Cincinnati (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) at Houston (4-5, 2-4), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (FS1)
Line: Houston by 2 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Houston leads 15-13.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
This meeting of Big 12 Conference newcomers has Cincinnati searching for its first league win after the team dropped its first six Big 12 games and seven games overall. The Cougars will try to win consecutive games for the first time this season after pulling out a 25-24 win at Baylor in overtime last week. Houston needs victories in two of its last three games to become bowl eligible.
Houston QB Donovan Smith vs. Cincinnati’s pass defense. Smith, a transfer from Texas Tech, ranks second in the Big 12 with 2,303 yards passing. He has thrown 18 TD passes with seven interceptions. The Bearcats are giving up 238.7 yards passing a game but limited UCF to just 165 last week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cincinnati: QB Emory Jones. He has thrown for 1,818 yards with 14 touchdowns. But he has been plagued by turnovers and has thrown 10 interceptions, with four in the last four games combined.
Houston: WR/KR Matthew Golden. He leads the nation with two kickoff return touchdowns. The sophomore is first on the team with six touchdown receptions and his 404 yards receiving rank third.
FACTS & FIGURES
Cincinnati has won three straight in the series. … Ryan Montgomery and Corey Kiner both rushed for more than 100 yards last week. … Cincinnati ranks sixth in the nation and second in the Big 12 by averaging 224.5 yards rushing a game. … LB Deshawn Pace leads the team with 59 tackles and nine tackles for losses. … Montgomery has run for 100 yards twice this season despite playing just four games. He needs 23 yards rushing to reach 1,000 for his career. … Xzavier Henderson ranks sixth in the Big 12 with 5.1 receptions a game. … The Cougars lead the nation with six overtime games since the start of the 2021 season. … Houston’s nine turnovers are the team’s second-fewest through nine games since also having nine in that stretch in 2000. … Malik Fleming and Isaiah Hamilton have three interceptions each. … DL Nelson Ceaser leads the Big 12 with eight sacks. … DB A.J. Haulcy is eighth in the nation with 5.6 solo tackles a game.
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