Cincinnati seeking Big 12 breakthrough vs. Baylor

Field Level Media

October 17, 2023 at 5:44 pm.

Visiting Baylor will return from an idle week as a slight underdog on Saturday against a Cincinnati team that has lost four straight games.

This will be the first meeting between Baylor and Big 12 Conference newcomer Cincinnati.

The Bears (2-4, 1-2) opened as a one-point underdog to the Bearcats (2-4, 0-3), with that spread climbing to three points early in the week.

Baylor has won its lone road game so far, 36-35 at UCF on Sept. 30.

The Bears have not played since a 39-14 loss at home against Texas Tech on Oct. 7.

Baylor coach Dave Aranda said the week off following that game gave his team “some time to reflect on it and get juiced for a really good week.”

“That’s the feeling we have now,” Aranda said. “We’re excited to go to work. This is a team that is excited and believes. We’ve invested a lot for that to be the case.”

Baylor’s offense ranks 110th in scoring and 103rd in rushing in the nation. The Bears’ passing offense, led by quarterback Blake Shapen, ranks No. 30.

Shapen has completed 64 of 103 passes for 920 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions, this season. Top target Monaray Baldwin has 276 yards receiving and two touchdowns in his last two games.

Cincinnati ranks 76th in the nation against the pass, allowing an average of 230.2 passing yards per game.

The Bearcats’ offense is 30th in the nation, averaging 444 yards per game, but it mustered only 214 in last week’s 30-10 loss at home against Iowa State.

Cincinnati quarterback Emory Jones led the Bearcats with 72 yards rushing but was held to 96 passing with one touchdown with two interceptions.

Running backs Corey Kiner and Myles Montgomery were held to a combined 37 yards by the Cyclones.

“Our guys could not get open, and we struggled to get first downs,” Cincinnati coach Scott Satterfield said. “When you’re going through this, you find out what you’re made of as an individual and a team.

“We’re sitting here at the halfway point, so we have an opportunity to go out and continue to compete by keep getting better and working.”

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