CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati football team is staring in the eye one of the biggest opportunities in program history.
No. 7 Cincinnati plays on the road against No. 9 Notre Dame Saturday in a match-up of two unbeaten teams.
Here's what I will be looking for in Saturday's game:
- How much time will QB Desmond Ridder have in the pocket?
- When he has time to go through his reads, Cincinnati becomes a dangerous offense.
- Establish the run-game early.
- I don't think this is essential for a Bearcats win, but I think it's the quickest way to open up the pass game.
- Pressure Notre Dame's quarterback(s).
- Notre Dame's offensive line has been shaky at times this season. Pair that with the fact that two quarterbacks have been splitting reps in practice. The more pressure on Notre Dame's O-line & quarterbacks, the better.
- Play sound on special teams.
- A kickoff return touchdown won't happen every Saturday, but every point & every yard of field position will be important. Those "small" things can loom large in a game of this magnitude.
- Win 3rd down & turnover margins
- I will probably include these two things in every "Keys to the game" article I ever write.