Cincinnati vs Houston: Prediction, Pick, AAC Championship Game Odds, Broadcast, Live Stream, Watch Online, TV
The Cincinnati No.4 is on a mission to declare his last emphatic college football playoff case on Saturday in a battle against the Houston No.21 in the AAC Championship game. The Bearcats already hold the highest ranking of a Group-Five team in the playoff era and ended their second straight regular season unbeaten with a 35-13 demolition of 7-5 East Carolina behind 136 yards received from senior Alec Pierce.
Houston was also dominant in 2021, winning eight of its double-digit games. In the AAC’s last game against Memphis, the Cougars beat 31-13 behind a seven catches, 100 yards game from star receiver Nathaniel “Tank” Dell. Quarterback Clayton Tune improved significantly in 2021, rising to 69% completion, passing 3,000 passing yards and adding 28 total touchdowns.
The Bearcats should theoretically slide into the playoffs with a win, while Houston could likely steal the guaranteed Group of Five spot for New Years Six with a win. The battle also pits future Big 12 opponents against each other years before they enter the conference. Houston has a historic 15-12 advantage between those two teams, but the Bearcats crushed UH 38-10 behind 342 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 2020.
Cincinnati vs. Houston: what to know
Dominant Champions: Since Houston lost to Texas Tech in Game 1, the Cougars have been by far the best team in the AAC not named Cincinnati. The teams combined to win 23 games since that opener and made it through the conference game. While much has been written about Cincinnati’s success, Houston has won four straight double-digit games, dating back to a 44-37 victory over the then number. 19 SMU. It’s a real heavyweight title fight.
Defensive battle: Houston and Cincinnati rank among the best defenses in college football. The teams rank # 1 and # 2 in total defense and the reverse one and two in scoring defense. Cincinnati cornerbacks Ahmad Gardner and Coby Bryant rank among the best in the sport, but Houston wide receiver Nathaniel Dell will provide one of the toughest tests yet. Dell recorded 1,027 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in a breakout season. On the other side, Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder will challenge a UH pass rush that ranks No.3 nationally in the sacks – ahead of Georgia.
Award candidates: While Ridder – and even Gardner – should be considered for the Heisman Trophy, the best Heisman contender in the game is on the opposite sidelines. Houston cornerback Marcus Jones is having a truly monstrous season. In addition to ranking No. 4 nationally in the coverage category among corners, Jones has 12 defended passes, five interceptions, two punt returns for touchdowns and two kick returns for touchdowns. He even has a receiving touchdown for good measure. It’s tough for a cornerback to claim domestic awards, but Jones should be on everyone’s All-America radar, and maybe a lock on the Hornung award.
How to watch Cincinnati vs. Houston live
Dated: Saturday 4 December | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Site: Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati
TV: ABC | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)
Cincinnati vs Houston prediction, pick
Featured Game | Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Houston Cougars
Whenever Cincinnati has been offered a showcase opportunity, it has responded with its best performance. Cincinnati beat Notre Dame No. 6 by 11 points and EMS by 34 points. Houston are one of the best teams on the Cincinnati calendar, but don’t expect the Bearcats to miss the chance to make a national statement. Prediction: Cincinnati (-10.5)
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