No. 16 SMU hasn’t had a game like this on campus when No. 9 Cincinnati comes calling on Saturday, Oct. 24. The game will be live streamed on fuboTV.
A meeting of undefeated Group of Five teams will pit the American Athletic Conference’s top defense trying to stop one of the league’s best offenses, and the first game there matching two Top 25 teams since SMU (5-0, 3-0 AAC) resumed playing on campus three decades ago.
Now is either team ready for a big game?
Cincinnati (3-0, 1-0) is coming off an unexpected extra week off, with its scheduled trip to Tulsa last weekend pushed back to December because of positive COVID-19 tests among Bearcats players.
SMU, No. 1 Clemson and No. 12 BYU are the only 5-0 teams going into the weekend while the Big Ten is just getting started in this pandemic-altered season.
The Mustangs, who have already lost leading receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. and starting tailback TJ McDaniel to season-ending injuries, needed overtime to win at Tulane last weekend. That was after they blew an early three-touchdown lead at home against Memphis, which hadn’t played in nearly a month, and then needed a fumble recovery that set up a tiebreaking field goal with nine seconds left.
The game kicks off at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) and will be live streamed on fuboTV, which is offering a 7-day free trial. ESPN2 will televise the game.
DEFENSIVE CATS: The Bearcats defense has forced eight turnovers and ranks 12th nationally giving up 307 yards per game. They have allowed only 12.3 points per game, 4.3 yards per play and three first-half points. Even playing fewer games than most teams, Cincinnati is second in the nation in interceptions, with cornerbacks Ahmad Gardner, Coby Bryant and Arquon Bush grabbing two each. Linebacker Jarell White is second in the AAC with 31 tackles. In a 24-10 win over then-No. 22 Army nearly a month ago, Cincinnati held the Black Knights’ prolific triple-option attack to 182 rushing yards and 262 total yards.
RARE CAMPUS VISIT: Cincinnati is only the fourth top 10 team to visit Gerald J. Ford Stadium since it opened 20 years ago, replacing SMU’s earlier campus home. The previous three top 10 teams won by average margin of 36 points: No. 4 TCU in 2010, No. 6 Texas A&M in 2014, and No. 5 Baylor in 2015.
PICK SIX AND OTHER PICKS: Cincinnati won at SMU two years ago when safety James Wiggins returned an interception 86 yards for a touchdown in overtime. Wiggins is now a senior who is the team’s second-leading tackler with 15 (11 solo, four assists). … SMU sophomore cornerback Brandon Crossley has an AAC-high three interceptions, one in each of the last three games, including in overtime against Tulane.
ANOTHER SIX? SMU will try to improve to 6-0 for the second year in a row. They haven’t been 6-0 in consecutive seasons since 1981-82.
REVVING UP DOAKS: If Cincinnati’s last game was any indication,