Can Cincinnati football stay atop the AAC with a win against Memphis? This is one of the most underrated games of the weekend.
The Cincinnati Bearcats look to remain at the top of the American Athletic Conference when they take on offensive-minded Memphis Saturday at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This is a game of strength on strength. The Tigers want to throw it all over the field and the Bearcats have one of the best secondaries in college football.
The difference between Memphis and Cincinnati is the Bearcats have seen a spread, pass-centered offense but the Tigers have yet to see a defense like Cincinnati’s. While Memphis is solid, they have yet to face a team that wants to ground and pound like the Bearcats.
Here is more information on how to watch.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 31
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Venue: Nippert Stadium
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Keys to Victory
The Memphis Tigers have to protect quarterback Brady White. The redshirt senior quarterback is not mobile. Head coach Ryan Silverfield wants to get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible, but the Cincinnati secondary does a great job of pressing receivers in coverage.
Conversely, the Tigers have to keep Cincinnati off schedule. If Memphis cannot keep the Bearcats offense in 3rd and 6 or worse, it is going to be a long afternoon for the Tigers.
Desmond Ridder is the key for the Bearcats. The game against SMU is the best use of his talents. Ridder throwing 25 times or less means less probability of throwing it to the other team. The Tigers need to run the football so the Bearcats pass rush does not pin its ears back and come after White.
Courtesy of The Action Network
Line: Cincinnati -6.5
There are some who believe that defense does not win championships. That is not true. Championship teams have defenses that can hold leads in close games late. The Bearcats have such a defense. Just because Cincy does not score points like everyone else does not mean they cannot score; they can.
With the exception of UCF’s 40-plus rushes, Memphis has not faced an opponent who wants to pound out yards with the running game like the Bearcats. Look for Cincinnati to shorten the game, pressure White and limit Memphis’ explosive plays downfield.
Final Score: Cincinnati 34, Memphis 21