Come October 8th of this year, when the Bearcats travel to East Hartford to play the Connecticut Huskies, I will likely be disappointed it isn't in basketball because that would actually be an entertaining game. Football really isn't Connecticut's sport unless you count that fluke of a season in 2010 when they managed to win the excuse that was the Big East (only to disappoint them by losing to Oklahoma by 28 points in the Fiesta Bowl). Honestly, 2010 was a good year for Husky fans because that was also the last time they had a winning record at an astounding 8-5 and it was also the last time they beat Cincinnati.
This game isn't something to overlook for the Bearcats, but they would really have to screw this one up to leave East Hartford with a loss. Simply put, the Huskies are young, inexperienced, and coming off what they consider a successful season at 6-7. Bearcats are better on all sides of the ball and have this one in the bag, but if the Huskies come out and play, it could be an entertaining game (just ask Houston how trips to East Hartford can go).
Well, let's start this off on the positives heading into this bloodbath. On the cover, this looks like the start of a renewed rivalry between two good teams with the Huskies improving by four wins last year, returning ten offensive starters, and Bob Diaco turning the team around this season. But once you begin to read behind the lines, it isn't what it seems to be.
The Huskies have a measly eleven teams between them and the absolute last place in the entire country. The Charlotte 49ers, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, and the Wyoming Cowboys all have better offenses than the Huskies.
As for the Bearcats, they will likely have no problem cutting through anything the Huskies try to throw at them because Gunner Kiel and company were ranked in the top five last season before heading into their bowl game against the San Diego State Aztecs.
This is where things get a little bit dicey for the Bearcats. Ranking significantly higher in nearly every category last season, the Huskies should be taking this crown. "Not so fast," as Lee Corso has been coined saying, the Bearcats have completely revamped their defensive line, reloaded at the linebacker spot, and have senior leadership in the secondary.The Bearcats will be better than the Huskies in 2016 defensively, but as of right now the numbers favor the Huskies.
The biggest difference between the two is in Defensive Efficiency where the Huskies ranked 47th last season in comparison to the Bearcats, who were 92nd. There are numerous questions regarding the potential of both teams defensively and those questions will likely be answered before they get the chance to play one another. For the Huskies, they better root for another game like last year's against Houston, or this one will get ugly.
This game will be ugly. The Huskies will be over-matched early in this one and the defense will be forced to play more often than they would like. The Bearcats come out of the gate running and just take this game away from Connecticut. If all goes according to plan in six months, the Bearcats win 42-17 in East Hartford.