Rutgers at Louisville is top AAC game in Week 7

There aren't many key league games in the AAC this season, but Thursday night's matchup between Louisville and Rutgers is one of them.

Things we learned in Week 6

marcus-mariota-131006-il.jpg

From Marcus Mariota's seven-TD performance to freshman Jameis Winston's KO of Maryland, here are 40 things we learned about Week 6 in college football. More ...

This is one of Louisville's toughest games, and style points do matter for the Cardinals because of their weak schedule. They play no games against teams currently in the top 25, and frankly, the only way for an AAC team to have a shot at a top-25 ranking is to beat Louisville.

It's also a big game for Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in his quest for the Heisman. He has played well and is the No. 1 draft-eligible quarterback. But when it comes to his stats, skeptics can say, "So what? Who wouldn't have good stats when playing against the likes of Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky, FIU and Temple?"

Here is a look at all the games involving league teams this week:

4. Temple at Cincinnati, Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: Temple is one of the worst teams in the nation, and Cincinnati is coming off a loss to previously winless USF. Cincinnati senior LB Greg Blair (6-foot-2, 252 pounds) isn't playing as well as expected, but he still leads the Bearcats with 32 tackles and also has 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He's the player to watch in this one. (Quick aside: If you actually are planning your night around this game, you have issues.)

3. USF at Connecticut, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, AAC syndication

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: Welcome to AAC football -- one-win USF vs. winless UConn, playing for the first time without fired coach Paul Pasqualoni. UConn has changed quarterbacks and will be going with true freshman Tim Boyle (6-4, 212), who was the centerpiece of the Huskies' recruiting class. USF sophomore DE Aaron Lynch (6-6, 244) remains a scout favorite despite poor stats this season; he has 11 tackles, three tackles for loss and zero sacks through three games. Will he do anything against the Huskies? And if he doesn't, will scouts still speak highly of him?

2. Memphis at Houston, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN News

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: The winner has a good shot at finishing in the top four in the league. There are two legitimate standouts, one for each team. Houston's is sophomore WR Deontay Greenberry (6-3, 198), who has 35 receptions for 530 yards and three TDs. Greenberry, from Fresno, Calif., originally committed to Notre Dame before reneging late in the recruiting process and signing with the Cougars. The guy to watch for Memphis is junior DE Martin Ifedi (6-3, 265), who chose the Tigers over New Mexico State and has 5.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss. Both will be in for good tests: Memphis' secondary has been solid -- the Tigers shut down UCF QB Blake Bortles last week -- and Houston has allowed just four sacks.

1. Rutgers at Louisville, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 3.5 stars

The skinny: This is one of the biggest games of the season in the AAC. Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater has to be salivating: He will be going against a secondary that surrendered 484 passing yards to SMU, 456 to Fresno State and 335 to Eastern Michigan, just the third time in 51 games that Eastern Michigan had 300 yards passing. Rutgers WRs Leonte Carroo (6-1, 200), a sophomore, and Brandon Coleman (6-6, 220), a junior, have combined for just 29 catches, but nine have gone for TDs. Louisville has one of the nation's best safety duos in senior SS Hakeem Smith (6-1, 179) and junior FS Calvin Pryor (6-2, 208). Louisville DEs Marcus Smith (6-3, 260) and Lorenzo Mauldin (6-4, 243) have combined for 8.5 sacks, and Rutgers has allowed 14. Rutgers' linemen are much better blocking for the run. Keep an eye on junior LG Kaleb Johnson (6-4, 305), who can be a road-grader when blocking for the run. Rutgers' best defense in this one will be controlling the ball with its rushing attack and keeping Bridgewater off the field. Rutgers' physicality along both lines could bother Louisville.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.