CINCINNATI, Ohio - With a strong running game and a stingy defense, Cincinnati is off to a solid start in 2018. The Bearcats aim to improve to 3-0 on Saturday when they host FCS opponent Alabama A&M.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3. LINE: None
Cincinnati won at UCLA in its opener before shutting out Miami (Ohio) in Week 2, allowing 17 total points in the two contests. The Bearcats' offense has revolved around Michael Warren II, who is tied for the national lead with five rushing touchdowns, and freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder, who is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. "We want to go out there and not beat them mentally, but physically," said safety Darrick Forrest. Ridder is averaging only 4.14 yards per pass attempt, although he threw his first career touchdown last weekend.
ABOUT ALABAMA A&M (1-1)
Alabama A&M is 0-10 all-time against FBS foes with a combined scoring margin of 500-45. The Bulldogs have been shut out in five of their last six games versus FBS teams, although they enter this matchup with a few obvious strengths. Alabama A&M has given up just 93.8 passing yards per game and the team has scored on all eight of its red-zone opportunities this season, including five touchdowns.
ABOUT CINCINNATI (2-0)
Warren ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns against UCLA before plunging into the end zone twice more against Miami. The sophomore averaged 6.0 yards per carry last year but only scored once in 2017 on 59 total touches. As for the Cincinnati defense, the unit is allowing 180 yards per game after giving up 429 yards per game a season ago.
1. In the only previous meeting between the schools, Cincinnati rolled to a 52-10 win in 2015.
2. Entering the week, Cincinnati is tied for seventh nationally in points allowed (8.5).
3. The Bearcats are already halfway to last season's win total (four). They also won only four games in 2016.
PREDICTION: Cincinnati 41, Alabama A&M 3
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