KICKOFF: 3:30 PM ET
TV: CBS Sports Network, CBS Sports app
ANNOUNCERS: Rich Waltz (play-by-play), Aaron Murray (color analyst)
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline)
RECORDS: Cincinnati (4-0, 0-0 AAC); UConn (1-3, 0-1 AAC)
POINT SPREAD: Cincinnati -17.5
SERIES HISTORY: The UConn Huskies and Cincinnati Bearcats have met 14 times, all since 2005. The Bearcats own an 11-3 advantage over the Huskies. However, the series is tied up at three apiece at PAWSARF.
LAST MEETING: After UConn scored with no time remaining, Hergy Mayala was called for taunting in the end zone, moving the extra point back 15 yards. Michael Tarbutt attempted the extra point from 35 yards out and missed it to the left giving Cincy the 22-21 win.
Randy Edsall preview of Cincinnati ⤵️
Fun with Numbers:
410 - Rushing yards for David Pindell this season, third most by FBS quarterbacks
16 - Receptions by Zavier Scott, most for a running back in the American Athletic Conference
23 - Times the UConn defense has allowed receptions of 20 yards or more
9.6 - Yards gained per play by UConn opponents this season
664 - Average yards per game allowed by the UConn defense this season
What to Watch For
David Pindell is great, and the offense as a whole has been respectable, the Huskies are 76th in the country in S&P+ offensive efficiency. The offensive line is improving and clearly there are running backs and receivers that can make plays. But both of those groups need to be more consistent. The line has had some unforced errors and no receiver has stood out yet this season.
The offense will be tested by a Cincinnati defense that is very strong up front and has had some younger players step up in the secondary. They can’t count on Pindell alone if they want to be competitive in this one.
Defense Trending Up?
Yes, the defense gave up 51 points in the loss to Syracuse, but the Huskies had stretches where they made some stops, and they showed good competitive effort late in the game even when things were well in hand for the Orange.
Going by S&P+, Cincinnati is not nearly as strong of an offensive team (87th) as UCF (10th), Boise State (16th), or even Syracuse (49th). They might look like it against this UConn defense, but maybe the Bearcats won’t be as successful as those high-powered squads. One way that UConn can turn the tide is by eliminating big plays, something that could be a little easier this week.
Controlling Turnovers and Penalties
The UConn offense is turning the ball over 2.5 times per game, giving the ball away three times each against UCF, URI, and Syracuse. Some are just bad luck, and hopefully turnover luck works in UConn’s favor in the near future. Some of the turnovers have been avoidable, and hopefully the team is getting smarter across the season and can curb those as well.
Banged Up Huskies
This UConn team is now not only young, but also injured. On the defensive side, Eli Thomas, Marshe Terry and Taj Herring-Wilson — all starters at one point or another this season — won’t be available against Cincinnati, leaving that unit even thinner and inexperienced than before. On offense, the Huskies will be without wide receiver Keyion Dixon, who has been an effective weapon at times. Freshman running back Khyon Gillespie, who played sparingly this season but was a well-regarded recruit, is out for the year after knee surgery.