Pike: Bearcats Have A Chance Against UCF

No. 11 UCF (10-0) has been susceptible against the run – and that's exactly what No. 24 Cincinnati (9-1) does well

November 16, 2018 - 8:32 am

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No. 24 Cincinnati (9-1) has had a phenomenal season. The Bearcats’ only loss came at Temple in overtime in October – a game in which their kicker missed three field goals. In other words, the Bearcats could easily be 10-0. 

Instead, they’ll face a 10-0 team this Saturday against No. 11 UCF in Orlando.

“The way they bounced back (since that Temple loss) has been impressive,” former Bearcats quarterback and current sideline reporter Tony Pike said on Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s the third-youngest team in college football this year, and they’re sitting at 9-1. Luke Fickell and his staff have done a great job. But when you talk about this week and if they have a chance –  you look at UCF and how great they’ve been, they’ve given up over 600 yards rushing the last two weeks. UC is really good at running the ball with Michael Warren. That alone should at least give them a chance to stay in this football game.”

Warren has rushed 206 time for 1,082 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns this season.

It should be a great game pitting the top teams in the AAC, which Scott Ferrall feels doesn’t get enough love.

“The bottom of the league is still pretty weak,” Pike said. “The top and middle of that league – Memphis has been good, it’s a good league all-around and doesn’t get the credit because it doesn’t have the names of the perennial top 10 teams. Although you look at two teams now – Cincinnati is 9-1 and Central Florida with the nation’s longest winning streak – you would think coming out of this week that there should definitely be some more notice put on the American Athletic Conference. I think having College GameDay should help shed some light on that.”

Pike, 32, starred at Cincinnati a decade ago. In 2009, he led the Bearcats to a 12-0 regular season and a No. 3 finish in the BCS rankings. Cincinnati lost to Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow, and Florida in the Sugar Bowl weeks after Brian Kelly left for Notre Dame.

“The off-the-field stuff of taking the Notre Dame job was tough on, I’m sure, him,” Pike said. “It was tough on the team to go forward and play without your head coach. But as a football mind, especially offensively, Coach Kelly is always ahead of the game in knowing what to do to get guys in a great scenario. I think that’s why you see Notre Dame at this stage now where they’re competing for a playoff.”

Saturday’s kickoff for Cincinnati/UCF is slated for 8 p.m. ET.