Follow Chris Elsberry live from Rentschler Field as he brings you updates from today’s UConn-Cincinnati football game.
Cincinnati at UConn
WHEN: Today, 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Rentschler Field, East Hartford (40,000)
ON THE AIR: ABC-TV, WTIC-AM 1080
LINE: Cincinnati by 5
RECORDS: Cincinnati 8-3, 4-2 Big East; UConn 5-6, 2-4
LAST WEEK: UConn beat No. 19 Louisville 23-20 in triple OT; Cincinnati defeated South Florida 27-10
SERIES: Cincinnati leads 6-2
LAST MEETING: Cincinnati defeated UConn 35-27 on Dec. 3, 2011 at Nippert Stadium.
INJURIES: UConn: QB Chandler Whitmer (head) probable; DE Trevardo Williams (ankle) probable. Cincinnati: DE Walter Stewart (upper body) out.
When UConn has the ball …
BECOME A GREAT WALL: Whether it’s Chandler Whitmer or Johnny McEntee who starts at quarterback (game-time decision), the offensive line has to protect the QB like he’s a delicate piece of china. Whitmer is likely still feeling the effects of that hard hit to the helmet and McEntee has hardly played and will need time. It’s time for the O line to show its stuff.
JUST, RUN, LYLE: Two weeks of 100-yard plus games, two straight wins. Lyle McCombs said that after the South Florida game, he recommited himself to running as hard as he could and the Huskies beat Pitt (120 yards) and Louisville (133). Another big game against the Bearcats will likely make UConn bowl eligible.
FIND SOME BALANCE: It’s great that the run game has returned, but the Huskies need to find their pass offense. Managing just nine completions and 92 yards against Louisville was pretty bad. Getting some vertical plays downfield will make things a lot easier for McCombs and the run game.
When Cincinnati has the ball …
TAKE THE WINN OUT: Bearcat George Winn has 1,134 rushing yards, the 10th best single-season effort in Cincinnati history. That yardage total leads the Big East and he’s second in the conference at 103.1 yards a game. The Huskies need to keep him under wraps.
KORNER KAY: Brandon Kay will start his fourth game at QB after the senior replaced Munchie Legaux Nov. 10 versus Temple. He’s averaging just 80.1 yards a game passing (51-84-2 for 721 yards in nine games) and its paramount that UConn does not let this guy — or Legaux — get into a rhythm.
QUICK STRIKES: Cincinnati has 14 scoring drives this season that have lasted 90 seconds or less. Also, the Bearcats have seven scoring plays longer than 50 yards.