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CINCINNATI, OHIO – Desmond Ridder (#9) of the Cincinnati Bearcats throws a pass in the first quarter against the Murray State Racers at the Nippert Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo : Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
A top-10 showdown with huge College Football Playoff implications will be heading our way this coming Saturday with No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats squaring off against No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Who will remain undefeated in this Cincinnati vs Notre Dame clash? Read our preview to see who has the edge.
Cincinnati Bearcats installed as -1.5 favorites
The Cincinnati Bearcats maintained their perfect start to the season with a thrilling 38-24 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on September 18. The Bearcats scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to achieve the comeback win and, in the process, improved their season record to 3-0. The Bearcats have won their first three assignments by an average of 28 points.
Leading the way for Cincinnati in this game was senior quarterback Desmond Ridder. In the fourth quarter, he threw for 210 yards and the go-ahead touchdown pass and ran for another score in this come-from-behind win. Ridder has amassed 748 passing yards, two touchdown passes, and a couple of interceptions through three games. Ridder has recorded at least 2,200 passing yards in three consecutive seasons for Cincinnati.
Desmond Ridder throws a fade to Alec Pierce who hauls it in for the TD. Cincinnati regains the lead in a back & forth battle.
— CFB Blitz (@BlitzCfb) September 18, 2021
For the Bearcats to preserve their unbeaten record against Notre Dame, they will need to continue their excellent play on the offensive end. Cincinnati is eighth in the FBS in scoring, averaging 43.0 points per game this season.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish enter Week 5 as +1.5 underdogs
Will Jack Coan start for Notre Dame this coming Saturday? That’s the main question for Fighting Irish fans heading into the crunch game against Cincinnati after Coan injured his left ankle in the win against Wisconsin. He left that contest against the Badgers in the third quarter and did not return.
The good news for Notre Dame is that Coan is making good progress with his left ankle injury, according to coach Brian Kelly. He led the starting offense in practice this week, although Coan did split time with Drew Pyne in that regard.
Kevin Austin has had a big day for Notre Dame. Drew Pyne finds Austin for the TD. Pyne was a perfect 5/5 on that drive. Notre Dame has a double digit lead.
NOTRE DAME 24
— CFB Blitz (@BlitzCfb) September 25, 2021
In Coan’s absence, Pyne stepped up big time for Notre Dame, passing for 81 yards and a touchdown in the Irish’s 41-13 win over Wisconsin. Kelly is adamant, however, that Coan will be Notre Dame’s starting quarterback in Week 5 if he is healthy. The Wisconsin transfer has been exceptional this season, recording 986 passing yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 60.6 percent of his attempts for Notre Dame.
There’s also positive news with backup quarterback Tyler Buchner regarding his hamstring injury. According to Kelly, the health of the freshman QB is back to where it was in the games against Toledo and Purdue. Buchner racked up impressive numbers in those outings, accounting for 72 passing yards and 92 rushing yards.
Cincinnati wins over Notre Dame in a high-scoring affair.
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