No. 17 Cincinnati aims to clinch share of AAC East title

No. 17 Cincinnati aims to clinch share of AAC East title
Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder, left, hands the ball to running back Michael Warren II (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Connecticut, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

No. 17 Cincinnati (8-1, 5-0, No. 17 CFP) at South Florida (4-5, 2-3), Saturday at 7 p.m. EST (CBSSN)

Line: Cincinnati by 14.

Series record: Cincinnati leads 9-7.


The Bearcats are the only AAC team unbeaten in conference play and can clinch at least a share of the East title with a win. The Bulls have battled back from a 1-3 start to get within striking distance of bowl eligibility, however winning two of three against Cincinnati, Memphis and UCF to finish with six victories will be extremely difficult.


The South Florida defense vs. Cincinnati’s running game: The Bearcats have three threats out of the backfield, making them tough to stop on the ground. Michael Warren II leads with 699 yards and nine touchdowns, Gerrid Doaks has 376 yards and four TDs, and quarterback Desmond Ridder has run for 417 yards.


Cincinnati: Tight end Josiah Deguara had a pair of touchdown catches in a 48-3 win over UConn last Saturday, giving him seven TD catches this season. Deguara needs 11 catches, 109 yards receiving or 3 touchdowns to become Cincinnati’s all-time leader in any of those categories.

South Florida: Running back Jordan Cronkrite has been a big part of the Bulls’ success following a slow start. He’s topped 100 yards rushing in three of the past five games to lead the team with 609 yards and four TDs. QB Jordan McCloud has started the last seven games, going 4-3 while throwing for 1,001 yards, 11 TDs and six interceptions.


Cincinnati leads the series 9-7 but hasn’t won at Raymond James Stadium since 2011, dropping the last three there. … South Florida played in Cincinnati last Nov. 10 with a game-time temperature of 28 degrees, the coldest in USF history. Cincinnati rallied from behind in the second half, with Warren scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter and four overall. … Cincinnati has 21 takeaways, including 13 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries, tied with South Florida for second-most in the nation. Illinois has 22 takeaways.


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