Caleb Taylor | Staff Commentator/Reporter
This Saturday is a big weekend for the University of Cincinnati. This weekend Cincinnati is celebrating their bicentennial and Homecoming. The football team will be playing the University of Connecticut Huskies in Nippert Stadium. UConn is 2-7 and 0-5 in the conference. UConn has been the doormat of the American Athletic Conference the last few seasons, and this matchup will be the last conference football matchup for these two teams as UConn is moving conferences after the season back to the Big East.
The Bearcats are looking for redemption after a scary game last week in East Carolina as they managed to squeak out a 46-43 win. UC scrambled to score 18 points in the 4th quarter. Cornerback Ahmad Gardner played hero with his game-saving pick six to make the score 43-40. Then Sam Crosa sealed the game with his 32-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Bearcats the narrow win.
Last week looked scary for Bearcats fans during the game, but this has seemed to be a pattern the last few games for the Bearcats. They played rather close games with Houston, Tulsa, and ECU. Hopefully this week Fickell can round up his men and bring them back to the team that beat ranked UCF not long ago.
The UC secondary looked somewhat sloppy last week giving up many yards through the air, and the defense gave up 40 points, their second most all year. ECU managed to put up a whopping 638 yards. This week I would expect much tighter coverage from the Bearcarts and possibly more quarterback pressure to get the defense back on track.
Cincinnati’s offense started slow in their last matchup. Quarterback Desmond Ridder had his first multi-interception game of the season, had trouble finding a rhythm and only managed to throw for 161 yards. The ground game, however, was much better. UC marched for 326 rushing yards. Running Back Michael Warren II had an incredible game rushing for 141 yards and three touchdowns. Desmond ridder added 121 rushing yards of his own, and Running Back Gerrid Doaks added 39 yards and a score.
There is not much positive to say about UConn this season, except for running back Kevin Mensah. Mensah has 803 yards and nine touchdowns. The key for the Bearcats this week is simply stopping Mensah and finding their passing game, as well as rediscovering their exceptional defense. Cincinnati controls their own destiny as they continue to look for a possibility of a New Year’s six bowl if they win out and win the conference.
To catch Saturday’s 3:30 matchup you can watch it on CBS Sports Network, or listen to the Bearcast Media radio call beginning at 3 p.m.. Alex Frank and Joe Petrosino will have the call, and a link to listen will be tweeted out early tomorrow afternoon.