The annual Ring of Red game is set to take place this afternoon in Nippert Stadium. The team will dress in their red uniforms and fans are being asked to join in the festivities, as well. The mantra around campus has been “Come Early, Be Loud, and Wear Red” as the Bearcats prepare to take on Big East rival Syracuse. Wearing red won’t be the only priority though, as Cincinnati is also looking to end a two game losing streak when they kick off today.
The Bearcats currently lead the series with the Orange 7-5 and are 3-2 at home. However, Syracuse is riding the momentum of a two game winning streak and is looking to continue it this afternoon in Cincinnati. Though the Orange got off to a bad 1-4 start to the season, they have been able to turn the tables as of late and have fought their way back to 4-4 on the year. They have also managed to maintain a 3-1 record in conference play.
To the contrary, Cincinnati started the season off 5-0 and after two heartbreaking road losses, now find themselves 5-2 and out of the top 25 polls. They are also 1-1 in Big East conference play. Making this a must win game if the Bearcats wish to keep their conference title hopes alive.
Recently Bearcat quarterback, Munchie Legaux has struggled, throwing five interceptions in his last two games. The ugliest of those interceptions coming last week when Legaux sent the Bearcats packing in overtime as he launched and ill advised late pass to the end zone that was intercepted, essentially ending the game for the Red and Black. This week, the junior quarterback must be better. If he can’t end the turnover streak, his job may in jeopardy moving forward.
Another Bearcat to watch will be senior running back George Winn. He has already amassed 732 yards this season on the ground and is shredding defenses with an average of 6.0 yards per carry. Syracuse’s rush defense is soft, allowing 1,180 rushing yards already this season at 4.1 yards per carry. Winn, barring any setbacks, should be able to dictate the game with his feet and have his way against this defense. That would also aid his struggling quarterback, not forcing him to the air as often.
Though Syracuse has a weak rush defense, Cincinnati has struggled in their pass defense this season. So look for the game to be high scoring one, as the Orange senior quarterback Ryan Nassib is the Big East passing leader. Nassib appears to be one of the only hiccups that may keep the Bearcats from a victory at home today.
The Bearcats will be coming into the game fairly healthy. The two notable injuries are to DL Walter Stewart who is out indefinitely and DB Chris Williams who is questionable with a head injury.
Syracuse on the other hand has listed RB Ashton Brolyd and CB Ritchy Desir, both with undisclosed injuries as questionable. The Orange have also declared WR Kyle Foster, DT Ryan Sloan, FB Myles Davis, and T Kristofer Curtis as out.
Saturday’s matchup against the Orange is a very winnable game for the Bearcats. If the team can minimize the turnovers and control the clock with the rushing attack, they should set themselves up for a little momentum as they head back out on the road next week. With the weapons on both sides of the field, it should be a fun showdown for the home crowd. I am calling the game a Bearcats win 35-24.
Topics: Ashton Brolyd, Bearcats, Bearcats Football, Chris Williams, Cincinnati, Football, George Winn, Kristofer Curtis, Kyle Foster, Munchie Legaux, Myles Davis, NCAA, Nippert Stadium, Orange, Ring Of Red, Ritchy Desir, Ryan Nassib, Ryan Sloan, Syracuse, Syracuse Orange, Syracuse University, UC, UC Bearcats, University Of Cincinnati, Walter Stewart