Cincinnati is coming off one of their biggest wins in a long time. However, last week is over and they now travel to Houston for a battle with the Cougars. The Bearcats are playing the part of the favorite on Saturday. They are favored by -7.5 points. Much like last week, the Bearcats defense will be crucial in this game. Houston has scored over 30 points in all five of their games this season. Houston is 2-3 on the season and 0-1 in the American Athletic Conference.
Last week UC pulled off the upset of then No. 18 UCF, handing them their first conference loss in over two years. The defense was strong again, forcing three interceptions and holding the high-powered UCF offense to only 24 points. Michael Warren played workhorse again with 23 carries for 133 yards, including a thunderous 60 yard run on the final run of the third quarter. Quarterback Desmond Ridder did not play his best game, but he still threw two touchdowns in the victory. Defensively, defensive tackl Elijah Ponder came up big with two sacks and cornerback Ahmad Gardner scored on a pick six.
Although the Cougars record hasn’t shown much success, they are not a pushover. Even with a 2-3 record, two of the losses have come to a top-10 Oklahoma team and Washington State. Houston is putting up an average of 33.8 points per game, but their defense is giving up 32 points per game.
With the way Cincinnati’s defense has been playing and Michael Warren heating up, I can easily see why the Bearcats are the favorite. If Ridder can keep the ball out of the defense’s hands and Fickell establishes the run game early as usual, UC will remain first in the American conference’s East division. You can watch the game on ESPN 2 at 3:30 or listen on 700WLW.
(Statistics courtesy of ESPN)