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at Cincinnati 59 … Akron 14

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 17, 2011


Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Akron at Cincinnati


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - Akron at Cincinnati

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Sept. 17 at Cincinnati 59 … Akron 14
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) CINCINNATI -- Zach Collaros threw for a touchdown and ran for another Saturday, and Cincinnati's defense returned three turnovers for touchdowns in the first half, setting up a 59-14 victory over winless Akron that provided the Bearcats a chance to rest.

The Bearcats (2-1) got ahead 49-0 in the first half and rested most of their starters, getting ready for a game Thursday night at home against North Carolina State.

Both of the Bearcats' wins have come against overmatched opponents. They beat Austin Peay 72-10 in the opener, then got manhandled at Tennessee 45-23.

Akron (0-3) has been outscored 142-17 while losing to Ohio State, Temple and Cincinnati. The Zips have dropped 16 consecutive road games since 2008. Their quarterbacks had a particularly tough time in this one, combining for five turnovers. The Bearcats returned one fumble and two interceptions for scores. 

Akron (0-2) at Cincinnati (1-1) Sept. 17, 3:30, ESPN3.com

Here’s The Deal … Cincinnati confidently strolled into Neyland Stadium last weekend, looking to reassert itself as one of the teams to beat in the Big East. It left Knoxville a few hours later with a laundry list of objectives and a hollow feeling. The Bearcats were roughed up by Tennessee, unable to sustain a fast start or slow down the Volunteers passing attack. This is a crucial game for second-year head coach Butch Jones, who may not have any more chances in 2011 to tinker with his personnel against an inferior opponent.

Akron is making a strong pitch to be this year’s feeblest squad among the 120 FBS schools. Sure, the Zips were supposed to be 0-2 at this juncture, but bowing to Ohio State and Temple by a combined score of 83-3 has some wondering if there’s more than a win or two left on the schedule. The locals will need to be patient with second-year head coach Rob Ianello, who has a monumental rebuilding project ahead of him.

Why Akron Might Win: After going the first eight quarters without scoring a touchdown, the aptly-named Zips might be ready to break through. Their opponent, Cincinnati, was shredded by Tennessee for 531 total yards and four Tyler Bray touchdown passes. Akron will need to open up the playbook to have a chance at Nippert Stadium, allowing QB Clayton Moore, a former Ole Miss recruit, to test his throwing skills. It’s incumbent upon receivers Marquelo Suel and Keith Sconiers, in particular, to run tight routes, and give their battery mate viable targets to hit.

Why Cincinnati Might Win: Even if the Zips display a pulse on offense, it won’t be nearly enough to match the potency of the Bearcats. Cincy will look to put the Tennessee loss as far in the rear view mirror as possible, attacking Akron with its mix of passing and running. Zach Collaros has thrown six touchdown passes without an interception, getting the ball to receivers D.J. Woods, Anthony McClung and Kenbrell Thompkins to make plays. Out of the backfield, Isaiah Pead is an explosive runner who’s averaging over 11 yards on his first 21 carries of the new campaign.

What To Watch Out For: Where’s the pass rush, Bearcats? Cincinnati has just two sacks in two games, both coming against lowly Austin Peay. If the battered secondary is to have any chance of holding up over the next three months, it’s going to need a lot more help from the front seven. Walter Stewart, John Hughes, Derek Wolfe and Dan Giordano are quality linemen who simply need to start getting a more consistent push once the ball is snapped.

What Will Happen: Cincinnati is angry and a little embarrassed after last Saturday’s debacle. Unfortunately for Akron, it could be walking straight into a hornet’s nest for which it has no answers. The Bearcats will attack on offense from the opening drive, playing with the execution and explosiveness it enjoyed in the opener. Pencil them in for around 500 total yards and six or seven touchdowns in a blowout that’ll stop being entertaining once the bulge reaches double-digits.

CFN Prediction: Cincinnati 52 … Akron 13
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Cincinnati -34.5    O/U: 56

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