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SMU7301525
Cincinnati01414028
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SMU (3-4) at Cincinnati (6-2)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 9, 12 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Nippert Stadium (35,097) -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Television: ESPN Regional, ESPN3.com. Home Record: SMU 2-2, Cincinnati 4-0. Away Record: SMU 1-2, Cincinnati 2-2. Neutral Record: SMU 0-0, Cincinnati 0-0. Conference Record: SMU 2-1, Cincinnati 3-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The Cincinnati Bearcats will try for their fourth straight victory on Saturday when they host the SMU Mustangs in an American Athletic Conference contest at Nippert Stadium.

The Bearcats are not the only ones trying to keep a winning streak going. By topping Temple, 59-49, in its last outing, SMU has earned back-to-back victories for the first time this season. The two wins pushed the Mustangs to a 3-4 overall mark and a 2-1 record in conference play. In the win over Temple the Mustangs smashed a number of school records, including total offense (728 yards), passing yards (538) and first downs (34).

Even though no school records fell for Cincinnati last time out, the Bearcats were still triumphant. In a Wednesday night matchup with Memphis, the Bearcats posted a 34-21 victory, marking a third straight win for Tommy Tuberville's squad. The Bearcats have scored at least 34 points in all three of those wins, while holding all foes to 21 or fewer points. At 6-2 overall, Cincinnati has earned itself bowl eligibility for the third straight year. The team's 3-1 mark in league play also has it tied for third in the AAC standings with No. 20 Louisville.

This is not only the first matchup for the Bearcats against the Mustangs as league foes but the first between the two teams ever.

The performance the Mustangs put forth against Temple really showed how powerful they can be on offense, as they are currently second in the conference in total offense (489 ypg). Like any June Jones squad the onus has been on the pass, as the Mustangs lead the league in passing.

Against Temple, Garrett Gilbert was virtually unstoppable. The Mustangs' signal caller has been piling up the yards all season but his effort against the Owls was on another level, as he threw for 538 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 97 yards and two more scores. Those six total touchdowns are tied for the second most by a player in SMU history. On the year, Gilbert has thrown for 2,634 yards and 14 scores on 65.1 percent passing.

With Gilbert slinging the ball all over the field there had to be someone to pull in the passes and Keenan Holman was the prime target, as he had 10 receptions for 209 yards and three touchdowns against the Owls. Holman (42 receptions, 655 yards, six TDs) is part of a nice quartet of receivers for the Mustangs. Leading the way is Jeremy Johnson (64 receptions, 752 yards, four TDs), while Darius Joseph (64 receptions, 561 yards, three TDs) and Der'rikk Thompson (19 receptions, 239 yards, TD) are also capable of big games.

Gilbert is the leading rusher for the Mustangs, who don't put as much stock in yards on the ground. Traylon Shead (197 yards, three TDS) and Prescott Line (152 yards, two TDs) each rushed for a score in the win over Temple, but have largely been only occasional contributors.

Where SMU really needs work is on the defensive side of the ball. Though they were able to take down Temple thanks to the incredible offensive performance, the Mustangs still ended up allowing 593 yards to the Owls, who are one of the teams near the bottom of the AAC in total offense. Overall, SMU is second to last in the conference in total defense (448.9 ypg), although it is one of four teams in the conference with at least 20 sacks.

The Bearcats are one of the better offensive squads in the conference. Cincinnati is fourth in the league in total yards (463.3 ypg), while scoring a healthy 34 points per game.

Brendon Kay has looked his best over the last two weeks as he followed up a four-touchdown performance against Connecticut with his first 300-yard passing game of the season against Memphis. Kay has now thrown for 1,709 yards and 14 scores, completing an impressive 72.4 percent of his passes.

Kay has really developed a strong connection with Shaq Washington and Anthony McClung. Washington pulled in 11 passes for 96 yards against Memphis and McClung had nine catches for 98 yards and a score. McClung (37 receptions, 462 yards, five TDs) has had a touchdown reception in each of the last three games, while Washington (49 receptions, 432 yards) has had at least 50 yards in four of the last five.

Much like SMU the Bearcats are not a team that believes in running the ball as much as throwing it. That doesn't mean they don't have the ability in the backfield to pick up yards. Ralph David Abernathy (387 yards, three TDs), Hosey Williams (362 yards, four TDs) and Tion Green (278 yards, six TDs) are all capable backs that are averaging better than four yards per carry.

Even though they may not be the best defensive unit in the league the Bearcats have certainly been a team that has put forth strong showings on that side of the ball. Cincinnati is limiting foes to just 18 points per game, while ranking second in the conference behind Louisville in total yards allowed (280 pg). Linebackers Greg Blair (51 tackles, 5.5 TFL) and Nick Temple (41 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) are the anchors of the defense, while Silverberry Mouhon (5.5 sacks) is a skilled pass rusher.

Against Temple SMU looked lethal offensively. Against Cincinnati the Mustangs will not be so fortunate. The Bearcats will be able to move the ball at will against SMU, while stifling the Mustang offense.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 40, SMU 20

11/06 10:48:25 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
3rd
ECU 35
UNC 20
 
6:00pm Tonight
TOWSN
NCCU
 
1st
NCSU 0
PRES 0
 
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
6th
OAK 0
PHI 0
 
6th
NYY 2
TOR 4
 
7th
COL 5
ARI 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
CWS
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
CLE
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
NYM
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
SEA
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
7:15pm Tonight
STL
CIN
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
 
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
 
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
 
4th
WAKE 17
ARMY 21
 
3rd
KU 10
CMICH 3
 
3rd
ALA 21
UF 21
 
2nd
FIU 0
LOU 14
 
3rd
ECU 35
UNC 20
 
3rd
NAVY 17
RUTG 31
 
3rd
SMU 3
TEXAM 48
 
3rd
MICH 10
UTAH 20
 
3rd
BYU 20
UVA 16
 
3rd
WYO 10
FATL 13
 
Half
MIZZ 17
IND 17
 
3rd
PSU 34
UMASS 0
 
3rd
MINN 17
SJST 7
 
4:00pm Today
ILL 6
TXST 14
6:00pm Tonight
WASH
GASTATE
7:00pm Tonight
SMISS
APPST
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BST
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
IDAHO
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
MEM
MTST
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
MSST
7:00pm Tonight
ARK
NILL
7:00pm Tonight
ARKST
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
GASO
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
OKLA
7:30pm Tonight
VANDY
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
FSU
CLEM
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
MIAMI
8:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
UNLV
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
6:00pm Tonight
TOWSN
NCCU
 
1st
NCSU 0
PRES 0