Bets for the ECU game at Cincinnati
Fresh off an open date, East Carolina heads to Cincinnati in a crucial American Athletic Conference matchup. The Pirates are underdogs, with the line open to Cincinnati -6, according to DraftKings. Friday night’s kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 PM ET on ESPN 2.
Cincinnati improved to 7-2 (4-1 AAC) and extended its home winning streak to 31 games with a 20-10 victory over Navy on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium. Quarterback Ben Bryant threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns to receiver Tyler Scott (10 receptions, 139 yards) in the win as UC bounced back from a late loss at UCF the previous week.
The Bearcats made the College Football Playoff a season ago, falling to Alabama in the first round after an undefeated regular season and their second straight AAC championship under coach Luke Fickell. This year’s team has suffered several key losses, including quarterback Desmond Ridder, running back Jerome Ford, wide receiver Alec Pierce, corners Ahmad Garner and Coby Bryant, linebacker Bryan Cook, defensive end Myjai Sanders, linebacker Darrian Beavers and defensive tackle Curtis Brooks. . But Bryant, a former UC quarterback, transferred from Eastern Michigan and has had a very strong season.
The offense is averaging 33.2 points per game and 408.8 yards per game. Defensively, Fickell’s group remains one of the meanest in college football, allowing just 21 points and 322.6 yards per game. Teams are averaging 141.7 yards rushing and 180.9 yards passing per game against them.
ECU enters the game in Cincinnati with a chance to move firmly back into the AAC title picture with a road win to snap the Bearcats’ long winning streak inside Nipper Stadium.
“We talked to our team, it’s almost Sunday that the fourth quarter of our season starts,” ECU coach Mike Houston said during the opening week. “The children will be very, very motivated. I know we have a solid week of preparation next week and we have a great challenge.
“Cincinnati is very, very good again this year. very talented Playing in Cincinnati and Nippert Stadium will also be a big challenge. They have great support there, a great environment. Another Friday night game so I expect it to be very electric in their stadium.”
East Carolina is coming off a much-needed bye week after nine straight games to start the season. The Pirates last played more than a week ago on Friday, Oct. 28 at BYU, winning 27-24 on Andrew Conrad’s 33-yard field goal as time expired. The win moved the Pirates to 6-3 overall and allowed them to reach bowl eligibility for the second year in a row. Cincinnati, which has lost to Arkansas and UCF, has won four straight in the series against ECU and seven of eight overall. The Bearcats won last year 35-13 in Greenville on the final weekend of the regular season.
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