One of three Top 15 matchups on Saturday’s slate will take place in South Bend as the No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats make the short trek over the state line to meet the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This non-conference showdown will kick off at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Cincinnati (3-0) has had two weeks to prepare for this matchup that could possibly vault them into the College Football Playoff conversation with a win. The Bearcats handled business against Miami-OH and Murray State to start the year before pulling off a come-from-behind 38-24 victory over Indiana two weeks ago. The Desmond Ridder-led Cincy offense got off to one of their usual slow starts before picking scoring touchdowns on three of four offensive drives in the second half. They were also aided by defense and special teams, who were responsible for three interceptions off IU quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and a kick return for a touchdown.
Trailing Wisconsin 13-10 early in the fourth quarter last week, Notre Dame (4-0) quickly turned the tide and walked out of Soldier Field with a 41-13 blowout victory. This sudden turn of events was aided by four Wisconsin turnovers and a missed field goal in the span of 13 minutes of game action. Two of those turnovers were pick-sixes, tacking on to a miserable four-interception performance for Badger QB Graham Mertz.
Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!
Cincinnati: 14th overall, 33rd offense, 12th defense
Notre Dame: 22nd overall, 39th offense, 18th defense
No injuries to report
QB Jack Coan Prob Sat – Undisclosed
RB Logan Diggs Ques Sat – Undisclosed
RB C Bo Flemister Ques Sat – Undisclosed
OL Michael Carmody Ques Sat – Ankle
DL Kurt Hinish Out Sat – Concussion
DL Osita Ekwonu Out For Season – Achilles
TE Kevin Bauman Out Indefinitely – Knee
Against The Spread
Cincinnati: 2-1 ATS
Notre Dame: 2-2 ATS
Cincinnati: Over 2-1
Notre Dame: Over 3-1
Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports
Cincinnati: 48th overall, 50th offense, 50th defense
Notre Dame: 10th overall, 6th offense, YY defense
Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Cincinnati -2
Moneyline: Cincinnati -125, Notre Dame +105
Opening line: Notre Dame -1
Opening total: 50.5
This will be a low scoring affair considering that both of these defensive-oriented teams are usually slow to get off the starting blocks. Both staffs are also familiar with each other with first-year Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman having just come from Cincinnati. Tack on rainy, muggy conditions in South Bend and this one has 24-20 written all over it.
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