Game 10: Houston Preview

The Cincinnati football team travels to Houston on Saturday for a 7 pm kickoff at TDECU Stadium. With three games remaining on the schedule, Scott Satterfield's squad looks to snap its seven-game losing streak.

Cincinnati comes in off a 28-26 loss to UCF, while Houston is coming in 2-4 in league play after defeating Baylor on the road, 25-24, in overtime.

What you need to know:

- Cincinnati ranks sixth in the country in rushing (225.4), 22nd in total offense (452.3), but a negative-6 turnover margin has kept UC out of the win column since a 27-21 victory at Pitt on Sept. 9.

- Houston ranks 7th nationally in fumbles lost (2) and 25th in turnovers lost (9). 

- Houston has converted on 13 of 16 (81.25%) red zone opportunities over its last six games. 

- Sophomore Matthew Golden leads the nation with two kickoff return touchdowns, helping the Cougars rank third in the Big 12 with 23.04 yards per return. Against West Virginia, Golden returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

- Quarterback Donovan Smith has been among the biggest transfer portal pickups this season. Smith is one of three first-year Power 5 transfer quarterbacks with 200+ pass completions, 2,000+ passing yards and a 65.0 pass completion percentage. Smith ranks first in the Big 12 in total offensive yard (2,556) , pass completions (211) and 2nd in the Big 12 in passing yards (2,303) and passing touchdowns (18). 

- Wide Receiver Samuel Brown is another Houston player that had put up big numbers to date. Brown leads the Big 12 in receptions (54) and receiving yards (764). Brown isn't the only Houston receiver you have to account for. Joseph Manjack IV has 35 catches for 435 yards while Matthew Golden has 404 yards on 38 receptions. 

- True freshman running back Parker Jenkins ranks second nationally among true freshmen with 14 rushes of 10+ yards. He is third with 4.8 yards per rush (min. 70 rushes) and sixth with 226 yards after contact. His 73.3 run grade by PFF ranks fourth (min. 70 rushes).

- On the offensive line, left tackle Patrick Paul has started 41 career games leads the nation among tackles with a 94.9 pass block grade according to PFF. His 81.9 offensive grade ranks fifth. Paul has allowed just six pressures and has not permitted a sack in 370 opportunities.

- Defensively, defensive back A.J. Haulcy ranks eighth nationally with 5.6 solo tackles per game. Defensive backs Malik Fleming and Isaiah Hamilton are tied for 25th nationally with three interceptions each. Defensive lineman Nelson Ceaser is fifth nationally and tops in the Big 12 with 1.00 sack per game.

- Houston ranks 11th in the Big 12 in scoring offense (25.2 ppg) and last in the Big 12 in scoring defense (31.6 ppg). Houston also ranks 11th in yards per game (381) and 13th in yards allowed per game (415.8). 

- Houston is second to last in sacks allowed this season (20). 

Scott Satterfield on Houston:

 Everything Dana Holgorsen said about Cincinnati:

Holgorsen opening statement on UC:

There is still a transition period where you are getting used to seeing new teams, but for Holgorsen, "this game makes sense"

Dana Holgorsen on UC's run game and offense as a whole:

More from Holgorsen on UC's offense: "These guys are dangerous"

Final thoughts:

Houston enters the game as a 2.5 point favorite, which is basically a pick em. It is homecoming weekend for the Cougars so there will be a lot of excitement around the program and game following the win over Baylor. As we've said week after a week, this isn't a game Cincinnati can not win and honestly, they probably should win this game. Turnovers are the biggest reason they are 2-7. Take care of the ball for 4 quarters and limit big plays from Houston's receivers and UC should be in position to win one on the road. 

How to watch:

Alex Faust (PxP), Petros Papadakis (Analyst)
Local: 700 WLW
Satellite: SiriusXM 380
App: IHeart Radio App and Varsity Network: "Search Cincinnati"

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