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Simulating UConn at Cincinnati

It’s time for a season finale.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

With how poorly this season has gone for the Cincinnati Bearcats, you wouldn’t be off base eating so much on Thanksgiving that your food coma lasts through Sunday. If the incredible amount of turkey/stuffing/lasagna/whatever-your-family-eats does send you for your favorite napping chair throughout the weekend, then you might want to be armed with some knowledge of how UC’s last game of the season will turn out.

That means we need to use our time machine one last time before packing it away in Clayton’s closet for the next nine months. Hopefully he won’t notice that we “borrowed” it.

Before we get started, here is the disclaimer. The simulation site used (WhatIfSports.com) has not updated to include 2017 football rosters. However, with some slight tweaks, we can at least form a facsimile of the makeup of the Bearcats and the Huskies. We can also adjust the weather, which calls for clear skies with temperatures in the low 50s on Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati, according to AccuWeather.com. Here are the results of five simulations.

Cincinnati 33 UConn 28

An incredibly torrid offensive rush from the Huskies in the final quarter isn’t enough to save the Huskies, who score 28 unanswered points after falling behind 33-0. Hayden Moore leads the Bearcats to the big lead, throwing for 319 yards and three touchdowns on 23-of-35 passing. However, UC struggles to run out the clock, averaging only 2.1 yards per carry. Special teams play also lets UC down, as two punt returns for touchdowns put the Huskies within striking distance. UConn has a chance to win on its final possession, but Tyraiq Beals drops a pass on a fourth-and-nine with 20 seconds remaining to all but end it.

Cincinnati 24 UConn 6

Tight ends dictate most of the scoring, with Tyler Cogswell and Josiah Deguara both catching touchdown passes. Michael Warren II and Mike Boone both do more of the heavy lifting, however. Warren rushes for 106 yards and a score, while Boone adds 130 total yards. Moore throws for 240 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-31 passing and UC’s defense does enough bending without breaking to earn the win despite a nearly 10 minute deficit in time of possession.

Cincinnati 27 UConn 7

After falling behind 7-0 midway through the first quarter, the Bearcats score 27 straight points over the next two periods to claim victory. David Pindell is atrocious after the opening drive and finishes with only 109 yards and two interceptions on 10-of-24 passing. Credit is due to the UC secondary for keeping the UConn QB in check. Moore, meanwhile, nearly hurls a perfect game, completing 18-of-22 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns, one of which goes to Thomas Geddis.

UConn 13 Cincinnati 6

The game features 572 yards of total offense combined and the whole stadium falls asleep before halftime. UC only scores on a pair of field goals, while UConn gets the lone touchdown on an eight-yard run from Kevin Mensah.

Cincinnati 27 UConn 17

Even though they allow 204 rushing yards, the Bearcats manage to pull out a victory thanks to strong play from the rest of the defense. An interception by Malik Clements midway through the third quarter sets the Bearcats up in scoring position and they capitalize, with Moore scoring on a 15-yard run. Warren adds a rushing touchdown in the fourth and Ryan Jones makes his second field goal of the game to cap off a comeback win for the hosts.