No. 3 Cincinnati tangles with AAC foe UCF early Saturday at Nippert Stadium and one has to wonder if the Bearcats are contemplating asking the Knights for some recommendation. Cincinnati is ranked within the high 4 of the AP High 25, the very best any Group of 5 crew has been ranked in a significant ballot through the College Football Playoff period. It is led many to wonder if this Bearcats crew may be the one to interrupt by the glass ceiling and crash the Faculty Soccer Playoff celebration.
It is a query with which UCF is greater than acquainted. Again in 2017, the Knights took the nation by storm en path to a 13-0 season that ended with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn. The Knights had been neglected of the Faculty Soccer Playoff that season, nevertheless, and now this Cincinnati crew appears to have the most effective shot of reaching the not possible dream since that Knights crew.
After all, playoff speak apart (what a novel idea), it is a enormous matchup within the American Athletic Convention. One in every of these two packages has reached the AAC Championship Sport in every of the final 4 seasons, and whereas they’re now not sharing a division, they continue to be two of the convention’s premier packages. Earlier than the season begins, this is without doubt one of the video games that is circled as a result of you recognize it will be enormous. The packages have break up the primary six conferences, however Cincinnati enters this yr’s sport with a two-game profitable streak.
Cincinnati vs. UCF: Have to know
Cincinnati needs to be good: One of many classes Cincinnati realized from what occurred to UCF is that profitable each sport is not sufficient. The yr after UCF went 13-0 and was neglected of the playoff, there was a principle that if the Knights may do it for a second yr in a row, the committee may be extra open to them as an choice. Properly, UCF went 12-0 the next season and nonetheless did not get in. The argument towards it was that it did not play a tough sufficient schedule.
Cincinnati got here into 2021 hoping its schedule could be sufficient if it ran the desk. Sadly, the Indiana Hoosiers haven’t lived as much as their preseason billing and UCF comes into this sport with a document of 3-2. Whereas Cincinnati can level to a highway win over Notre Dame, contemplating how shaky the Irish have regarded of their wins, there is not any assure the Irish will likely be highly-ranked come choice time. So the one factor Cincinnati can do is pressure the committee’s hand. Not solely does it should hold profitable, but it surely has to dominate groups. It could’t go away any doubt or wiggle room about how good it’s.
Jerome Ford wants extra love: When folks speak in regards to the Bearcats, the main target is often on quarterback Desmond Ridder or the crew’s shutdown protection. Properly, I am right here to unfold some like to working again Jerome Ford! Ford leads the Bearcats with 520 yards speeding whereas averaging 6.34 yards per carry. His eight speeding touchdowns have him among the many nationwide leaders and he performs an important function in conserving the Bearcats offense on schedule. Plus, when the passing assault will get slowed down, Ford can hold the chains shifting. He is one of many higher backs within the nation, and it is time we acknowledged him for it.
UCF has not been the identical since dropping Dillon Gabriel: This isn’t the form of statement you want a doctorate to see. Gabriel was the most effective participant on the UCF offense and the most effective quarterbacks within the nation however was injured on the ultimate play of UCF’s 42-35 loss to Louisville. The week after, the Knights misplaced to a Navy crew that had struggled mightily beforehand. Final week, the Knights managed solely 20 factors whereas squeezing by East Carolina 20-16. It isn’t a shock that an offense would possibly lose its approach after dropping its beginning QB, however Gabriel was an enormous a part of what made this crew tick and the Knights look ineffective with out him. Gus Malzahn might want to put collectively an offensive masterpiece if the Knights have any hope of surprising the world on Saturday.
How one can watch Cincinnati vs. UCF stay
Date: Saturday, Oct. 16 | Time: Midday ET
Location: Nippert Stadium — Cincinnati, Ohio
TV: ABC | Stay stream: fuboTV (Attempt at no cost)
Cincinnati vs. UCF prediction, picks
Featured Sport | Cincinnati Bearcats vs. UCF Knights
I do not put something previous Gus Malzahn in a sport like this, contemplating what he was capable of do in The Iron Bowl whereas at Auburn. Sadly, Gus simply does not have the horses at UCF he had at Auburn, notably when he does not have Gabriel at his disposal. Cincinnati’s protection is simply too good, and its offense does not get almost as a lot credit score because it deserves. I want Gabriel had been wholesome as a result of, if he was, this sport may very well be a basic. However he isn’t, so I believe we’re simply going to get a blowout Bearcats victory. Prediction: Cincinnati (-20)
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