Cincinnati at UConn
Saturday, 8:30 am PT - CBSC
CRIS Opener: Cincinnati -2.5 O/U 49
CRIS Current: Cincinnati -2.5 O/U 47.5
The UConn Huskies have not been able to step up in class yet this season and I think they will struggle to do so once again on Saturday when they face the Cincinnati Bearcats. Connecticut suffered a loss as favorites on this field against Syracuse which just gave up 56 points to Notre Dame and were blown out by Houston last week on the road. I don’t trust them enough here in a price range where UConn has to win the game or at least come very close in order to cash a ticket. Cincinnati is without their starting quarterback Hayden Moore once again for this game due to an ankle injury. Ross Trail got his first ever start as a freshman last week and had some good moments completing 20-of-30 passes for 216 passing yards along with a TD. He also had 3 interceptions but turnover miscues are to be expected from a rookie. Head coach Tommy Tuberville hasn’t named his starter yet but it will either be Trail or senior Gunner Kiel who has strangely fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. Either way, Cincinnati has dominated UConn over the years winning and covering each of the last five meetings with every victory by 8 points or more.
The Bearcats sport the better defensive numbers allowing 5.5 yards per play compared to the the 6.3 by UConn. The Huskies have clearly taken a step back this season: 540 total yards allowed against Houston and 469 against Syracuse. And even with some mild improvement from quarterback Bryant Shirreffs, the UConn lacks the explosiveness and playmakers to make up for its defensive decline. Cincinnati’s defense is also allowing fewer yards per rush and fewer passing yards per game than UConn. And in terms of these two teams facing a common opponent (Houston), the Bearcats were leading the Cougars 16-12 early in the fourth quarterback before an incredible meltdown occurred with Houston scoring 28 unanswered points. Cincinnati went toe-to-toe with Houston for most of that game while UConn was down early and never recovered en route to a 42-14 loss. The Huskies have been outgained by a combined 364 total yards in their last four games against Houston, Syracuse, Virginia and Navy going 1-3 SU, 0-3-1 ATS in the process. This is not a very good team and one likely to fail against a team that has dominated this recent history.