A bearcat still isn't that cool.
Syracuse has a pretty important game this Saturday with Cincinnati. Cincinnati has been one of those up and down teams in the league this year (like everyone else) so I thought we better go to the expert. The first Cincinnati blogger out there was Scott King of Bearcats Blog. So he's basically the Orange::44 of Cincinnati blogs. He was nice enough to take some time and answer some questions on the upcoming game and just what the hell is going on with the league this year. Enjoy.
1. Orange::44: Admit it. You're kind of impressed with how Syracuse is playing right now and this season?
Bearcats Blog: Of course. If someone says they aren't impressed with the Orange, they are lying liars who lie. Syracuse stopped WVU after the first quarter, and generally tortured Geno Smith. The running game has been very impressive. I like Antwon Bailey a whole lot, and even with Carter playing, I'm worried about Bailey.
2. Orange::44: Cincinnati went down to the wire, but just couldn't seem to hold off or beat USF. What are the main issues with Cincinnati right now?
BB: The main thing that stands out to me are gigantic lapses in concentration. The defense will play well, but get lost on an assignment that ends up being a TD. It happened on the spectacular Powell run against Louisville, and it happened at least three times on huge pass plays against USF. The offense had a ton of drops against USF, including what could have been a first down at the end of the game. The offensive line is still an issue. The Bearcats couldn't run the ball against Fresno or USF, which is rather odd because they both have SFU in their initials. If Syracuse stuffs the UC run, I'll add an f to make it 3 for 3.
3. Orange::44: Zach Collaros is on crutches. His start appears doubtful versus Syracuse. Your thoughts?
BB: Obviously it's a huge blow the way he's been playing the past few weeks. Chazz Anderson has started a couple of games, and splits with Collaros in practice, but he's obviously not to the level of Collaros. Anderson has talent, but it is an unknown. He can make throws, and Cincinnati has had pretty good success with their back ups the past few years.
4. Orange::44: Give me your best explanation of what the heck is going on in the Big East this year?
BB: The talent levels have become closer. Granted, some of the teams have much better talent, but their players are inexperienced or injured. Everyone has some players. The new coaches have brought something new to the conference as well. Charlie Strong and Doug Marrone have gotten the programs turned around. Butch Jones and Skip Holtz are suffering from a talent/experience drop off in their programs. I still expect WVU and Pitt to battle for the title, just like everyone thought in the preseason. In that way, nothing has changed.
5. Orange::44: What will the key matchups be in the Syracuse / Cincinnati tilt?
BB: The Syracuse OLine v. the Cincinnati DLine. The Bearcats were pushed around by Louisville to the extreme. Syracuse, like Louisville, isn't going to beat Cincinnati throwing the ball, so it's very important to contain the run. If the Orange can use ball control and clock control, they can keep it close. Fresno St did that to UC last year.
6. Orange::44: Finally, how do you see the game going and what is your final score?
BB: I think it's going to be a good game. I don't really see a ton of points being scored. I think the Bearcats will find a way to win however, because I'm a pretty big homer. It's probably the biggest game of the UC season, because they would have to pretty much win out to get a bowl game if they lose. I'll say Cincinnati 24, Syracuse 20.
Thanks to Scott for the insight and the time. You can follow him on twitter right here. It's good stuff. My answers to his questions are posted here, so you should check those out as well. Should be a good one this Saturday folks, with a decent amount riding on it for both teams. Be sure to check out Bearcats Blog for the Cincinnati prospective leading up to the game.