Week 7: BYU vs Cincinnati 10/16/15
This is the first time the Cincinnati Bearcats and the BYU Cougars have ever faced each other in football. They have a home-and-home series set up with the first game being held in Provo this season and the next in Cincinnati in 2016.
For those not in touch with the BYU twitter universe, there has been an interesting discussion about the Cincinnati mascot. So what is a bearcat? Here are some details.
According to Wikipedia (a great source, right?) a bearcat is a bear-like climbing mammal or a binturong, pictured below. So there you have it. Now that we have that settled, we can move on to football.
This week I will be watching which BYU defense shows up. It seems every week when we think the BYU opponent has a strength, the BYU defense overcompensates. For example, heading in to the UCLA game many people felt that the BYU run defense was stout and the secondary was going to be in trouble against QB Josh Rosen. It turned out that the pass defense was stellar and the rush defense was, well, porous. I get that the scheme set up the run defense to fail, but the fact still remains. My next example is East Carolina from last week. The pirates elected to go with the mobile QB against BYU to try to exploit the recently poor run defense. So what happens? BYU stands tough and ECU has to bring in the pocket passing QB who then proceeds to school the BYU pass defense for over 300 yards in just over 2 quarters of play.
So the question is… will this finally be the week that the BYU defense puts together a complete game with good rush and pass defense? It may be.
I wrote last week about the possibility of many of the BYU defenders, who have been injured or suspended, finally being able to play together this season. That didn’t come to fruition as Langi was still out with injury, Tuiloma played but not a full load of snaps, and Preator was still out with his suspension. Reports are that Tuiloma and Langi have been full-go this week during practice so this week may be the chance for us to see the BYU defense will all the puzzle pieces in place, including Nacua back at safety. And they will need it because the Bearcats come in averaging just over 200 yards rushing per game (32nd) and 385 yards in the air (5th). That is good enough for 5th in the country in total offense, behind teams like Baylor (1) and TCU (3). What could be an assistance to BYU is that Cincy does have a knack for throwing interceptions. They are 122nd in the nation having thrown 10 INT’s this season. The BYU defense has 10 INT’s on the year (6th).
If the BYU defense can play well, get an INT or two, and the offense can control the time of possession, then I think BYU wins another close game.