Cincinnati vs SMU prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 20
Cincinnati vs SMU How To Watch
Date: Saturday, November 20
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Cincinnati (10-0), SMU (8-2)
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Cincinnati vs SMU Game Preview
Why SMU Will Win
Cincinnati isn’t playing all that well.
Give it full and total credit for going into South Bend and giving Notre Dame its only loss of the season, but that’s it. That’s Cincinnati’s “Mambo No. 5” one-hit wonder followed up by a bunch of duds.
It’s not that the schedule has been lousy – up until this, the Bearcats haven’t played a team other than the Irish that has a win over a Power Five team, and that includes Indiana – it’s that it’s been such a struggle against the sad.
Where are the 52-3 blowouts over the awful teams? There was one over Temple, but that’s it.
So what’s the problem?
The running game has been wildly inconsistent, there are just enough turnovers to matter – six in the last two games – and it’s been too much of a struggle overall until the last few minutes.
SMU has the offense to take care of all of that.
Including Notre Dame, Cincinnati has yet to deal with anyone who can bomb away. The SMU offense leads the American Athletic Conference in total offense, partly because the offensive line leads the league in sacks allowed, and that all helps the team lead the was in scoring, too.
No, it hasn’t always been easy for the Mustangs against the mediocre teams, there’s a different standard here – no one’s putting in the College Football Playoff hunt.
However, win this, beat Tulsa next week, and it’s in the American Athletic Conference championship f Houston beats Cincinnati.
With all of that said …
Why Cincinnati Will Win
Blah blah blah blah blah.
Yeah, Cincinnati hasn’t played well enough over the last month for a team that’s supposedly the second or third best in the country according to some polls, but it’s winning, it’s winning by a lot in most of these battles – by 19 over Tulane and 17 against USF – and now we get to see what it can do when it really matters.
Those close games against awful teams won’t mean spit if the Bearcats roll SMU, at East Carolina, and against Houston in the AAC Championship.
Lost in the overall narrative is that Demond Ridder got better. The veteran quarterback wasn’t accurate enough early in the season – yeah, he didn’t hit 60% of his passes against Notre Dame, Indiana, and UCF, aka, the good teams – but he’s been far more accurate over the back half of the season, he’s running well, and he’s making up for the team’s inconsistencies in the running game.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s coming. Watch out for that trip to East Carolina, and Houston isn’t going to be any sort of a pushover, but if Cincinnati biffs its possible run to the College Football Playoff, it’s not going to be here.
SMU will put up numbers. QB Tanner Mordecai will wing it around the yards for around 300 yards, there will be moments when it looks like the big moment is happening, but Cincinnati’s lines will take over as the game goes on.
It’ll be more of a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race thing. Don’t expect dynamic, but Ridder is about to go off.
SMU couldn’t do a thing against Houston or Memphis – allowing 864 passing yards in the two games – and it somehow managed to make Tulane and UCF look like they could throw.
No. Not yet.
Cincinnati vs SMU Prediction, Lines
Cincinnati 45, SMU 28
Line: Cincinnati -11, o/u: 65
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Get a 2nd opinion on the SMU vs Cincinnati game from our friends at Winners and Whiners. Click here for their in-depth analysis and predictions on the side,total, 1st half, and exotics.
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