South Florida.

That ended what had been the nation’s longest current win streak at 12 games. It also snapped South Florida’s stretch of 24 consecutive games scoring 30 or more points. It was the longest such scoring streak in the AP poll era of college football (since 1936).

Earlier this month, Houston lost to Tulsa, 45-17, and that is still the Golden Hurricane’s only AAC win. Even in a 20-13 win over Temple, Houston showed its up-and-down tendencies. The Cougars led 20-0 early in the third quarter before Temple stormed back.

The game before beating South Florida, Houston lost at Memphis, 42-38, squandering a 17-point lead.

Converted wide receiver D’Eriq King came into the game at quarterback midway through the first quarter and completed 12 of 20 passes for 137 yards and a score. He also rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns, the second a 20-yard run with 11 seconds remaining. That was the first time the Cougars led all game.

“I talked to Brian Johnson our offensive coordinator and wanted a real plan to get [King] involved if things weren’t going the way we wanted,” said Houston coach Major Applewhite during Monday’s AAC media call. “We wanted a spark and I said that if he continues to take off, I wanted him to stay in the game.”

In Houston’s loss at Memphis, King had seven receptions for 51 yards. He has 29 receptions for 264 yards and two touchdowns.

For now, he will remain at quarterback.

New team at the top

For the first time this year, there is a new No. 1 team in the AAC power ratings, voted on by beat writers of the 12 teams. South Florida, the overwhelming preseason favorite to win the AAC title, has been replaced by Central Florida at the top.

The top two teams, Central Florida and Memphis, are the two that this week’s Temple opponent Navy has lost to.

Here is the latest

1 Central Florida (7-0, 4-0 AAC)

Memphis (7-1, 4-1) South Florida (7-1, 4-1) Houston (5-3, 3-2) Navy (5-2, 3-2) SMU (6-2, 3-1) Tulane (3-5, 1-3) Connecticut (3-5, 2-3) Tulsa (2-7, 1-4) Temple (3-5, 1-3) Cincinnati (2-6, 0-4) East Carolina (2-6, 1-3) Notable

Central Florida is just one of five undefeated Football Bowl Subdivision teams entering this weekend. The others are Miami (7-0), Wisconsin (8-0), Alabama (8-0) and Georgia (8-0). … With last week’s 38-34 win over Tulsa, SMU became bowl eligible for the first time since 2012. … Cincinnati is looking to snap a five-game losing streak. Temple will visit Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 10.

More on the top team

Central Florida continues to lead the nation in scoring, averaging 51 points per game. Sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton has thrown for 1,997 yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions. His top target is receiver Tre-Quan Smith, who has 26 receptions for 500 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Knights visit Temple on Nov. 18.

Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER

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