Tuesday, October 19, 2021

No. 3 Cincinnati takes on Malzahn-led UCF

Central Florida (3–3), No. 3 to Cincinnati (5–0), Saturday noon Eastern Standard Time (ABC).

Line: Cincinnati, 21 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series statistics: draw 3: 3.

WHAT’S THE BET?

After beating Notre Dame on his résumé and making a slight shift in the top 10, Cincinnati climbed to 3rd place this week, the highest NWN rating in program history. The Bearcats’ mission is to dominate their remaining American Athletic Conference rivals in order to qualify for a College Football playoff spot. Cincinnati is trying to become the first team outside of the Power Five to be selected to the playoffs.

KEY MATCHUP

Protecting Bearcats from the game of knights. RB Johnny Richardson shot 104 yards to hit the UCF 20-16 win over East Carolina. Marc-Anthony Richards added 58 yards, including landing 1 yard with 23 seconds left to win the game. Cincinnati’s defense is top notch with just 294.2 yards per game – 12th in the country.

PLAYERS WATCH

UCF: Freshman QB Mikey Keane has been attacking the Knights since Dillon Gabriel lost the season with a broken collarbone last month. He was 23 out of 35 for 194 yards with interception against the ECU.

Cincinnati: RB Jerome Ford earned the AAC “Best Striker” award after a career-breaking 149 yards spurt and two touchdowns in the Bearcats’ 52-3 victory over Temple. His 75-yard TD run in the first game of the second half sparked a 28-point third quarter. He has 520 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

Read Also:  STAT WATCH: Air Force TD was longest run by a QB since 2003

FACTS AND FIGURES

Desmond Ridder, QB Bearcats, threw 1,304 yards, 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also has 114 yards and three points on the ground. … Ridder is the best defender in the country with a career record of 35-5. … LB Deshawn Pace has 39 tackles and two interceptions for Cincinnati. .., Bearcats have won 31 games in a row against unrated opponents. … Last Friday’s win put Cincinnati in the top 10 NWN for a full year. The Bearcats have been there since finishing in 8th place on October 11, 2020. … Cincinnati won the last two games of the series with a total of six points. … Cincinnati is gaining 36-6 (0.857) since the beginning of 2018 and a record of 14-1 since the beginning of 2020. … the UCF has set a 44-10 record since the start of the 2017 season. … The Bearcats have won 23 straight wins at Nippert Stadium, the second longest home streak in the country after Clemson (31).

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More on NWN College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Subscribe to the NWN College Football Newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25.

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