Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Memphis Tigers Game Preview

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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Not many expected the Cincinnati Bearcats to reach this point, but Luke Fickell’s done a phenomenal job of exceeding expectations. Memphis expected to be here. Anything less than an AAC West title would be a disappointment. They need to win or have Navy lose to achieve that goal, but that means we’d get a rematch the next week. Cincinnati already clinched the AAC East title and a Memphis win or Navy loss gives the Tigers the West title. So if it feels like deja vu, you’re not wrong.

Date: Friday, November 29th
Start time: 2:30pm CT
How to watch: ABC
Line: Memphis -11
Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (Memphis, TN)


Players to watch

Memphis

RB Kenneth Gainwell
QB Brady White
WR Damonte Coxie
CB TJ Carter
DT Joseph Dorceus

Cincinnati

RB Michael Warren II
QB Desmond Ridder
LB Bryan Wright
CB Coby Bryant
LB Perry Young

Memphis Tigers Outlook

After two consecutive years of falling short of winning a conference title, the Tigers enter this week as the favorite. How did we get here? Adversity. Early in the season, Memphis lost Patrick Taylor for an extended period of time. While many believed the passing game would take over, the emergence of Kenneth Gainwell proved otherwise. The redshirt freshman didn’t have a game under 100 total yards, and he elevated the Tigers offense to a new level. Brady White’s development played a role, but he still needs to take another step. Cincinnati presents their toughest challenge yet, but Memphis has the weapons to make life tough on the Bearcats defense.

Cincinnati Bearcats Outlook

If the Bearcats want to win the conference, they must rediscover their passing attack. At least find a competent one. Desmond Ridder’s yet to throw for more than 270 yards, and the last two games produced a combined 140 yards. The Bearcats don’t normally get into shootouts with team, and we see why. Michael Warren and the rushing attack are solid, but this team relies upon its defense to get things done.

Prediction

Cincinnati’s allowing just 19.9 points per game (23rd in FBS), while Memphis’ offense produces 42.2 (8th). The Tigers know how to win a close, low scoring game, but they’d rather get out and run. If Memphis wins, we see this matchup again, and the attention goes to the adjustments each team makes. For now, it’s a matter of which team sets the pace of the game. MEMPHIS 28 CINCINNATI 20

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