Cincinnati Bearcats host the Temple Owls at Nippert Stadium on ESPN2 at 7pm ET on Saturday.
What’s at Stake
- AAC East champs and clinch spot in conference title game for the first time
- Current 12 game winning streak at Nippert Stadium (seeking back-to-back 6-0 seasons)
- 4 game losing streak vs Temple
For more on the conference championship scenarios and how the Bearcats can get there and host it, and who they might play, we laid out those scenarios earlier this week.
Thank You Seniors
In an ideal world, this is NOT the last home game for the seniors. But regardless, the senior day festivities will take place before the game and these guys deserve every bit of respect and appreciation.
This group of four year seniors, were not recruited by this coaching staff. That means they had to live through the Tuberville disasters and Luke Fickell’s 4-8 first season. They stuck it out, when they could have simply transferred and found a better home. They helped get the program back on track and have helped Cincinnati win 20 of 23 games since last year.
These players should all be applauded for their loyalty and their accomplishments, which include going 4-0 against Miami and winning the first bowl game since 2012 in last year’s Military Bowl. It may also include a conference championship game appearance and perhaps win.
THANK YOU to not just those four year seniors, but to all of the graduating players - Bryan Wright, Cam Jefferies, Perry Young, Josiah Deguara, Rashad Medaris, Thomas Geddis, Sam Crosa, Chris Ferguson, Morgan James, Tinashe Bere, Alex Heil, Zach Wood, Ryan Jones, Joe Shroer.
For more on the seniors....
LISTEN: Down the Drive Podcast
On this week’s podcast, Scotty Whitehouse shares his key memories and appreciation for these seniors.
Losing Streak vs Temple
Luke Fickell has beaten 9 out of the 11 other AAC teams. The only two teams he has not yet beaten? Temple and Memphis.
Well is’t that convenient. The Bearcats have not beaten Temple since 2014. A look back at the disappointing four year history.
Black Out Nippert
Bearcats will be wearing the all black uniforms - black pants, jerseys, and helmets. It’s their best look. And fans are encouraged to wear black as well. How many fans will be at the game has been a huge topic for discussion.
At the end of the day, it is what is it and it’s become a huge waste of energy. And I am absolutely guilty of begging and pleading with people to come to games. But if you haven’t already been convinced to go, then taking (hilarious) shots at the Bengals or offering cheap tickets likely won’t swap you at this point.
College football attendance is down nationally and Cincinnati sports fans are an interesting group. The fans that want to come, will come.
My advice to those who can make it - BE LOUD! And make a difference.
Temple is a very good team, as our Clayton Trutor points out. Their motto is #templetuff and as pointed out above, they certainly always play Cincinnati tough.
Owls have two wins over “power 5” schools this year - Georgia Tech and Maryland.
That’s more power 5 wins than Syracuse, NC St, Northwestern, Rutgers, Arkansas, Vandy.
And as many power 5 wins as Michigan St, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Miss St, Georgia Tech, Duke, Wash St, Texas Tech, Maryland.
On Sunday, I wrote about why, despite fans calling for the contrary, I believe Desmond Ridder will not and should not be benched.
Phil Neuffer: This is another game against the Owls with important implications. Last year’s 24-17 overtime loss ruined a 6-0 start to the season for the Bearcats and this one could have even more far reaching implications. Both of these teams are built on their ability to stop teams from scoring. UC is first in points per game allowed among American Athletic Conference teams (20.6) and Temple is fourth (25). Strong play in the red zone is the key, with Temple allowing the lowest red zone success rate (61.54 percent) in the AAC and UC letting up the third-fewest red zone touchdowns (17). All this is to say I’m expecting a low scoring game, but since Temple got trounced at home by a UCF team that UC defeated, I think you can believe in the Bearcats to win this one.
Cincinnati 21 Temple 16
Mike Schneid: This was a game that I had circled on the calendar before the season, just because of how feisty Temple can be. I am going to continue to put my blind faith in Ridder and the offense to get this thing figured out. I trust the coaching staff. I trust the players. Everyone knows the stakes entering Saturday. This team has proven capable of putting together 60 great minutes (Marshall). They have proven capable of putting on a defense clinic (UCF). Now, it’s time to put all these little pieces together.
- Offense scores on the first possession
- WR Alec Pierce gets involved and makes a catch of 40+ yards
- Josiah Deguara catches a touchdown
And the Bearcats win!
Cincinnati 28 Temple 20