Gametime/TV: 8pm on CBSSN
Location: Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
Broadcast Team: Dave Ryan, Corey Chavous, Lauren Gardner
Radio: WTIC-AM - Joe D'Ambrosio, Wayne Norman, Kevin Nathan
Vegas Line: Cincinnati -9.5
Forecast: Cloudy, high 30's
History: 11th all-time meeting, with the Bearcats enjoying an 8-2 advantage
Bob Diaco's UConn Huskies will take the field tonight looking to shake off the ugliness of a disappointing finish two weekends ago against Army. The Huskies have had mixed results coming off a bye, but hopefully their offense can take advantage of the generous defense of today's opponent, the Cincinnati Bearcats.
At 4-1 in the American, the Bearcats have their eyes on the conference title-- which would be their fifth such title in the past seven seasons. They are coming off a 54-46 home win against East Carolina where they racked up nearly 600 yards using their spread offense featuring multiple talented receivers.
UConn will be without senior cornerback Byron Jones, who is out for the season, but fellow senior captain Geremy Davis will be making his return after a two-game hiatus due to an ankle injury. Davis hasn't really had the opportunity to get going very much this season, perhaps today against a vulnerable defense he can have that explosive game we all know he is capable of.
As always, a close eye will be kept on the offensive line- both on their ability to create holes in the running game and on pass protection. Cincinnati is averaging almost three sacks per game, if they can harass the quarterback and force bad throws or fumbles they should be able to keep our offense in check. Speaking of the quarterback, Chandler Whitmer is expected to start tonight with sophomore Tim Boyle likely to play one or two possessions as he has all season.
Diaco has been giving us the rebuilding #process talk all season; now that the Huskies have been eliminated from bowl contention we might see the younger players get even more time across the balance of this season. Obviously it may not lead to the most ideal results on the field, but we will be better off for it down the road.
UConn's young secondary will be tested today, they will have their hands full with two Bearcats receivers who have over 500 yards, and an additional two over 300 yards so far on the season.
Prediction: It will be quiet at the Rent tonight, being 2-7 will do that to you. I think the UConn offense might be able to do enough to keep it close early but ultimately Cincinnati will make stops and/or force turnovers and the defense will have to defend way too many plays. I don't think the Huskies can pull off the upset tonight. Cincinnati 34, UConn 20