When and where: October 19, 2019, Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH, 3:30 PM ET
Life won’t get any easier for the slumping Tulsa Golden Hurricane with a trip to Nippert Stadium on Saturday against the No. 21-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats. After giving SMU everything they could handle and still losing, the deflated Golden Hurricane then went on to get stomped into the ground in a 45-17 loss to Navy.
Meanwhile, the Bearcats are riding a tidal wave of momentum after winning their last four consecutive games, including back-to-back victories over Houston and Central Florida. Their running attack has been downright vicious this season, and now, they’ll turn it in the direction of a Tulsa defense allowing an average of 203.5 rushing yards per game.
Tulsa gives up 40-points in consecutive gamesFor an offense racking up nearly 400 total yards per game, the Golden Hurricane aren’t scoring many touchdowns. That’s a recipe for disaster when paired with a struggling defense. The Golden Hurricane have given up 40-plus points in back-to-back losses to Navy and SMU. So they could be in a world of trouble heading on the road against a talented offensive team in Cincinnati.
The bulk of that talent comes from the fearsome rushing attack, spearheaded by junior running back Michael Warren II. This game could come down to the ability of Tulsa’s defense to stifle Cincinnati’s leading rusher, who has toted the ball for 463 yards and four touchdowns this season. Great preparation is realizing your own weaknesses and preparing accordingly. The Bearcats are coming into this game knowing Tulsa’s defense is allowing 203.5 rushing yards per game, which means the running game will be emphasized heavily in their offense.
Tulsa may not have enough talent on the defense capable of stopping Cincinnati, but if they seal the edges and stay disciplined in their rush lanes, the defensive front could realistically cause problems. Quarterback Zach Smith isn’t afraid to drop back 50-plus times and compete in a shootout like he did in the three-overtime game against SMU. However, he’ll have to be careful with the Bearcats’ ball-hawking secondary leading the conference with eight interceptions.
Bearcats hold off HoustonThe Bearcats scored 17 points in the fourth quarter against Houston to keep from ending up on the losing end of Sunday morning headlines. They were ultimately successful in fending off the Cougars’ valiant effort to knock them off and ensuring their 42-0 shutout loss to Ohio State remains their only loss of the season.
If they want to keep things that way, they’ll have to play smart football and give Tulsa the chance to beat themselves. The Golden Hurricane aren’t a very buttoned-up team when it comes to penalties and bone-headed mistakes. They are actually the most penalized team in the entire conference with 63 total penalties worth 529 yards. Cincinnati is the second-most penalized team, which could make for a long day of yellow flags flying all over the field.
The Golden Hurricane could put extra attention on Tulsa wideout Keylon Stokes if Sam Crawford Jr. misses Saturday’s game with an injury. Crawford is dealing with a head injury and officially listed as questionable for the game. Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder will face a surprisingly decent Tulsa pass defense, forcing the team to focus on its run game in an effort to soften things up. Expect to see Warren in on plenty of the action.
- Bearcats are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.
- Bearcats are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games against a team with a losing road record.
- Bearcats are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Bearcats are 6-1 ATS against a team with a losing record.
- Golden Hurricane are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.