Game of the Day Preview: Cincinnati at No. 18 Louisville
The Cardinals (7-0, 2-0 Big East) are looking to keep their undefeated season alive, but haven't beat the Bearcats since 2007.
Cincinnati has won five straight and nine of 10 against ranked conference foes, including five in a row on the road, while all but one of Louisville's victories this season have been against teams which enter this weekend under .500.
What to expect from Cincinnati: A lot of Winn-ing. Senior running back George Winn has done an outstanding job replacing NFL draft pick Isaiah Pead at the position, leading the way for a team that is first in the Big East with 1,354 combined rushing yards. He, along with the dual-threat abilities of quarterback Munchie Legaux, will be expected to carry a big load against a front seven that ranks fifth in the conference against the run and that allowed 197 yards to South Florida last week.
What to expect with Louisville: The same exact thing. Louisville owns the conference's third-best rushing attack, averaging 161.4 yards on the ground per game. Cincinnati's defense was exploited last week by Toledo, as the Rockets ran the ball 43 times for 229 yards (5.3 ypc) and won the time of possession. The Cards' game plan should be much of the same behind tailbacks Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright, who have combined for 17 touchdowns.
Prediction: This game has major Big East championship implications and could set the tone for the rest of the season. A win for Louisville would basically set up an undefeated showdown with Rutgers at the end of the year. If Cincinnati can pull off the upset, their date with destiny (Rutgers) will be November 17.
Both of these teams have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but I give the advantage to Louisville because of Teddy Bridgewater. I expect him to find an early rhythm and keep the Bearcat offense off the field. The sophomore quarterback leads the conference in passer efficiency and a 56.0 percent third-down conversion rate. Also, If the Cardinals' defense can contain Munchie Legaux's outside running lanes and force him into some poor passing decisions, they'll win the game. Another big factor that we can watch for will be time of possession: Louisville is first in the Big East at 32:43, while Cincinnati lays second-to-last with 28:29.
Louisville 28, Cincinnati 25 --- via Week 9 predictions
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