Date and Time: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013, 12:00 pm EST
Game Line: Houston -2.5 (from JustBet)
Over/Under: 59
Saturday NCAA analysis: The Cincinnati Bearcats take on the Houston Cougars in a keyhouston vs cincinnati American athletic conference matchup on Saturday afternoon.

Houston is currently 7–3 on the season but has lost two games in a row, both to conference foes Central Florida and Louisville, and both on the road. All three of their losses this year have been close as they have not lost by more than a touchdown all season.

Their quarterback John O’Korn can certainly get the job done completing 61.3% of his passes for 2473 yards with 23 touchdowns and only six interceptions. O’Korn’s main target is wide receiver Deontay Greenberry who has tallied 70 receptions for 1042 yards on the season and 9 touchdowns. They are led in the backfield by sophomore running back Ryan Jackson who has tallied 589 yards and five touchdowns averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Defensively Houston is allowing 21.8 points and 416.7 yards per game. The Cougars are respectable against the run giving up 4.44 yards allowed per rush attempt and 147.1 yards on the ground per game. The Cougars defense is an opportunistic bunch though, forcing 33 turnovers, which is tops in the country. Houston also has the best turnover margin in the country at +22.

Despite losing their starting quarterback in the second game of the season Cincinnati has pressed on and has had quite a successful 8–2 season. Senior quarterback Munchie Legaux was lost for the season with an ACL injury in the week to loss at Illinois. Quarterback Brandon Kay, who was once the Bearcats starter was rushed into action and has exceeded expectations. In eight starts this season, Kay has completed 72.6% of his passes for 2411 yards and 20 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Kay’s mean to target’s house our wide receivers Anthony McClung and Shaq Washington who have combined for 1278 yards. He also has another scoring threat in 6’6″ Mekale McKay who has seven touchdowns including three of them in a 52–17 blowout win last week at Rutgers. Statistically, Cincinnati has one of the better defenses in the country this year ranking eighth in the allowing 304.8 yards per game and ranking tenth in the country in scoring defense allowing 18.6 points per contest.

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Cincinnati is definitely playing at a high level on both sides of the ball; however it has been against some of the weaker opposition in the AAC, with the likes of Temple, UConn, and Memphis. Cincinnati’s next game is against rival Louisville at home so they might be looking ahead. Cincinnati has 21 turnovers on the season, and I would expect them to be careless with the ball if they aren’t focused against a Cougar squad that has forced the most in the nation. Talent wise these teams are even and with the fact that Houston will be eager to snap a losing streak, I think they will get the win here at home although it will not be easy.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Houston Cougars Free NCAA Pick: Cincinnati +2.5 Under 59
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Houston Cougars Game Prediction: Houston 24 Cincinnati 23


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