On Saturday, at 3:30 on ESPN, the Cincinnati Bearcats (5-1) host the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (2-4) at Nippert Stadium.
Tulsa is 2-4, with losses to 3 teams who have been ranked in the top 25 in 2019 - Michigan State, Oklahoma State, SMU. They led Oklahoma State 21-20 at halftime, before losing 40-21 and led SMU 23-9, before losing 43-37 in triple overtime. Their 4th loss is to Navy. Their two wins are against San Jose State (who beat Arkansas) and Wyoming (who beat Missouri).
Before the loss to Michigan State, RB Corey Taylor claimed that he and teammate Shamari Brooks would each run for 100 yards, averaging 5 yards per carry. Spartans defense lived up to their hype and held Tulsa, as a team, to NEGATIVE 73 yards rushing. Brooks led the team with 6 carries for 0 yards and Taylor ran for -1 yard on 7 carries.
For Cincinnati, they have won 4 in a row since their loss in Columbus, including a 2-0 start in AAC play with wins over UCF and Houston. They are 2-1 on the road and 3-0 at home.
The first ever meeting was in 1946, the year Cincinnati went to their first ever bowl game. Bearcats won 4 straight in the ‘90s. They’ve only faced each other twice - 2015 at Nippert Stadium and 2016 in Tulsa.
That 2016 game, ended in dramatic fashion in overtime and was the final game of [he who shall not be mentioned] as Cincy’s head coach.
Since that 2016 victory, Tulsa is 8-23 overall and coach Philip Montgomery, an Art Briles disciple, is squarely on the hot seat.
More on the all-time series history
Saturday is the official celebration of the 2009 Cincinnati football team, that finished the regular season 12-0.
- Celebrating Isaiah Pead
- Remembering the quarterbacks (Tony Pike and Zach Collaros)
- As part of this week’s Monday Musings, some thoughts on the return of Brian Kelly
Down the Drive Podcast
This week’s Podcast features a new co-host, Scotty Whitehouse, and he and Mike Schneid, a pair of Cincinnati alums, reminisce and reflect on the first half of the 2019 football season and remember the 2009 team.
2019 ACC Champions?
Not a typo. Yes, Cincinnati plays in the AAC but what if they played in the ACC? At 5-1 and playing extremely well, could the Bearcats contend in the brutally bad ACC Coastal?
Cash your bets?
There is a lot at stake for Cincinnati against Tulsa. Before the season, Vegas incomprehensibly set the over/under wins total for the Bearcats at 6.5 wins, and in some places it could have been had for 5.5. Those with 5.5 wins, may actually cash in after this Saturday.
Did Vegas really think a team that went 11-2 in 2018 and returned almost all of their key players, would regress to 5-7? In a conference that features Tulsa, ECU, UConn, and USF nonetheless?
By the way, in addition to being the four worst teams in the conference, those teams also line up as the next four games for Cincinnati.
Phil Neuffer: You have to pity the teams tasked with playing the Cincinnati Bearcats right now. UC has looked completely dominant during its current four-game winning streak and on Saturday, they will be playing back at Nippert Stadium, which was the location of their signature win over UCF. Against Tulsa, the Bearcats are facing a 2-4 squad that, aside from giving SMU a triple overtime scare, has done very little this season. That is evident from the fact that Tulsa is in the bottom half of the American Athletic Conference in both total offense and total defense. All signs point to another victory at Nippert Stadium for the Bearcats.
Cincinnati 35 Tulsa 10
Clayton Trutor: How can Cincinnati remain focused after the last two weeks? The Bearcats have been crowned as the toast of the conference. Lowly Tulsa looks like no match but don’t be deceived. Tulsa is a tough town in a tough state. They are the runt of the litter in college football, the smallest school with an FCS program. Philip Montgomery is a fine coach who is going to right this ship by the end of the season. Expect Tulsa to play pugnaciously on Saturday and to hang in this one.
Cincinnati 31 Tulsa 24
Mike Schneid: After the intensity they brought against UCF, Cincinnati looked sluggish against Houston last week. In spite of that, they produced almost 400 yards of offense, defense forced 5 turnovers, and won a road conference game by 15 points. That’s the sign of a good team. The sign of a great team? One that puts their foot on the gas against inferior opponents. Tulsa is a far inferior opponent. Bearcats are honoring their best team ever. And they will have another near sold out crowd and the students will cause all kinds of ruckus.
Cincinnati 49 Tulsa 14