Cincinnati Bearcats vs UCF Knights – November 21

No. 7 Cincinnati (7-0) at UCF (5-2)

Series

It’s youthful at best as the Knights hold a 3-2 lead and are 2-0 vs. the Bearcats in what is normally an awesome fan experience – sans covid year – known as the Bounce House. The Bearcats ended UCF’s 19-game winning streak last season, 27-24, in Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati picked off Dillon Gabriel three times as Ahmad Gardner returned one of those 18 yards for the go-ahead touchdown midway through the third quarter.

Streaks

The Bearcats have scored at least 38 points in their last four games for the first time in school history and they have never played three straight conference road games. Cincinnati has gone undefeated for three years in a row for the first time in the 133-year history of Bearcats football… UCF had it’s 21-game home winning streak snapped in it’s home lid-lifter against Tulsa in October. The Knights are 40-6 since the beginning of the 2017 season which included the school record 25 straight wins.

Vs. The Spread

The Bearcats are 5-2 ATS while the Knights are 2-5 vs. the number. The over-under is 63.5 and that is going to be a trend that is highly watched. The Bearcats have gone UNDER in 10 of their last 13 games with the total going UNDER in four of the last five games between the two teams.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Cincinnati -5.5 (-115) -220 O 63 (-120)
UCF +5.5 (-105) +190 U 63 (+100)

Last Week

Cincinnati destroyed East Carolina, 55-17, as Desmond Ritter had 402 total yards and four touchdowns. Ridder threw three touchdown passes to Tre Ticker, Jayshon Jackson, and Michael Young. Linebackers Darrian Beavers and Jarell White had big games as Beavers had nine tackles, seven solo, and White scored on a 26-yard interception return.

UCF blew past Temple, 38-13, as the defense got in on the act in turning the Owls over three times. Eriq Gilyard had 12 tackles, three for loss. Dillion Gabriel hit Marlon Williams with a pair of touchdown scores while Greg McRae had a pair of touchdown runs.

When Bearcats Has the Ball

Cincinnati Bearcats LogoQuarterback Desmond Ritter has been on fire over the last four games as he has passed for eight touchdowns and ran for nine more. His balance is seen as he has passed for 886 yards while rushing for 398. Cincinnati rushes for 247 and passes for 227 on Ritter’s wheels. Gerrid Doaks is the leading rusher with 563 yards and seven touchdowns as he and Ritter are excellent complements in the run-game.

Defensively, UCF has struggled against the run as the Knights have been scathed for 189 per night. This maybe the key statistic going into the game with the potency of the Cincinnati rushing attack. However, the Knights have turned opponents over 19 times and this could be the equalizer. Cincinnati has six lost fumbles and six interceptions as defensive back Richie Grant has two fumble recoveries and three interceptions.

When Knights Has the Ball

UCF Knights LogoThis matchup is the irresistible force vs. the immovable object as UCF leads the nation in total offense with 619.1 yards per game and scoring 44.1 (11th) per outing. Dillon Gabriel and the pass offense also lead the nation at 396 yards per game. Tre Nixon and Jaylon “JayFIash” Robinson are third and fifth in the nation in receiving yards at 942 and 822, respectively.

The Bearcats are 10th in total defense, allowing only 300 yards and 12.1 ppg and they are have turned their opponents over 16 times which equates to a (+4) turnover margin. Coby Bryan and Ahmad Gardner have three picks each and Myjai Sanders leads the Bearcats with five sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries.

The high powered offenses of the AAC have been a little more than a cinder as the UC defense minimized Houston, Memphis, and SMU as the held them to 297 yards on average only a combined 33 points. Gabriel has only thrown two interceptions all season with his 23 touchdown passes and his 63.3 percent completion percentage.

Winner: Cincinnati (-5.5) 37, UCF 30
Over-Under: Take OVER 63

The Bets
Cincinnati Bearcats -5.5
-115
Over 63
-120
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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.