2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 5 - Cincinnati at Miami Univ.
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Oct. 1 Cincinnati 27 ... at Miami University 0
CFN Analysis: The conditions weren’t exactly ideal, but Zach Collaros still threw for 251 yards and a touchdown to overcome two picks and a mediocre day from the Bearcat ground game. Collaros ran well with 89 yards, and Isaiah Pead scored on two scores, but the offense couldn’t seem to get into a groove in a grinding win. The pass rush continues to be terrific and the run defense has been fantastic, and now it’s on to Big East play with Louisville the free space game before a nasty run of four road games in five. The team is playing well enough to be in the hunt for a bowl, but the secondary needs to start tightening up.
Miami isn’t getting any running game whatsoever and Zac Dysert couldn’t pick up the slack against the Bearcats. Nick Harwell came up with a 66-yard catch, and the passing game was spread around well, but the offensive line was a disaster as UC was in the backfield all game long and the MU backs never got any room to move. Off to an 0-4 start, and being the only team to lose to Minnesota, the season has been a disaster so far making next week’s game against Army a must win. The nation’s worst running game needs to get a push from the front five immediately or the disaster will continue.
(AP) OXFORD, Ohio -- Isaiah Pead ran for a pair of touchdowns Saturday, and Cincinnati's dominating defense opened the second half with a goal-line stand that set up a 27-0 victory over Miami of Ohio.
Cincinnati (4-1) has won the last six games in the nation's oldest nonconference rivalry, played 116 times since 1888. The Bearcats' defense made this one a reference point -- Cincinnati's first shutout in Oxford since a 22-0 victory in 1898.
Miami (0-4) couldn't budge the Bearcats' defensive line, which put Cincinnati in control with the goal-line stand. The Bearcats then pulled away with three touchdowns in the third quarter, including Pead's pair of scoring runs.
The Bearcats overcame a season-high four turnovers, including Zach Collaros' two end-zone interceptions and his fumble at the Miami 12-yard line. Collaros was 16 of 30 for 251 yards and scrambled 15 times for 89 yards against a defense that emphasized pass coverage.
Miami's Zac Dysert was 19 of 33 for 252 yards with an interception at the goal line and four sacks. Sophomore Nick Harwell became only the second Miami player with three straight 100-yard games, one shy of Martin Nance's school record.
It was Cincinnati's first shutout since a 31-0 win over Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 2, 2006. The Bearcats' last shutout in the rivalry -- played for the "Victory Bell" traveling trophy -- was 17-0 in Cincinnati. Miami finished with minus-3 yards on 38 rushes.
Miami hadn't been shut out at home since 1983, the year Yager Stadium opened.
North winds gusting to 20 mph made it tough to pass and punt. The Bearcats made it even tougher on themselves by getting careless.
Cincinnati is one of the nation's leaders in turnover margin, losing the ball only twice in the first four games. The Bearcats had three turnovers in the first half alone on Saturday, including Collaros' interception and fumble in scoring range.
Miami had plenty of its own problems. An 11-yard punt set Cincinnati up at midfield, and tight end Travis Kelce got open behind the safeties for a 30-yard touchdown catch. The extra-point attempt was wide.
The RedHawks managed only 12 yards on 20 carries in the first half, which ended with the Bearcats up 6-0. Cincinnati's defense opened the second half with a goal-line stand that crushed Miami's chances of a comeback.
Dysert surprised Cincinnati with a 66-yard pass down the middle to Nick Harwell, who was tackled at the 1-yard line by safety Drew Frey. After two runs lost a yard, Harwell was called for pushing off to get open on a catch in the end zone. Mason Krysinski hooked a 34-yard field goal try, starting a celebration on the Bearcats sideline.
Three plays later, Collaros completed a 72-yard pass to tight end Adrien Robinson, who made a juggling at-the-knees catch while safety Pat Hinke interfered with him. Pead's 3-yard run made it 13-0.
Cincinnati then put it away with two touchdowns in an 89-second span. Pead scored on a 4-yard dive, and linebacker J.K. Schaffer returned the ball 17 yards for a touchdown off a bad snap on a punt attempt for a 27-0 lead late in the third quarter.
It was Cincinnati's third straight game with a dominating defensive showing. The Bearcats returned two interceptions and a fumble for touchdowns during a 59-14 win over Akron, and had six sacks during a 44-14 win over North Carolina State.
Cincinnati (3-1) at Miami U. (0-3) Oct. 1, 1:00, ESPN3
Here’s The Deal … The 116th Battle for the Victory Bell will pit a pair of schools going in polar opposite directions. While Cincinnati is starting to build some momentum, Miami is still searching for its first win of the year. The Bearcats may have turned the corner last Thursday night, blowing out NC State, 44-14, in the school’s most complete game since Brian Kelly was still calling the shots. A year after going 4-8, Cincy is authoring the fast start that it desperately needed. If it can build on last week’s rout, it’ll enter the bye week with a full-blown head of steam.
The RedHawks, to the contrary, are struggling under first-year head coach Don Treadwell. Sure, they put up a valiant effort in road losses to Missouri and Minnesota, but Saturday’s loss to Bowling Green at Yager Stadium was a troubling development. The defending MAC champs are already a game behind in the East Division, needing to turn things around in a hurry.
Why Cincinnati Might Win: Just about everything, from offense and defense to special teams, went right for the Bearcats against the Wolfpack. The attack is balanced, getting jolts of energy on the ground from Isaiah Pead, and accurate throws from Zach Collaros. The senior has been crisp so far, accounting for 12 touchdowns and pick.
The sputtering RedHawks offense will struggle to go blow-for-blow with Cincinnati. Not only is Miami 118th nationally in rushing and 112th in sacks allowed, but it’ll be facing a Bearcats D that ate up NC State a week ago. It produced six sacks and three turnovers, getting in QB Mike Glennon’s face throughout the night.
Why Miami University Might Win: If there’s a silver lining in Oxford, it’s that the defense has played relatively well through the first three games of 2011. Time will tell if it’ll be tough enough to slow down Collaros & Co. Despite facing teams from the Big 12 and Big Ten, the RedHawks rank No. 12 nationally in pass defense, and lead the MAC in tackles for loss. In the loss to Bowling Green, they sacked Matt Schilz four times. They’re a blue-collar, fundamentally-sound group that can challenge the opposition with DT Austin Brown, LB Jerrell Wedge and safeties Anthony Kokal and Pat Hinkel.
What To Watch Out For: Which is the real Cincinnati defense, the one that bowed to Tennessee two weeks ago or the one that suffocated NC State? The answer will determine just how far the Bearcats might go in 2011. The seasoned group was downright oppressive on Thursday night, holding the Pack to minus 26 yards rushing, a product of those half-dozen sacks. Senior DT Derek Wolfe has been one of the catalysts up front, notching at least one tackle for loss in every game so far.
What Will Happen: Cincinnati’s momentum and confidence will not be thwarted by a Miami team still searching for some consistency. Sure, it’s a rivalry game on the road, but the Bearcats are peaking on both sides of the ball. The offense, led once again by Collaros and Pead, will spur the early lead. The revived defense will protect it, toying with a RedHawks offensive line that’s one of the school’s weakest links. For the sixth straight year, Cincinnati is for whom the Victory Bell will toll.
CFN Prediction: Cincinnati 35 … Miami Univ. 16
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Cincinnati -13.5
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