Oct 3, 2020; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell during pregame between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the South Florida Bulls at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

No. 7 Cincinnati eyes revenge against Memphis

The Cincinnati Bearcats have waited nearly a full calendar year for a shot at payback.

The opportunity arrives Saturday afternoon when No. 7 Cincinnati hosts Memphis in a crucial American Athletic Conference game.

Cincinnati (4-0, 2-0 AAC) has emerged as a mid-season threat to potentially crash the College Football Playoff, but fourth-year coach Luke Fickell would rather focus on the Tigers. The Bearcats have their highest national ranking since the 2009 season, when future Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly took Cincinnati to the Sugar Bowl and a No. 4 spot in the final polls.

Fickell said he isn’t thinking about the CFP yet.

“When you get to the end of the season,” Fickell said. “All those things are great for the media, great for TV shows and things like that. … Truly, inside the walls of our locker room, it doesn’t do anything for you.”

Memphis (3-1, 2-1) won’t have to deal with a rowdy road atmosphere, as Cincinnati won’t have fans in attendance aside from family of players and staff due to protocols from the COVID-19 pandemic. But coach Ryan Silverfield said he still expects his Tigers will be walking into a proverbial lion’s den.

“This is probably a game they had circled on their calendar,” Silverfield said. “If you’re them and I’m them, it’s probably up in their weight room, this game circled, the Memphis logo on there somewhere. I’m sure their kids are pissed off, and rightfully so.”

Cincinnati finished 11-3 in 2019, and two of the losses came at Memphis in back-to-back weeks. The Tigers, 12-2 in 2019, beat the Bearcats 34-24 in the regular-season finale, then won again 29-24 in the rematch one week later in the AAC championship game.

“We have a pretty good grasp on who they are and what they do,” Fickell said. “We need to find a way to finish.

“Two times last year, we didn’t.”

Cincinnati has had no issues finishing foes in 2020 behind a stingy defense and a play-making quarterback. The Bearcats rank 10th nationally in scoring defense with an average of 12.5 points allowed per game. UC’s closest game has been a 14-point home win over Army.

And quarterback Desmond Ridder has been handling the rest. He’s thrown for 723 yards and seven touchdowns this season, but has rushed for 250 yards while averaging 10.9 yards per carry. Last week in a 42-13 rout at SMU, Ridder ran for career highs of 179 yards and three scores while throwing for 126 yards and a fourth TD.

The Tigers counter with an offense putting up 38.8 points a game (16th nationally) and 548.8 yards (fifth) per game. Quarterback Brady White is dealing with a drastically different supporting cast from last season, but he still has thrown for 1,375 yards and 17 touchdowns in just four games.

Memphis hasn’t beaten a top 10 opponent since knocking off Tennessee in 1996. But the Tigers have won five in a row against Cincinnati and haven’t lost at Nippert Stadium since 2004.

“Do we sit here and talk about what occurred in the past? No, but they understand a lot of chips are on the table for this one,” Silverfield said. “I think our guys will be up for that challenge.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Upcoming Games

Aug 28th, 1:00 PM

Nebraska -9.5 -110

Illinois +9.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 3:30 PM

Hawaii

UCLA

@

Aug 28th, 3:33 PM

UCONN

Fresno State

@

Aug 28th, 3:33 PM

UTEP

New Mexico State

@

Aug 28th, 10:00 PM

Southern Utah

San Jose State (24)

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB

Jacksonville State

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Weber State

Utah

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Houston Baptist

New Mexico

@

Sep 2nd, 6:30 PM

Temple

Rutgers

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

LIU

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Illinois

Ball State (23)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

The Citadel

Coastal Carolina (14)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Wagner

Buffalo (25)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Boise State

UCF

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

USF

NC State

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

UC Davis

Tulsa

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

East Carolina

Appalachian State

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Ohio State (2)

Minnesota

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Bowling Green

Tennessee

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee-Martin

WKU

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

Eastern Washington

UNLV

@

Sep 2nd, 10:30 PM

Southern Utah

Arizona State

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

North Carolina (18) -6 -110

Virginia Tech +6 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Old Dominion

Wake Forest

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Duke

Charlotte

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Northern Colorado

Colorado

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Michigan State +7.5 -110

Northwestern (10) -7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

South Dakota State

Colorado State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Colgate

Boston College

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe

Kentucky

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Army

Georgia State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Stanford

Kansas State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Holy Cross

UCONN

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (6)

Tulane

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Western Michigan +17 -110

Michigan -17 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Penn State +4.5 -110

Wisconsin -4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Fordham

Nebraska

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Fresno State

Oregon

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Rice

Arkansas

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Lafayette

Air Force

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Northern Iowa

Iowa State (9)

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Alabama (1) -19 -110

Miami-FL (22) +19 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH

Cincinnati (8)

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Marshall

Navy

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Indiana (12) +6.5 -110

Iowa (16) -6.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

West Virginia

Maryland

@

Sep 4th, 3:33 PM

Portland State

Hawaii

@

Sep 4th, 3:33 PM

Montana State

Wyoming

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Central Michigan

Missouri

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

LA Tech

Mississippi State

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Massachusetts

Pittsburgh

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette (15)

Texas (19)

@

Sep 4th, 5:00 PM

San Jose State (24)

USC (21)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Campbell

Liberty (17)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Gardner-Webb

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

South Carolina

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Akron

Auburn

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Southern University

Troy

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Missouri State

Oklahoma State (20)

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Monmouth-New Jersey

Middle Tennessee

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Baylor

Texas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Syracuse

Ohio

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Central Arkansas

Arkansas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Norfolk State

Toledo

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Texas Tech

Houston

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Nicholls State

Memphis

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Abilene Christian

SMU

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Oregon State +6 -110

Purdue -6 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Georgia (7) +3.5 -110

Clemson (3) -3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Florida Atlantic

Florida (13)

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

NIU

Georgia Tech

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Northwestern State

North Texas

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

William & Mary

Virginia

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

UTSA +7.5 -110

Illinois -7.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Montana

Washington

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

East Tennessee State

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Kent State

Texas A&M (4)

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Southern Miss

South Alabama

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Duquesne

TCU

@

Sep 4th, 8:30 PM

LSU -4 -110

UCLA +4 -110

@

Sep 4th, 9:00 PM

Bethune-Cookman

UTEP

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

Nevada

California

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

BYU (11)

Arizona

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

New Mexico State

San Diego State

@

Sep 4th, 11:00 PM

Utah State

Washington State

@