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Old 04-09-2010, 02:21 PM   #1
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Non-conference preview (B/R)

Looks like UC is going undefeated again this year.

@ Fresno St., Sept. 4

The defending Big East champions will open on the road when they take on the Fresno St. Bulldogs to kick off the 2010 campaign. Fresno St. gave Cincinnati all they could handle at Nippert Stadium last season before succumbing to the Bearcats 28-20.

The Bulldogs finished last season 8-5 and 6-2 in the WAC. They lost to Wyoming in double overtime of the New Mexico Bowl and are no stranger to big-time opponents. Last season they took on Wisconsin, Boise St., Nevada, and Illinois on top of Cincinnati.

The departure of junior running back Ryan Mathews early to the draft will certainly hurt what was one of the nation's best rushing attacks last season. Quarterback Ryan Colburn returns for his senior season to lead the offense.

In the end, Cincinnati will have just too much for Fresno St. to handle in this one.

Prediction: Cincinnati 41, Fresno St. 20

vs. Indiana St., Sept. 11

The Bearcats' home opener is the proverbial cupcake on their schedule. The Indiana St. Sycamores come to town in what looks to be a monumental mismatch.

Indiana St. finished last season 1-10. They did, however, hang with Louisville for a while before falling to the Cardinals 30-10. This game could be as ugly as last season's 70-3 trouncing of Southeast Missouri St.

The Sycamores will have no answer for Cincinnati, and the Bearcats will pull away early in this one as expected.

Prediction: Cincinnati 56, Indiana St. 7

@ North Carolina St., Sept. 16

The Bearcats take to the road again, this time against NC State out of the ACC. This is a Thursday night ESPN game.

NC State finished last season 5-7 but did have a big win at home over Pittsburgh. The Wolfpack were a respectable 5-3 at home, so the Bearcats cannot overlook this one.

Quarterback Russell Wilson, who passed for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns, is back to lead an NC State offense that averaged over 30 points per game. With the struggles of the Cincinnati defense that were on display last season, this could be a surprisingly tough matchup for the Bearcats.

The Wolfpack struggled on defense last year, allowing 32 points per game. They will not be able to handle the offensive firepower of Cincinnati.

Prediction: Cincinnati 45, NC State 24

vs. Oklahoma, Sept. 25

The marquee matchup of the non-conference schedule for Cincinnati takes place at Paul Brown Stadium against the Oklahoma Sooners of the Big 12. This is a return game from two years ago and is as close to a home game as Cincinnati will ever get against Oklahoma.

Despite the early departure of quarterback Sam Bradford, the Sooners are loaded once again this year, and after a disappointing season in 2009, they will be hungry to return to national supremacy.

Preseason rankings have these two teams anywhere from 10 to 20 in most polls, with the slight edge generally going to Oklahoma. This is as evenly matched a game as there could be.

If Cincinnati can contain the Oklahoma rushing attack, they should win the game. This will be a close one, with the slight edge going to Cincinnati at home.

Prediction: Cincinnati 31, Oklahoma 27

vs. Miami, Oct. 9

After a bye week, Cincinnati finishes up the non-conference schedule against in-state rival Miami. In what is the oldest non-conference rivalry in college football, Cincinnati and Miami have been playing for over 120 years, and they call it the Battle for the Victory Bell.

Cincinnati has won four in a row, and with the way Miami has struggled in recent years, a fifth straight victory is expected. Miami hung with Cincinnati last season for a half before the Bearcats pulled away in the third quarter en route to a 37-13 victory.

Playing at home, Cincinnati has every advantage over Miami. The RedHawks tend to hang around in these longer than expected sometimes, but this one should be over by halftime.

Prediction: Cincinnati 42, Miami 14

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Old 04-09-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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swg is a jewel in the roughswg is a jewel in the roughswg is a jewel in the rough
I don't know if UC can beat OK, but I do think the game will close.
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