Cincinnati Bearcats Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bearcats Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

College Football Features

Cincinnati Bearcats Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Cincinnati Bearcats: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Cincinnati Bearcats: Key To The 2022 Offense

Convert third downs.

The 2021 offense was able to make up for the lack of ball control and the occasional problems moving the ball with tremendous explosion and runs of domination to take over when needed. This one has to find that same pop, but in the meantime it needs to keep things moving.

For all of the good things the Bearcats did, they weren’t good on third downs converting fewer than 40% of their tries. It was more about consistency than anything else – they dominated third downs against UCF, Tulsa, and were fine half of the time. But …

They went 0-for-8 against Houston in the AAC Championship, barely got anything going against Bama, and there were times when the O just didn’t move the chains.

Cincinnati Bearcats: Key To The 2022 Defense

Keep taking the ball away.

There might not be the talent of last year’s defense, but it’s still going to be among the best in the American Athletic Conference and the overall drop-off shouldn’t be that much as long as the D can keep forcing mistakes.

Last year’s team had a great knack for coming up with lots of takeaways to offset any other problems. Four takeaways against Indiana meant the world, the three against Notre Dame helped, and the three against UCF helped turn that into a blowout.

Coming up with 34 again might be a bit much, but generate two per game and the defense will be helping the cause.

Cincinnati Bearcats: Key Player To The 2022 Season

QB Evan Prater, Soph.
The Bearcats could use steady kicking – Delaware transfer Ryan Coe might help – and an extra corner, pass rusher, and No. 1 receiver are in the mix, but the season should be about Prater – or Ben Bryant; he could absolutely win this job – and how good the quarterback play is in the biggest games.

Desmond Ridder wasn’t just good and efficient, he was a veteran producer who wasn’t fazed by the tough moments. Prater doesn’t have the time to ease into the gig with Arkansas to kick things off.

He can run and he’s got the 6-4, 200-pound size and live arm. If he’s great, all of the other pieces will come together.

Cincinnati Bearcats: Key Transfer

RB Corey Kiner, Soph.
Maryland transfer Ivan Pace should be a factor at linebacker, and there’s a shot Delaware transfer PK Ryan Coe makes or breaks the season at some point. But it’s Kiner who’ll have the spotlight as he tries to take over for Jerome Ford to carry the ground game.

The 5-10, 213-pound former LSU Tiger ran for 324 yards and two scores last season. He’s got the talent and the size, and he’s got the fresh legs to be the one who takes over the offense while all the other parts get settled.

Cincinnati Key Game To The 2022 Season

at Arkansas, Sept. 3
The road game at UCF will be the big one for American Athletic Conference play, but Cincinnati’s about bigger things now. The Indiana game is at home, and there should be other fights other than that date at UCF, but realistically, it’s all about the Hogs.

Beat Arkansas on the road to start the season, and it’s Game On for the expectations – the Bearcats will likely be favored against everyone else. Lose, and the program has to deal with being out of the College Football Playoff hunt on September 3rd.

Cincinnati Bearcats: 2021 Fun Stats

– 1st Half Scoring: Cincinnati 251 – Opponents 105
– Punt Return Average: Cincinnati 10.7 – Opponents 1.5
– Passing TDs: Cincinnati 33 – Opponents 13

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