Miami FL (3-0) at Cincinnati (2-2)
When: Thursday, October 1st, 2015
Where: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Time: 7:30 ET
TV: ESPN Radio: XM 84
The Miami Hurricanes play their final non-conference game tonight before they dive into ACC play. The ‘Canes are a perfect 3-0 after wins over Bethune Cookman, Florida Atlantic, and Nebraska. Miami survived their last game against Nebraska when they were up 31-10 with 11 minutes to go. The game miraculously went to overtime before the Hurricanes pulled it out. Sophomore QB Brad Kaaya passes for 379 yards in that game and has 5 touchdowns to only 1 interception so far this year. Running back Joseph Yearby ran for 125 yards and is averaging just over 100 per game with 4 total touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving). Rashawn Scott leads the receiving corps with 18 catches for 273 yards and a TD. Defensively, the Hurricanes has looked really good until the 4th quarter of the Nebraska game. That tends to happen with big leads and I don’t think they’re worried about it. They will be tested tonight against a potent Cincinnati offense. Miami CB Artie Burns is the first Hurricane with an interception in three straight games since Sean Taylor in 2003. Miami will face Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Clemson in the next 3 games after tonight.
Cincinnati didn’t miss a beat on offense last week after they lost QB Gunner Kiel the week before. Hayden Moore stepped up against Memphis last week and threw for a school record 557 yards in the 53-46 loss. Moore connected on 31-of-53 attempts (four TDs, two interceptions) and has six receivers who have gained at least 165 yards, led by Shaq Washington (26 catches, 286 yards). Running back Mike Boone, who has 220 yards rushing and three touchdowns, continues to be limited with an ankle injury for an offense that ranks third in the nation at 622.5 yards per game. Their defense is another story. Not only did they give up 53 to Memphis, they allowed Temple to get 34 and Miami OH 33 points. They are ranked 99th in points allowed despite allowing only 10 points in week 1 to Alabama A&M. Cincinnati is already 0-2 in AAC play and must split their last 8 games to become Bowl eligible. They have the Hurricanes tonight and BYU next week. If they can’t at least split these next two, then they would need to finish 4-2 to play in December.
If Miami didn’t allow Nebraska to score all those 4th quarter points, this line might be higher. I think the bookmakers believe Cincinnati’s offense can score often enough to keep it close. I think they can also, but I wouldn’t put the mortgage on it.
Pick: Cincinnati +6.5