The Cincinnati Bearcats have already been embarrassed once this year on national television. Now, they get to stand all by themselves on the Thursday night football betting slate, as they host the NC State Wolfpack.
Things in the ACC are getting rough this year, and the Wolfpack are really no exception. The truth of the matter is that Head Coach Tom O’Brien and company really never did live down the fact that QB Russell Wilson wanted to play baseball more than football, and after releasing him from his scholarship, we have to wonder whether NC State regrets making that decision. QB Mike Glennon has put up respectable numbers this year, completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 745 yards and eight TDs against just one pick, but the fact that this team has only played on FBS opponent, a loss against the lowly Wake Forest Demon Deacons, doesn’t speak highly about the future of the club. Wins against the South Alabama Jaguars and the Liberty Eagles just isn’t all that impressive, especially knowing that the defense allowed a total of 34 points in those two games, the same amount that it allowed to the Demon Deacons in the ACC opener two weeks ago. If the ‘D’ can’t step it up this week, there could be a big, ugly number put on the board by the hosts.
UC’s offense has had absolutely no problems this year either, but its schedule looks virtually the same as that of the Wolfpack. The Bearcats do have an FBS win this year over the Akron Zips, but they might as well be an FCS school. Their win over their FCS team though, a 72-10 win over the Austin Peay Governors was significantly more impressive than the average FBS win over an FCS school. The issue, again, is the defense. The one test that the Bearcats had defensively this year, they failed and failed miserably. The Tennessee Volunteers, albeit it a very, very impressive team, won 45-23 in Rocky Top two weeks ago in that nationally televised game, a loss than neither Cincinnati, nor the Big East will probably ever live down. The question that we have for the Bearcats is whether QB Zach Collaros is going to be allowed to air it out. It wasn’t that long ago that Collaros was the kid that came off of the bench to replace QB Tony Pike in the team’s run in the Top 25. The tools around him just aren’t as good though, and the end result is that Collaros only has 521 passing yards in three games. However, his accuracy has been fantastic, throwing seven TD passes without an INT.
NC State Wolfpack @ Cincinnati Bearcats Pick: The Bearcats are the better club this year, and we know it. The loss against Tennessee was excusable, knowing that the Vols, even if they finish at 7-5, would probably come darn near to running the table in the Big East. NC State wouldn’t run the table in the Sun Belt. It’ll show on Thursday night.
College Football Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats -7.5 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.