Brought to you by: Big Shucks
By: Zach Walker
SMU Mustangs vs Cincinnati Bearcats
Saturday – October 21 – 3:00 p.m.
Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati – Ohio
Records before the game
SMU Mustangs: 4-2 (1-1 in AAC)
Cincinnati Bearcats: 2-5 (0-3 in AAC)
Who’s got the advantage?
When SMU has the ball: The Mustangs have been within a single touchdown going into the fourth quarter in both of their losses. Against TCU, Hicks couldn’t weave a pair of passes together down the stretch, and against the Cougars, his two interceptions eventually was not something that the Mustangs could overcome. The Mustangs were on an idle week last week, and they need to travel and get the job done. Against the Cougars, the Mustangs did seemingly everything well, minus the two turnovers. The Mustangs ran the ball well with Xavier Jones, and by averages, the team was very effective at rushing. Hicks finally started to throw and, more importantly, connect with Courtland Sutton in high volume while having a HEAVY dose of Trey Quinn, and with James Proche adding a half a dozen short range catches. That’s the Mustangs offense that needs to be present for the remainder of the season for them to maximize their success, but with more peppering of Braeden West and Ke’Mon Freeman. The Bearcats have faced two straight weeks of ranked opponents and got handled pretty strongly in those games. The defense against the South Florida Bulls, generated zero sacks, only three tackles for loss, and zero statistical quarterback hurries. Not great.
When Cincinnati has the ball: Like I said, the Bearcats got handled well by Charlie Strong’s Bulls. The quarterback, Hayden Moore played exceptionally not well. Moore completed a few over fifty percent of his passes, threw an interception, and had just a 12.2 QBR in measured play. That’s extremely poor play. The Bearcats didn’t rush the ball well either. Team rushing with thirty-three times, didn’t produce but ninety-nine yards, with no single rusher having more than six carries. The Mustangs had some solid production from their usual suspects. Kyran Mitchell had a pair of tackles for loss, Justin Lawler with a pair of quarterback hurries, and Mikial Onu had five solo tackles and an interception.
What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
The Mustangs need to come out of their idle week, firing on all cylinders. Hicks needs to continue the spreading of the ball, and the Mustangs and Chad Morris need to attack the ground with their trio of backs.
SMU 38 – Cincinnati 20