East Carolina vs. No. 7 Cincinnati Preview

East Carolina vs. No. 7 Cincinnati Preview | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on November 12, 2020

Three college football games around the country on Friday night and by far the best team in action is No. 7 Cincinnati, which could crash the College Football Playoff, as the Bearcats host East Carolina in AAC action. UC is a big favorite on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet East Carolina at Cincinnati NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

Last year, East Carolina wasn’t very good and Cincinnati was excellent but the Pirates nearly upset the No. 17 Bearcats, who escaped with a 46-43 road win. Desmond Ridder threw for 161 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 146 more and led two scoring drives in the fourth quarter, including the winning drive in the final 1:10. Sam Crosa kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired. The 24 1/2-point favorites trailed by 12 points with less than 9 minutes left. Michael Warren II rushed for 141 yards and matched a career high with three touchdown runs. Holton Ahlers threw for a school-record 535 yards and four TDs while rushing a score for the Pirates.

East Carolina leads the all-time series 13-10. Rather amazingly, Friday will mark the fourth time the two teams have met on November 13 (1997, 1999 and 2014).

Why Bet on East Carolina? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Pirates (1-5) are decent offensively this year but awful on defense. They come off a 38-21 home loss to Tulane last Saturday. The Green Wave never trailed and rushed for 277 yards. ECU had its fewest points of the season and managed just 35 yards on the ground in its third straight setback. The Green Wave out-gained the Pirates 493-386 and each team turned the ball over just once.

In the loss, sophomore receiver Blake Proehl enjoyed a career day, finishing with a personal-best 182 yards and two touchdowns on 13 catches. Cameron Carroll notched a pair of touchdowns as the game’s leading rusher, collecting 129 yards on six carries. Quarterback Holton Ahlers went 27-for-43 with 351 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

The 351 yards were a season-high and Ahlers now owns 10 career 300-yard passing games. He has thrown a TD pass in 19 of 27 career games and has accounted for 57 career touchdowns (45 passing, 12 rushing. A total of 32 of his 45 passing TDs have gone for 10 or more yards (8 of 12/2018, 15 of 21/2019, 9 of 12/2020).

ECU extended its current streak without being shutout to 284 games (a school record). The time the Pirates were blanked was on Oct. 4, 1997 (56-0 at Syracuse). Since becoming a conference member in 1997, East Carolina is 58-93 (.384) when playing away from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Why Bet on Cincinnati? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The 6-0 Bearcats are ranked in the Top-10 nationally for the first time since 2009 and are 10-1 in their last 11 night games, including two-straight Friday-night wins at Nippert.

Cincinnati routed visiting Houston 38-10 last week. Gerrid Doaks rushed for a career-high 184 yards, while Desmond Ridder ran for three scores and threw for another. Doaks ran for the most yards by a Bearcats player since Mike Boone’s 212 in 2014 against South Florida. It was Doaks’ best total since he had 149 on Nov. 4, 2017, at Tulane.

Ridder rushed for 103 yards and threw for 162. He has accounted for 13 touchdowns (eight running, five passing) in the past three games. UC improved to 27-4 (.871) during Ridder’s 31 career starts. The Bearcats rushed for 342 yards vs. Houston.

The Bearcats have held all five of their FBS opponents this season to 13 points or fewer. Cincinnati leads the AAC and ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense at 11.7 points allowed per game. UC is outscoring its opponents 236 to 70 this season and held all five of their FBS opponents to 13 points or fewer.

UC has won a school-record 18 consecutive games at Nippert Stadium (5-0 this season). The Bearcats have fourth-longest active home win streak in the FBS. UC is one of four teams in the FBS to go undefeated at home the last two-plus seasons, joining Ohio State, Clemson and Notre Dame. UC also has won 12 straight AAC games at home.

The Bearcats have won eight of the last nine vs. ECU, including the first five of six meetings as American Conference members.

Game Trends

  • Pirates are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Cincinnati.
  • Pirates are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog.
  • Pirates are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following a double-digit loss at home.
  • Bearcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Bearcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
  • Bearcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games.

Expert Prediction

Cincinnati 44, East Carolina 13
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