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Football Tabbed Sixth in American Poll

July 18, 2017

NEWPORT, R.I. –  The UConn football team have been selected sixth in the 2017 American Athletic Conference East Division preseason poll at the conference’s annual media day on Tuesday morning.  

The Huskies bring back two of their top defensive players in senior linebacker Junior Joseph (Sinking Springs, Pa.) and senior defensive end Luke Carrezola (Langhorne, Pa.). Carrezola led the Huskies with 11 tackles for loss in 2016 and racked up three sacks on the defensive side of the ball.  

On offense, the Huskies return leading rusher senior Arkeel Newsome (Ansonia, Conn.) who rushed for 715 yards and 5 touchdowns for UConn in 2016.  

The USF Bulls have been selected as the favorite to win the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championship and were the unanimous choice to win The American’s East Division title. 


 

 

Memphis was the media's choice in the West Division as the Tigers received 22 first-place votes and 169 points. Houston was projected as the conference champion on two ballots, while Memphis and Navy received one vote each as the projected conference champion.

USF, which finished the 2016 season ranked No. 19 nationally, returns 18 starters, including six all-conference players, from a team that went 11-2 and defeated South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl last season. Head coach Charlie Strong, who served as Louisville’s head coach during the first season of American Athletic Conference football in 2013, returns to the conference as the Bulls’ fourth coach in school history. USF will be led by quarterback Quinton Flowers, the 2016 American Offensive Player of the Year who set a school record with 4,342 yards of total offense and accounted for 42 touchdowns last year.

UCF was picked second in the East Division after the Knights improved by six wins in Scott Frost’s first year as head coach. The Knights return 14 starters from last year, including linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who was the 2016 American Defensive Player of the Year. Griffin had a breakout year with a league-leading 11.5 sacks to go with 20 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups, an interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. 

Memphis was named as the favorite in the West Division as the Tigers claimed 22 of the 30 first-place votes for 169 points. The Tigers have 17 returning starters from last year, including quarterback Riley Ferguson, who led The American and set a school record with 32 touchdown passes in 2016. The Tigers also have a proven deep threat as wide receiver Anthony Miller finished 2016 with 95 catches for 1,434 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Houston received six first-place votes and was picked for second in the West Division with 137 points. Major Applewhite enters his first full season as the Cougars’ head coach after spending the last two seasons as Houston’s offensive coordinator, helping the team to 22 wins in the last two years. Houston returns All-America defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who set a conference record with 23.0 tackles for loss as a freshman and has been tabbed as the nation’s top defensive player by several national outlets in the preseason.  

The third American Athletic Conference Football Championship will be played Saturday, Dec. 2, at the home site of the division champion with the best conference record.

 

2017 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

PRESEASON FOOTBALL MEDIA POLL

 

 

 

American Championship

 

Team

Points

 

USF

26

 

Houston

2

 

Memphis

1

 

Navy

1

 

 

 

East Division

 

Team

Points

1.

USF (30)

180

2.

UCF

126

3.

Temple

119

4.

Cincinnati

100

5.

East Carolina

63

6.

UConn

42

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