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Simulating Cincinnati at UConn

A surprising set of outcomes await as we project what will happen in Cincinnati’s league opener.

Ohio v Cincinnati Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Only in the wildest dreams of Cincinnati Bearcats fans could the final result of week four played out. Yet somehow the reality of UC’s comeback win over Ohio was more fantastical than any fiction contrived by the minds of the Bearcat faithful. It was also beyond the realm of reasoning from any prognostication system, whether that be by a human or a computer.

Now that the win against Ohio is firmly in the rear view mirror, however, its time for the Bearcats to look ahead. They face a milestone this weekend, as they open American Athletic Conference action with a trip to visit the UConn Huskies. While any prediction will never accurate the outcome perfectly, it can at least give us a baseline for expectations. It’s just up to the teams themselves to meet, fall short or even exceed them.

As I will outline every week, here’s how this works. I will run five simulation sets using NCAAGameSim.com. This is a new site for us, so its subject to change. The site runs roughly somewhere between 30 and 80 matchups (usually) before providing a possible result. It also now has entirely updated rosters, so even though this just an approximation, it’s a better one than year’s past. Now let’s get to the fake football.

UConn 45 Cincinnati 19

Umm. OK. I guess this is somewhat possible, but we might need to look under the hood of our simulation machine. Based on a set of 33 simulations, the Huskies came out on top 24 times, which is pretty surprising considering the Huskies are 1-3 overall, with their one win an escape act against Rhode Island.

In this particular result, the Bearcats forget how to defend, as David Pindell puts on his best Cam Newton impression and throws for 306 yards, rushes for 136 and accounts for three total touchdowns. Kevin Mensah adds 113 yards and three scores on 21 carries, making a strong effort from Michael Warren (144 yards) go to waste.

UConn 29 Cincinnati 14

Once again, this entire set of simulations favors the Huskies. They win 25 of 36 total outcomes, scoring more than 20 points 12 times. The Bearcats don’t accomplish that even once.

Mensah does most of the work on his own this time (138 yards on 23 carries), while Pindell is picked off twice and accounts for 172 yards through the air. However, that is leaps and bounds above what Desmond Ridder does for UC. The redshirt freshman completes only nine passes on 17 attempts and finishes with 116 yards.

Josiah Deguara and Kahlil Lewis both catch touchdown passes for the Bearcats, who also get 85 yards on the ground from Warren.

UConn 20 Cincinnati 14

This is getting closer to a Bearcats win at least. The Huskies won 28 of 39 matchups in this set, scoring 20 points in 13 of those pretend games. Meanwhile, the Bearcats average only 16.1 points per game and never reach the 20-point mark.

Weak passing from Ridder is the culprit for the lack of offense, as he connects on only 8-of-16 throws, finishing with a meager 89 yards passing. He does manage to avoid throwing an interception and tosses a touchdown pass to Lewis. Warren really carries the offense, as limited as it is, finishing with 108 yards on 22 carries.

On the other side, Pindell and Mensah both rush for at least 140 yards and even though he only completes six passes, Pindell makes a lot of big plays, tallying 149 yards through the air. Hergy Mayala has three of six total UConn receptions and scores both touchdowns for the Huskies.

Cincinnati 17 UConn 13

Finally. Even though the Bearcats only won 12 of 40 matchups in this simulation set, they won the one that we’ll be discussing.

Ridder is explosive and makes fools of the UConn defenders with his running ability. He leads the team with 122 yards rushing and a touchdown, making up for a pretty weak effort through the air (14-for-25, 150 yards, TD, INT). Warren tacks on 83 yards rushing.

UConn still gets 189 combined rushing yards from Mensah and Pindell, but the UC defense steps up against the pass and creates a key interception to secure the victory.

UConn 27 Cincinnati 14

The Huskies take this simulation set once more (29 wins to 12 losses), outscoring the Bearcats by an average score of 26.4-16.0. I guess the computers are seeing something everyone else is missing in UConn’s 1-3 start, which has featured an average opponent score of 54.5 points.

Pindell and Mensah rush for 239 yards and two touchdowns combined, which is more than the Bearcats can handle. Ridder and Warren each run for a score, but Warren is mostly kept in check, averaging only 2.9 yards per carry.


This was a surprising turn of events, as I did not expect the simulations to be so down on the undefeated Bearcats. Even if it took a minor miracle to beat Ohio, UC has still produced a much more capable football team each week than the Huskies. I still expect the Bearcats to win, but perhaps UConn shouldn’t be overlooked so quickly.