College Football News Preview 2020: Cincinnati Bearcats Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Cincinnati Bearcats Offense
Don’t blow off the passing game. The ground attack will be there again. Michael Warren might be done, but the Bearcats have a good-looking backfield working behind another huge, talented line. Blasting away will be the norm.
Now complete more passes.
The Bearcats only hit 55% of their passes – mostly from Desmond Ridder – bit it didn’t matter all that much. They weren’t beating Ohio State no matter what, and Ridder was out in the first game against Memphis and the passing game didn’t work in the AAC title game.
However, the offense threw 17 touchdown passes in the first nine games and just two in the final five. Under Luke Fickell, the team has won its last 15 games – going 14-0 over the last two years – when generating two touchdown passes or more.
Biggest Key To The Cincinnati Bearcats Defense
It’s not like the Bearcats had too many problems overall with the defense, but a few more third down stops would’ve been a plus.
Considering the defense allowed teams to convert just 28% of their third down chances in 2018, allowing 38% last season was a slip.
When the D worked and dominated, the O took over with the ground game, and forget it – just ask Boston College, who was stopped on all 11 third down tries in the blowout loss in the Birmingham Bowl.
Seven times UC allowed 40% or more, and three times it gave up 50% or more. In those three games, the team got whacked by Ohio State, and it got pushed way too hard by East Carolina and Tulsa.
Key Cincinnati Bearcats Player To A Successful Season
RB Jerome Ford, Soph.
And/or Gerrid Doaks. The 230-pound Doaks led the team with 513 rushing yards in 2017, got knocked out for the season before 2018 even got started, and last year turned into a good part of the rotation behind Michael Warren.
Doaks might be the No. 1 guy early on, but Alabama transfer Jerome Ford is too good to keep off the field.
The former Alabama star recruit is built for this offense. He’s 5-11 and 213 pounds, has great balance and quickness, and he’s got a whole lot of tread on the tires.
As good as Ford and Doaks might be, replacing what Warren did is still asking for a lot.
Key Game To The Cincinnati Bearcats Season
Memphis, Oct. 31
It’s different this year – the top two teams in the American Athletic Conference play each other for the championship. That means the road game at UCF on November 21st doesn’t mean as much as it did last year, but that’s only if UC beats Memphis first.
2013. That’s the last time the Bearcats beat Memphis, losing five straight including the two back-to-back games last year that cost them the American Athletic Conference title.
– Cincinnati Bearcats Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Cincinnati Fun Stats
– Penalties: Cincinnati 123 for 977 yards – Opponents 93 for 757 yards
– 4th Down Conversion: Cincinnati 11-of-17 (65%) – Opponents 5-of-19 (26%)
– Time of Possession: Cincinnati 31:50 – Opponents 28:10