What About Us?

Saturday Spotlight

(24) Cincinnati Bearcats at (11) UCF Knights

Cincinnati: They have been one of the more consistent teams in the AAC and I like the makeup of this football team. When they hired Luke Fickell, they were getting a guy who was the interim head coach during his time in Columbus for the Ohio State Buckeyes when Urban Meyer was absent and he’s made a nice name for himself with this program. They have some nice playmakers on offense starting with the quarterback, Desmond Ridder and he’s completing 64 percent of his passes with 15 touchdown passes thrown and only five interceptions. When I first watched some tape on him, the first thing I immediately noticed was his aggression at the position which is a positive and he doesn’t mind taking that big chance down the field and when he has too, he can move the pocket and get the additional yards with his feet to move the chains. As a passer, he can spread the football around to the open receiver and his throws are always crisp and on point. This Bearcats offense averages 35 points a game and they sustain long drives to control the clock and they run the ball really well and numbers don’t lie, they average 235 yards on the ground per contest and it’s good to know that teams still pride themselves on wanting to establish the ground game because it opens up the passing game. They also play defense and actually have the seventh-ranked defense in the country. They’ll be under the lights tonight against a team just looking for respect.

UCF: Okay, we are finally here you all and we stand at 22. That’s the number of wins this football team has won in a row and what’s absolutely mind-boggling is that you hear about this, but people don’t take them seriously because of the conference they play in and who they’ve defeated during the streak. Here’s the thing though: Wins are wins and they’re doing just that, winning and they’re having fun while doing it. I think there was a major curiosity how they would fare without Scott Frost who led them to the Peach Bowl and a victory over Auburn then left to take the job in Lincoln, Nebraska as the head coach of his alma mater, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Josh Heupel has come to this program and they haven’t missed a single beat and right now, they still have a zero in that loss column and have a record of 9-0. The Knights have one of the better, yet underrated quarterbacks and his name is McKenzie Milton and I’ve watched tape on him, but I’m really looking forward to seeing him play and I was impressed with what I saw on the film. Many say he’s the most slept on quarterback in the nation and I can definitely agree with that. He loves to move the pocket and make a throw on the run, he can move up and around in the pocket and fling the ball to his receiver and when I see that, I see a gunslinger mentality in him and as a quarterback, it’s all about ball placement and he puts the ball in the perfect spot only to where his guy can get it. Their offense reminds me of a machine with all the pieces they have to make it work and they score at any time. Their defense isn’t spectacular, but they do enough to get the job done and get off the field. They’re looking for their second 10-0 start and looking to push the winning streak to 23 games.

Cincinnati Player To Watch: Michael Warren II– The sophomore from Toledo, Ohio has been a true impact player for these Cincinnati Bears. They love to control the clock and win that time of possession battle and this will be key for them if they want to win this game.

UCF Player To Watch: Dredrick Snelson– He’s Milton’s top target and I’ve seen him take games over so he’s beyond capable of doing just that. He just knows exactly where to be for his quarterback to make a play and magic happens when the football hits his hands.

Final Analysis: You’ve been asking for the last two years when would I preview a UCF game and here you are. Ask, you shall receive. It’s going to be a fun night in Orlando tonight. This is definitely some more strength against strength with that stingy Cincinnati defense against this prolific UCF offense. UCF must limit Warren and hold him under five yards per game along with getting some pressure on Ridder early on to rattle him. For Cincinnati, they need to cover the entire field and account for each weapon on that Knights offense.

Prediction: UCF 35 Cincinnati 31