There was the whole long normal Know Your Opponent piece about Syracuse that was almost done. But like a jerk, I somehow clicked on one of my bookmarks and lost the whole thing. Boring story yes, but that's the reason that this is a truncated preview instead of the whole ball of wax that you all know and love. You can know it and hate it, but that's just mean of you. Grow up.
Game Time: Noon
Channel: Big East Network. That means if you've been getting crappy Big East games featuring Temple the past few weeks, you'll be getting this game. If not, you have to go on the internet.
Records: Cincinnati 5-2, 1-1. Syracuse 4-4, 3-1
Spread: Cincinnati -5
UC vs Syracuse Series: UC leads 7-5
What Happened Last Year: Cincinnati won 30-13 on November 26
What's Butch Jones' Record Against SU?: 1-1
What Color Uniforms Will UC Wear: Red
The Same Red Uniforms You Don't Like? Yes. Thanks for remembering that.
Munchie Legaux 109-208, 1,592 yards, 13 TDs-8 INTs
- George Winn 123-732-4 TDs
- Munchie Legaux 49-296-4 TDs
- Ralph David Abernathy IV 47-284-3 TDs
- Kenbrell Thompkins 21-322-1 TD
- Travis Kelce 15-308-2 TDs
- Damon Julian 18-295-4 TDs
- Ralph David Abernathy 14-214-3 TDs
- Anthony McClung 15-187-1 TD
Offensive Line (starting with left tackle)
- Eric Lefeld
- Austen Bujnoch
- Dan Sprague
- Sam Longo
- Parker Ehinger
- Greg Blair 73
- Maalik Bomar 52
- Arryn Chenault 36
- Dan Giordano 26
- Cameron Cheatham 24
Tackles for loss (Sacks)
- Greg Blair 4.5 (1.5)
- Camaron Beard 4
- Dan Giordano 3.5 (2.5)
- John Williams 3.5 (2.5)
- Jordan Stepp/Cameron Cheatham 2.5 (1), Maalik Bomar 2.5
- Greg Blair 2
- Arryn Chenault 2
- Cameron Cheatham 2
- Deven Drane 1
- Maalik Bomar 1
Tony Miliano 10-14 on field goals, 29-30 extra points. Long 47. Missed - 41, 49, 47, 46
Pat O'Donnell 42.1 yard average. 12 of 27 inside the 20.
Ryan Nassib 203-310, 2,487 yards, 17 TDs-8 INTs
- Jerome Smith 125-615
- Prince-Tyson Gulley 76-322-3 TDs
- Ashton Broyld 31-154-1 TD
- Marcus Sales 46-670-7 TDs
- Jarrod West 34-483-2 TDs
- Alec Lemon 37-468-2 TDs
- Beckett Wales 22-228-1 TD
- Prince-Tyson Gulley 23-184-1 TD
Offensive Line (Starting with left tackle)
- Justin Pugh
- Zach Chibane
- Macky MacPherson
- Rob Trudo
- Sean Hickey
- Shamarko Thomas 52
- Siriki Diabate 51
- Marquis Spruill 45
- Dyshawn Davis 40
- Ri'Shard Anderson 34
Tackles for Loss (Sacks)
- Brandon Shrape 11 (5.5)
- Dyshawn Davis 9
- Marquis Spruill 5.5 (1)
- Markus Pierce-Brewster 5 (1)
- Deon Goggins 5 (1)
- Siriki Diabate 5
- Shamarko Thomas 2
- Jeremi Wilkes 1
- Brandon Reddish 1
Ross Krautman 9-15. Long - 47. Missed - 44, 45, 38, 50, 32, 22
Jonathan Fisher - 39.8 average. 11 of 32 inside the 20.
A week after getting torched against Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville receivers, the Bearcat secondary faces the top passing offense in the league. Marcus Sales is the second leading receiver in the conference in terms of yards, with West and Lemon 4th and 5th. Sales leads the Big East with 7 receiving TDs.
Syracuse has the best passing offense in the league. Cincinnati has the worst passing defense.
Pressure is going to have to be brought against the Orange. When Cincinnati was bothering Bridgewater, it was during the time of the game they constantly got in his face. When Louisville started picking up the pressure, Cincinnati's secondary was picked apart. Ryan Nassib has the talent to pick the defense to shreads. He definitely has the targets to get the ball downfield on the secondary. It's very important to disrupt things.
Ryan Nassib's lowest completion percentage in a game this season was 59.5%. Taking out Fordham and Delaware State because they are FCS teams, Munchie's highest is 56.5%. Munchie's career high is 59%. That was set against Syracuse last year. Yes, his career high against a division 1 team is lower than Nassib's lowest completion percentage this year.
Butch Jones said earlier this week that Munchie was going to run the ball more. I don't know why it took 7 weeks into the season to come to this conclusion. It's something fans have been calling for the past 3 weeks going back to Fordham. I think if he ran more, that would help open up the offense a bit. That way people bite on the play fakes and maybe he can have more success down the field.
Jones also said that RDA IV was going to get more carries. I would argue that he doesn't need more carries, he needs more receptions. Let's face it, the receivers have been a disappointment this year. Blame Munchie some, but they haven't made plays when they have caught the football. UC has 2 100 yard receiving games this season. Marcus Sales has 5. RDA is probably one of the top 3 receivers. Get him the ball in space and let him work his magic. I would run the game type of pass plays UC ran with Pead last year for RDA. Then you let Winn run the ball. That could work.
Syracuse has the best kick coverage in the Big East. Ralph David Abernathy IV has the second best kick return average in the league. Something has got to give.
Jerome Smith has had 100 yard rushing games the last 2 weeks. You can see that he doesn't have a ton of yards, he split carries with PTG early on, but he's been very good lately. It doesn't stand out by looking at the numbers, but when you go inside the numbers he's a threat.
Syracuse came back from a 23-3 halftime deficit last week. It was the largest comeback in SU history.
Nassib has thrown 8 INTs. He's thrown 2 in each of the last 3 Syracuse losses. He threw 1 against Northwestern.
Nassib has thrown 6 TDs to 0 INTs the last 2 weeks.
Please show up to the game. The guys deserve it. If there are under 30,000 at the game tomorrow, I am going to be pissed.
It's one thing to look at the schedule and see a 4-4 Syracuse team and just assume that this will be a walk. The Orange have lost to Northwestern very late. They have 2 tough losses against USC and Rutgers. They completely blew the Minnesota game, there is no excuse for that loss. But they are a very tough opponent. If the Bearcats are going to have a shot at coming back and winning the Big East, it starts with defending the home turf. It starts with knocking off one of the 1 loss teams in the league. This game could very well go down to the last few minutes. I expect a Cincinnati victory, but I expect it to be within the spread.
Cincinnati 31 Syracuse 27
(too bad about the awesome preview that got lost - nothing wrong with this one, though)
I expect a great game between these two teams Saturday, with the Bearcats prevailing. I don't doubt Ryan Nassib's abilities at all, especially his performance in the past two games (6 TDs, 0 INTs). Just interesting to me that both QBs have 17 TDs & 8 INTs. (I'm counting Munchie's rushing TDs because to me 6 points is 6 points.) Perhaps the Bearcat running game can minimize the amount of time the Syracuse offense has the ball.
RING OF RED - GO BEARCATS!