Caleb Taylor | Staff Reporter
This week the now No. 21 Cincinnati Bearcats will welcome Tulsa to try and keep their American Conference championship hopes alive. Last week the Bearcats played stellar defense once again and beat the Houston Cougars in Houston 38-23. The Bearcats moved up four spots in this week’s AP poll and are two spots behind conference foe SMU.
The Bearcats are the heavy favorite again, this time by -17.5 points. Tulsa has allowed 203.5 yards rushing per game. This should be music to Michael Warren’s ears. The “Truck” rushed for 68 yards last week against Houston. Although that is his least amount of yards since the Bearcats’ matchup against Ohio State, his impact was still felt in the game. Warren should be able to run all over Tulsa on Saturday.
Quarterback Desmond Ridder is also staying hot for Cincinnati. Last week he threw for 263 yards, and three touchdowns. Ridder now has 13 touchdowns on the season. He does have five interceptions on the year including one in every game this season except for the Bearcats’ matchup against Marshall. However, Ridder has yet to throw more than one interception in a game.
Last week the Bearcats defense came into Houston with a chip on the shoulder. They forced five turnovers, one a Perry Young pick-six. The defense also managed to combine for a sack and four tackles-for-loss. Safety Ja’von Hicks snagged two interceptions, and cornerback Coby Bryant added another. Cincinnati has only allowed 21.7 points per game, and they should be able to slow down a struggling Tulsa offense.
Tulsa is coming into Saturday’s matchup with a 2-4 record. Although they have a losing record, they were able to take undefeated SMU into three overtimes two weeks ago, ultimately falling short 43-37. Much like Cincinnati, Tulsa has a strong running back in the backfield. Shamari Brooks runs the ball for the Golden Hurricanes. He has 464 yards on the ground, one more than Michael Warren, and another 40 yards receiving. He has four touchdowns on the season as well.
To catch Saturday’s matchup, you can watch on ESPNU at 3:30, or listen on the link provided by Bearcast Media that will be posted on bearcastmedia.com Saturday at 1:15. Alex Frank and Ethan Bastian will have the call beginning at 2:45 p.m.