Cincinnati at Tennessee - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 3:30 p.m. - ESPN2/ESPN3.com
Neyland Stadium - Knoxville, TN
Point Spread: Tennessee -4.5
Cincinnati and Tennessee were winners in week one of the season. Both teams abused FCS teams in their first game. The Bearcats have met the Volunteers five times, but are only 1-4 against Tennessee. They have not played since the 1992 season when Cincinnati lost 40-0.
Cincinnati 1-0 (0-0)
Tennessee 1-0 (0-0)
Cincinnati absolutely blew away Austin Peay last week in a 72-0 win. The Bearcats aren't know for their rushing game but they do have a couple games a year where they put up huge numbers in the ground game. The Austin Peay game was one of those games. Cincinnati rushed for 387 yards and an average of 7.9 yards per carry and six rushing scores. Zach Collaros also threw for four touchdowns on 12 passes. The defense which had done so poorly defending the pass last year, looked to be much improved and picked off two Austin Peay passes didn't allow a passing touchdown. They'll have their work cut out for them against the Volunteers.
Even as a freshman, Tyler Bray was one of the best quarterbacks in the country last year in producing touchdowns. Bray was 10th in the country by producing on a touchdown on 7.38% of his touches last year. Against Montana in the first game of the season, he produced a touchdown on 10% of his touches. Bray made mistakes as a freshman and the Bearcats will need him to throw at least one interception to give them a free possession. The defensive front for Cincinnati will need to slow down Tauren Poole in the rushing game in order to put pressure on Bray to make plays. If the Bearcats can't stop Poole, Tennessee should be able to salt away the game on the ground.
Collaros showed some of his 2009 form in the game against Austin Peay. He's got plenty of experience and will be playing with confidence against Tennessee. If there was ever a time for Cincinnati to go in to Neyland Stadium and get a win, it's probably now. I'm going to go out on a limb and take the Bearcats in a close one.
Score Prediction: Cincinnati 28, Tennessee 24