Friday, January 1, 2010

Sugar Bowl Preview: #3 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. #5 Florida Gators

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I'm pretty tempted to write "it's Florida, you know who they are," but that just won't do. The mighty Florida Gators storm into New Orleans' SuperDome to play the Cincinnati Bearcats. Some are calling it the Urban Meyer Bowl since he attended UC. But, it became the Urban Meyer Bowl with the news last week that he was quitting, and then staying at Florida. Throw in the fact it's Tim Tebow's last game in the orange and blue, and it's going to be a symphony of Florida blowing on Fox tomorrow. The Bearcats lost Brian Kelly after it was announced they would play in the Sugar Bowl. New coach Butch Jones decided to stay out of coaching and let interim coach Jeff Quinn handle things. But, Quinn took the Buffalo job making things more confusing. With the Meyer stuff the last week, no one has talked about UC. So why even show up ya know? That was in sarcastic font because I think the 13 point underdog Bearcats can show the world something tonight. Let's compare the foes after the jump.

Scoring: 39.4 (8)
Yards: 472.7 (8)
Passing: 322 (6)
Rushing: 150.7 (58th)
Passing: Tony Pike 2048-26-6-62.8%
Rushing: Isaiah Pead 758-6.6-9 Jacob Ramsey 421-6.2-4
Receiving: Mardy Gilyard 80-1150-11 Armon Binns 56-859-10 D.J Woods 47-594-4

Scoring: 18.6 (22)
Yards: 348.5 (53)
Passing: 212.3 (58)
Rushing: 136.3 (57)
Tackles: Andre Revels 103 JK Schaffer 90 Aaron Webster 62
Sacks: Alex Daniels 6.5 Derek Wolfe 5 Walter Stewart 4.5
Forced Fumbles: Aaron Webster 2
Interceptions: Aaron Webster 4 JK Schaffer 3

Special Teams
Kicking: Jacob Rogers 12-18 FGs 60-62 EPs
Punting: Jacob Rogers 41.5
Kick Returns: Mardy Gilyard 31.6 2 TD
Punt Returns: Mardy Gilyard 12.6 1TD

Scoring: 34.7 (15)
Yards: 442.4 (16)
Passing: 217.2 (59)
Rushing: 225.2 (10)
Passing: Tim Tebow 2413-18-5-65.2%
Rushing: Tim Tebow 859-4.2-13 Jeffery Demps 738-7.7-7 Chris Rainey 548-6.4-4
Receiving: Riley Cooper 44-780-8 Aaron Hernandez 59-739-4 Deonte Thompson 19-280-3

Scoring: 9.1(2)
Yards: 215.2 (4)
Passing: 132.2 (4)
Rushing: 83 (8)
Tackles: Ryan Stamper 76 Ahmad Black 65 Joe Haden 62 Brandon Spikes 62
Sacks: Carlos Dunlap 7 Jermaine Cunningham 7 Brandon Spikes Joe Haden AJ Jones 3
Forced Fumbles: Joe Haden 2 Jermaine Cunningham 2
Interceptions: Joe Haden 4 AJ Jones 3 Major Wright 3

Special Teams
Kicking: Caleb Sturgis 21-28 FG 38-40 EPs
Punting: Chas Henry 43.4
Kick Returns: Brandon James 26.1 1 TD
Punt Returns: Brandon James 7.4 (Chris Rainey had 1 TD in 2 attempts)

The stats are pretty simple. Florida is a great, great defensive team going against Tony Pike and the Cincinnati offensive machine. It's going to be a styles clash for sure. I think the Bearcats can take this one down for the following 3 reasons.

  1. Everyone is counting them out. 13 point underdogs for a team that went undefeated? Sure the Bearcats defense was horrible down the stretch, but I think that's a little high. The Cats can play the 'no one believes in us' card and have it work because no one believes in them outside of Cincinnati and the fans in the SuperDome
  2. Florida has lots of things going on besides the game. There are 7 Florida juniors who are said to be turning pro when this one is over. Plus the Urban drama that has been going on all week, including today. It's been a circus around the Gators. And remember, they are kids in college
  3. Florida has nothing to play for, Cincinnati has everything to play for. The Bearcats want to put a bow on the best season in school history and do it against the Gators. The Gators lost their national title game against Alabama. Last year in this scenario, Alabama was smoked by Utah. I know the Bearcats offense can score early, and that's the key.
I see this game going one of three ways, and three ways only.
  • The Bearcats come out on fire and put a couple of scores on the Gators and shell shock them. 
  • The Gators come out on fire playing for Tebow and Meyer and steamroll the Bearcats. The Gators have a big offensive line and love to run the ball. Rainey and Demps are faster than you and Tebow is a beast. The Cats had lots of trouble stopping Pitt and UConn. I think they can play the receivers well, but I'm weary of Hernandez having a huge game. My biggest fear is that we get crushed like Hawai'i did against Georgia. Or like Ohio State does every year in BCS game and probably will in the Rose Bowl. Wear that one Buckeye fans
  • The final way I see this one going is a minor defensive struggle. Maybe a 13-10 score at the half and a final with both teams in the 20s. 
The Cats have their biggest challenge of the season on their hands and they have the talent to win. The UC fans ate up the tickets like they were Skyline, so UC should have some noise being made for them in the south. But, I don't think it's going to be enough. Florida is really good. I think the Cats fall behind by 10 or so early and chase the rest of the way. Unlike the Pittsburgh game, I don't think they catch up.
Prediction: Florida 31 Cincinnati 20. MVP: Tebow. Like he's not winning it. MVP if UC wins: Gilyard
Bonus prediction: I'll break my tv when the Fox announcers don't stop Teblowing Tim.


  1. I expected a much better performance by the Bearcats. They looked shell-shocked!

  2. It will be great to watch Florida Gators, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.

  3. Thanks for sharing the information.