Cincinnati vs. UCF prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Bearcats and Knights.
Cincinnati vs. UCF Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 12 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, FL
It has been a most improbable first year in Orlando for coach Scott Frost. The former Oregon offensive coordinator inherited from George O’Leary a team that didn’t win a single game in 2015. However, this week the upstart Knights will become bowl-eligible if they can get by Cincinnati. At 4-5, the Bearcats remain mathematically alive for a postseason game as well. But there’s a very different feel around this program than there is at UCF. Cincy has lost four of its last five, getting outclassed at home last Saturday by BYU. And veteran coach Tommy Tuberville is on his heels, both for his team’s play and for a testy exchange he had with a fan following the game with the Cougars.
What To Know About Cincinnati
Unlike during the peak years of the past decade, the Bearcats lack the playmakers on either side of the ball capable of talking a game over. They’ve juggled quarterbacks, eventually going with the senior, Gunner Kiel. And the offense, in general, has been AWOL for much of the past month, scoring no more than 13 points in three of the last four games. It’s Robert Prunty’s defense that’s helped keep Cincinnati in a number of games. The Bearcats are opportunistic in the back end and particularly strong up the gut with MLB Eric Wilson and tackles Alex Pace, Cortez Broughton and Marquise Copeland.
What to Know About UCF
Frost is a former quarterback and an offensive guy at heart. But as his team’s quarterbacks have developed slowly and the O-line has struggled to protect those young hurlers, the Knights have leaned harder on the defense. And it’s a formula that’s working. UCF leads the American, and is No. 10 nationally, in yards per play allowed. Plus, the unit is excelling at collapsing the pocket and creating chaos with disruptors, like CB Shaquill Griffin and linebackers Mark Rucker and Shaquem Griffin. Coordinator Erik Chinander’s unit understands its role and its importance to the overall success of the program.
Offense: Cincinnati. The numbers aren’t great, but the Bearcats have the more experienced quarterback, a more reliable blocking unit and better playmakers, like receivers Devin Gray and Nate Cole.
Defense: UCF. Chinander has done an impressive job with a defense that attacks from all angles and wraps up well in space.
Special Teams: UCF. The Knights are in better shape in the kicking game, and Adrian Killins is a threat in the return game.
Coaching: Push. Tuberville has the huge edge in experience, but Frost is one of the up-and-comers in the coaching ranks.
Intangibles: UCF. Not only do the Knights have an opportunity to padlock a postseason game, but they’ll also get a chance to do it front of the home crowd.
Matchup To Watch
Cincinnati RB Tion Green vs. Griffin and Rucker
The Bearcats will want to establish the run to take some of the heat off Kiel. And they’ve got a quality back in Green, who’ll shoulder more of the load with Mike Boone injured. But Griffin and Rucker are so good at diagnosing at plays, shedding blocks and zeroing in on the man with the ball.
Cincinnati at UCF Betting Odds
Spread: UCF -12.5
Cincinnati vs. UCF Prediction
Two American teams heading in opposite directions will continue down those disparate paths. UCF is cresting after last week’s blowout, and they can touch that bowl berth that would be crucial to Frost’s rebuilding plan. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is falling fast, with a coach who’s scrambling to save his job. Neither offense will light it up at Bright House, but the Knight D will again steal the show, shutting down Kiel & Co. while producing points of its own after scoring three touchdowns last week.
Cincinnati vs. UCF Score Prediction: UCF 24, Cincinnati 16