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Cincinnati football vs. SMU: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Bearcats battle Mustangs

Desmond Ridder #9 and Michael Warren II #3 of the Cincinnati Bearcats react after a missed play during the first quarter against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl on September 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Desmond Ridder #9 and Michael Warren II #3 of the Cincinnati Bearcats react after a missed play during the first quarter against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl on September 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

DALLAS – For the first time this season, Cincinnati must find a way to rebound from a loss. The Bearcats aim to recover from their first defeat Saturday when they visit SMU in American Athletic Conference action.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS SportsNet. LINE: Cincinnati -9.5

 

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Cincinnati opened the season 6-0 before falling at Temple, 24-17, in an overtime decision last weekend. Now the Bearcats must bounce back against a Mustangs' team that defeated them on their home turf a season ago. Ben Hicks threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns in that 31-28 road triumph and is coming off his best performance of the 2018 campaign. The junior set season highs for completions (21), yards (291) and touchdown passes (three) in a 27-23 victory at Tulane last weekend. 

ABOUT CINCINNATI (6-1, 2-1 AAC)

The Bearcats went from being undefeated on the season to suddenly in fourth place in their own division, as UCF, Temple, and South Florida are all undefeated in league play. Coach Luke Fickell, whose team totaled 111 passing yards and committed three turnovers against Temple, is now tasked with getting his team refocused. "You can't get overwhelmed with being 6-0 and forget about the things that got you there," Fickell said. "This is an opportunity for us to quit worrying about the undefeated, the rankings and really kind of go back to work."

ABOUT SMU (3-4, 2-1)

The Mustangs have recorded at least three takeaways in three of the last four games and, over that span, the team is a plus-five in turnover margin. “When you take care of the ball offensively and create turnovers on defense, it’s a game-changer," coach Sonny Dykes said. “It’s been that way since the beginning of time." James Proche is one of the top receivers in the nation with 49 catches for 619 yards and eight touchdowns, including at least one score in five straight games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. SMU WR Reggie Roberson Jr. is averaging 101.5 receiving yards over his last two games.

2. Cincinnati has 24 rushing touchdowns this season after recording 11 last year.

3. Bearcats P James Smith is seventh-ranked nationally with an average of 46.2 yards per punt.

PREDICTION: Cincinnati 33, SMU 30

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