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Week 8 – Cincinnati at Toledo
Posted Oct 19, 2012

Week 8 Fearless Prediction – Cincinnati at Toledo.

Cincinnati (5-0) at Toledo (6-1) Oct. 20, 3:30, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal: There are no more FCS opponents left on the Cincinnati schedule. Things are about to get a lot tougher and more interesting for the No. 21 team in the initial BCS standings. The Bearcats have surprised by remaining as one of the last of the dozen unbeaten teams in America. However, they’ve yet to win a true road game, and looked lethargic in victories over Delaware State and most recently Fordham. Over the next two weeks, a ton is going to be learned about Butch Jones’ upstart team, which must travel first to Toledo and then to Louisville. The Rockets have been soaring since losing the opener at Arizona in overtime, winning each of the last six games. However, not unlike this week’s visitor, they have some questions of their own that need to be answered. For instance, was last week’s perilously close call with winless Eastern Michigan a case of a good team looking ahead or a somewhat overrated one getting exposed? It’s about to find out this weekend at the Glass Bowl.

Why Cincinnati Might Win: The Bearcats have risen to the occasion when needed this fall, pounding Pitt, routing rival Miami U. and upsetting Virginia Tech in Landover, Md. Producers of more than 100 points over the last two weekends, they’ll enjoy getting a crack at a Toledo defense that misses injured DE TJ Fatinikun, and has become increasingly sporadic as the season unfolds. Now ranked 108th nationally, the Rockets were torched for 624 yards by Eastern Michigan QB Tyler Benz and RB Bronson Hill. Cincinnati will counter punch with its own eclectic mix of the running of George Winn and the dual-threat potential of QB Munchie Legaux. If Toledo doesn’t win at the line of scrimmage, the Bearcats will get into the secondary in a hurry.

Why Toledo Might Win: Cincinnati will score. Toledo is going to keep pace with an offense that’s every bit as potent as this week’s visitor. The Rockets have rung up at least 37 points in each of the last four games, hitting the 50 mark the past two games. They are flush with playmakers all over the lineup, from versatile QB Terrance Owens to a cast of exciting skill position players, like RB David Fluellen and receivers Alonzo Russell and Bernard Reedy. Fluellen and Reedy are gamebreakers, while the 6-4 Russell has been a pleasant surprise in his debut out of Milford Academy (NY). Although the Bearcats D has played well so far, it has yet to see an opponent with as many weapons as Toledo.

What To Watch Out For: Toledo LB Dan Molls has come through in a big way as a leader and a producer, especially since Fatinikun injured his Achilles tendon. The senior has racked up a MAC-best 89 tackles, including at least 13 on five separate occasions. Highly active and instinctive from his inside position, he’ll be in charge of containing Winn, who is averaging more than six yards a carry, and is a long ball threat whenever he sees a crease in the defense.

What Will Happen: With Toledo and Cincinnati in the same building, Saturday’s game will be every bit as explosive and unpredictable as expected. Neither team is going to play much defense. The Rockets don’t have the personnel, and the Bearcats, possibly looking ahead to Louisville, will be unprepared for what’s about to hit them. Fueled by the home crowd, Toledo will play at a different level, certainly than it showcased a week ago, using an inspired effort and more than 450 yards of offense to hand the program—and the MAC—another notable win in 2012.

CFN Prediction: Toledo 40 … Cincinnati 38
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Cincinnati -7 O/U: 64
Must Watch Rating (5 – Seven Psychopaths, 1 – Here Comes the Boom): 2.5