Tomorrow at Noon on the Big East Network Cincinnati travels to Syracuse for a crucial game against the Syracuse Orange. The Bearcats need a win to stay in the Big East race. Syracuse needs a win to get bowl eligible. A lot is in on the line. It's the final road game of the year for the Bearcats. It's also the final home game for the Orange. As Brian Harrison pointed out the other day, Syracuse hasn't lost off a bye week with Doug Marrone at the helm. The Orange have been free falling since the West Virginia game though. It's going to be an interesting contest.
Record: 7-3, 3-2
Coach: Butch Jones 11-11, 0-1 vs Syracuse
Record: 5-5, 1-4
Coach: Doug Marrone 17-18, 1-1 vs UC
Those are all from the respective game notes, available on here and here. As I mentioned earlier, not a lot of time to pump out the previews this week. Let's get to my quick thoughts.
UC has to establish the run. They failed at it last week miserably. If it's Munchie or Luallen or Kay, they have to have something on the ground to open up the air. When Rutgers was able to sit back on pass plays, Munchie didn't make the best decisions or throws. This team is always better when Isaiah Pead is running well. He only had 14 touches against Rutgers. That's not going to cut it.
Someone else on D has to step up. We know what JK can do. We know what Wolfe can do. It's up to someone else to step up. Whether it's one of the other linebackers, someone like Rob Trigg last week, or someone in the secondary. In fact, it's going to have to be someone in the secondary. They need to make a big play. Do something big this week, Deven Drane.
Quality play from the QB spot. Doesn't have to be great play or outstanding play, just quality. Munchie would probably admit that he hasn't been as sharp as he would like. He just needs to make his throws. He's got the arm. He's got the talent. He just needs to add 1 and 1 and have some fun out there. I don't know what to expect from Luallen. We've seen mainly wildcat type plays from him. He's an option QB, so there should be some runs. I'd be surprised if he took to the air much.
A big part of ensuring the quality from the QBs are the receivers. Thompkins had the drops last week. He's gotta bounce back. Chisum and McClung got some chances late and made the most of them. There has to be an APB out on DJ Woods. We need you, 3.
I don't really know what to expect tomorrow. I'm excited, but also nervous. I think UC should win, but I also think they could lose. Syracuse has been so bad lately though. But SU played so well against West Virginia and it's their senior day. UC needs to win to keep their Big East title hopes alive. I can't pick against them now. Going a little homer pick here.
Cincinnati 20 Syracuse 17