Cincinnati at Miami: Five Things to Know
Both Miami and Cincinnati would like for this weekend to be better than last. After huge losses in non-conference games, each team needs a win to help keep them in the running for a bowl game. The Hurricanes cannot afford another loss. The Miami program is in a situation where another loss and any losses in the ACC for that matter could result in some heavy decisions being made regarding Al Golden’s future in South Florida. Here are a few things to know about this game.
BOTH TEAMS NEED A WIN
A rib injury forced Gunner Kiel out of the 27-point blowout against Memphis, which racked up 610 offensive yards on the Bearcats.
One week after earning an important win over Coastal Division foe Duke, Miami collapsed during the second half of a 27-17 loss to Georgia Tech.
This is the 12th meeting between the two programs and first since 1998. The Hurricanes hold a 10-1 series advantage over Cincinnati, including a 5-0 mark at home.
SOLID QUARTERBACK PLAY
Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville is preparing for Kiel being unavailable. Fortunately for the Bearcats, their backup quarterback is hardly a typical backup.
Though Munchie Legaux is certainly far from the caliber Kiel has proven to be, Cincinnati can still use an experienced player under center against a downtrodden Miami defense.
Legaux started more than a handful of games before an absolutely horrific injury ended his 2013 campaign. The senior has amassed 2,915 yards and 20 touchdowns on 415 career attempts, plus 652 yards and seven scores on the ground.
The Bearcats must be prepared for a shootout, and Legaux will likely be tasked with matching the 'Canes talented offense.
THE OFFENSE CANNOT REST
Miami offensive coordinator James Coley needs to keep Brad Kaaya and Co. moving quickly.
Memphis gashed Cincinnati both on the ground and through the air, allowing a 170-yard performance by running back Sam Craft and a catch of 20-plus yards to five Tigers receivers.
Saturday, the 'Canes will boast Duke Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Clive Walford, Malcolm Lewis, Herb Waters and Stacy Coley, each of whom are capable of picking up long gains.
The more chances they get to make an explosive play, the safer bet Miami will shred its opposition.
THE DEFENSE MUST REST
During three losses, opponents have converted 27-of-43 third or fourth downs on the Miami defense, whereas that number plummets to 15-of-59 in three wins.
While time of possession tends to be an overrated stat, Georgia Tech holding the ball for more than 40 minutes was a major factor in deciding the recent conference bout.
The Hurricanes offense could flat out destroy Cincy, but the unit can't do anything when it's not on the field.
MIAMI WINS BY A THREAD
This is a case where the offensive weapons from Miami are better than the Bearcats. Look for the Hurricanes to pull this one out by the skin of their teeth.
MIAMI 27 CINCINNATI 25