The Cincinnati Bearcats will look to bounce back from a loss at Central Florida last weekend when it plays host to the Navy Midshipmen.
Navy ended a two-game losing streak with a 27-20 overtime victory against Temple last Saturday. The Midshipmen won the game despite not completing a single pass, rushing the ball on 70 out of their 72 plays. Navy showed last season that it will not be intimidated to play Cincinnati, as the Midshipmen lost last year’s matchup just 27-20 to the unbeaten Bearcats.
Cincinnati will be looking to bounce from a loss against UCF that saw the team’s 19-game winning streak against American Athletic Conference opponents end. The Bearcats were leading the game in the fourth quarter but gave up a touchdown in the final three minutes. Cincinnati’s rushing attack produced just 35 yards on 18 carries.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Bearcats as a 19.5-point favorite with an over/under of 46.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Navy Midshipmen at Cincinnati Bearcats
Time/TV: 4 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPNU
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Cincinnati -19.5
Money line: Navy +800, Cincinnati -1400
Analysis: The Midshipmen are looking to minimize the number of possessions in the game and control the time of possession by running the ball. Through eight games, Navy has run 591 plays on offense, with 489 of them being on the ground (82.7%). The leading rusher for the Midshipmen is fullback Daba Fofana, who has rushed for 488 yards and five touchdowns. While it doesn’t pass much, Navy does average 18.9 yards per completion, as defenses focus on stopping the run.
Despite the loss last week to UCF, Cincinnati has shown throughout the season that it can still be a very formidable team. Quarterback Ben Bryant has thrown for 2,059 yards and 16 touchdowns, both of which rank 30th in the FBS. Tyler Scott (547 yards, five touchdowns) and Tre Tucker (506 yards, one touchdown) are both very talented playmakers whose skill sets should give the Midshipmen issues on the outside. The Bearcats have not lost consecutive games since Nov. 29 and Dec. 7, 2019, when they lost to Memphis in consecutive weeks.
Cincinnati hasn’t lost recently very often but has shown that it doesn’t let one loss to turn into another. Expect that to remain the same, but for the Midshipmen to cover and the over to hit.
Prediction: Cincinnati 38, Navy 21