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Are the Cincinnati Bearcats for Real?

Our Resident Cincinnati Bearcat Expert Thinks So!

9/26/09

Some said that the University of Cincinnati Bearcats werenít ďthat goodĒ and that they would be exposed by the Oregon State Beavers. Surprise, surprise; the Bearcats became the first team to escape Reser Stadium with a win since 1998 last week. Their opponent this week will be the Fresno State Bulldogs, a team that tried to go score for score with Boise State last week and failed. Itís pretty safe to say that the Bearcats will win this game, but the Bulldogs have a shot at covering the generous +16.5 spread, +17 a some sportsbooks.

Tony Pike played like a future NFL QB last week against Oregon State. The senior completed 31/49 passes for 332 yards and 2 TDs. He helped Cincinnati convert 5-14 on 3rd down and 1-1 on 4th down. WR DJ Woods showed that Gilyard isnít the only capable WR in town while catching 7 passes for 117 yards and a TD. He had a long run of 45 yards. Gilyard wasnít too shabby either catching 9 passes for 65 yards or a TD. Sophomore RB Isaiah Pead had 11 carries for 46 yards and a TD. The defense did best of all, holding the potent Beavers offense to just 18 points.

The Cincinnati Bearcats (#14 AP, 3-0) have played exceptionally well this year. Many pundits expected them to fade away after last yearís Big East Championship and Orange Bowl appearance. However, it appears that they only got better. The offense has been firing on all cylinders. QB Tony Pike has thrown for 923 yards and 8 TDs thus far, and WR Mardy Gilyard has 6 TDs. Although Cincinnati will take to the air more often than not, they have reliable runners in Isaiah Pead and Jacob Ramsey. The defense has been very strong as well, holding Rutgers to 15 points and Oregon State to 18. That is amazing for a group that returned just a single starter this year. Coach Brian Kelly will count on the defense to stop Fresno State. There is no doubt that Cincinnati will score on the Bulldogs, so if they shut them down offensively it will be game over.

The Fresno State Bulldogs played valiantly last week, but in the end the Boise State Broncos proved too much for them. Boise State got off to a quick start in that game and the Bulldogs were playing catch up most of the time. A late explosion in the fourth quarter sealed the game for the Broncos. Fresno State QB Ryan Colburn passed for 187 yards 1 TD and 2 INTS, but it was RB Ryan Matthews that anchored the offense. The junior found the end zone 3 times on 19 carries and picked up 234 yards. He will need similar production this week for Fresno State to pull off the upset. The defense did bad, giving up 51 points. They were simply overmatched.

QB Ryan Colburn will have to pick up the pace for Fresno State. The Bulldogs need him to cut down on errors and to find open receivers. RB Ryan Matthews has done very well thus far, especially against Boise State. He could find problems with the Cincinnati defensive line, but I still expect for him to have a good game on the whole. The Fresno defense needs to press Tony Pike and keep him on his toes the whole game. Keeping him off balance and forcing him to throw INTs is the only way they can win this game.

This game is an easy pick straight up; Cincinnati. However, I like Fresno State getting 16.5 points. Iíd buy the line up to 17. This is coming from a UC student and fan. I love the Bearcats, but Iím not naÔve. They are due to have a flat game. This game has seen some two way betting action this far. The infamous Dr Bob released this Fresno State as a strong opinion on Thursday Night and the line immediately dropped to 15.5. But within the next 30 minutes, some sharps saw some value laying the 15.5 and pushed the number right back up to -16.5 and even -17 in a spot or two. We'll side with the good Dr on this one. We'll take Fresno State at +17 or better.

 

If you're looking for more picks this week, be sure to check out all of our available options. We have a full service consensus report, a very popular service called the Consensus Club as well as a group of very talented handicappers picking games each and every week. We also have a sports monitor site which monitors all of the top handicappers in the land.

 

 

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