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Know the Foe: Cincinnati

Cincinnati sophomore quarterback Hayden Moore (8) could return for this week's game against USF after being sidelined last weekend with an ankle injury.

AP photo

Cincinnati sophomore quarterback Hayden Moore (8) could return for this week's game against USF after being sidelined last weekend with an ankle injury.

27

September

A look at Cincinnati, which hosts USF on Saturday at Nippert Stadium

Nickname: Bearcats
Record: 3-1
Wins: UT Martin 28-7, Purdue 38-20, Miami (Ohio) 27-20
Loss:  Houston, 16-40
Coach: Tommy Tuberville (fourth year at Cincinnati, 28-15; 21st year overall, 158-92)
The breakdown: A year after USF's offense hung 44 first-half points on 'em, the Bearcats still are struggling to stop people, entering this game ranked 85th nationally in total defense (411.5 ypg) and 118th in third-down defense (49.2 percent). But strangely, their vulnerability has been accompanied by opportunism. UC is tied for the Division I lead with 10 interceptions, and already has forced 13 turnovers, one fewer than it forced in all of 2015. Offensively, the Bearcats lost their top five receivers from last season, but return four starters up front and sophomore QB Hayden Moore (61-of-103, 785 yards, seven TDs, three INTs), who sat out last week's win against Miami (ankle) but could return Saturday. Moore replaced Gunner Kiel after one quarter of last season's loss to the Bulls, when USF had built a 27-0 lead. Kiel currently is UC's third-stringer.

Odds and ends: Bulls first-year offensive line coach Darren Hiller spent the previous three seasons in the same job for Tuberville at Cincinnati. ... Redshirt freshman CB Christian Angulo (East Bay) is the only bay area product on the Bearcats' roster. ... The pugilistic and presidential nature of UC's roster is glaring. It includes S Mike Tyson (who had three interceptions at Purdue) and DL Lyndon Baines Johnson Jr.

Willie Taggart's take: "Very athletic football team. They're fast, well-coached. I look at their defense compared to last year, I just think they're so much faster and athletic on the defensive side of the ball."

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 11:13am]

    

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