No. 2 Cincinnati continues bid to crack CFP at Tulane

·2-min read

No. 2 Cincinnati (7-0, 3-0 American) at Tulane (1-6, 0-3), Saturday at noon EDT (ESPN2).

Line: Cincinnati by 24 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Tulane leads 11-6.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Cincinnati needs a victory over struggling Tulane to remain unbeaten and firmly in contention for a College Football Playoff spot. The Green Wave are looking for a big upset at home, which could re-generate excitement and inspire confidence among prospective recruits.

KEY MATCHUP

Cincinnati RB Jerome Ford, who averages 114 yards rushing per game and has scored 13 touchdowns on the ground, against Tulane's beleaguered run defense, which ranks 107th nationally and has yielded 193.7 yards per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cincinnati: CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner is one of the nation’s top defensive backs and was named preseason All-America. The junior has yet to allow a TD pass in his 879 career coverage snaps and has two interceptions this season.

Tulane: TE Tyrick James has been among the nation's more productive players at his position in the receiving game with 350 yards this season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Cincinnati seeks an 8-0 record for a second straight season and just the fourth time in program history. ... Cincinnati is the only team in the country with a top-10 ranking in scoring (10th at 41.1 points per game) and scoring defense (tied for third at 14.6 ppg). ... Cincinnati is 38-6 since the start of 2018 and 16-1 since the start of 2020. The Bearcats' only loss over the last 22 months came against Georgia in the 2020 Peach Bowl by a score of 24-21. ... Cincinnati's defense ranks third nationally with 12 interceptions and seventh with 163.7 yards passing allowed. ... Cincinnati is the highest ranked opponent to ever play inside Tulane's on-campus Yulman Stadium, which opened in 2014. ... The last time Tulane hosted a team ranked that high was No. 2 LSU in the Superdome in 2007. ... The last time the Green Wave played host to a top-five opponent on campus was in 1963 against fifth-ranked Mississippi in Tulane Stadium, which was demolished in late 1979. ... The Green Wave has never defeated a top-five team in the 128-year history of the program. ... Tulane has not defeated Cincinnati since 2002; the Bearcats have won three straight in the series since 2014.

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