After taking down Miami last week, the Bearcats are preparing to host undefeated Indiana on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium. Luke Fickell and a couple players looked ahead to the upcoming matchup in the midweek press conference.
Indiana enters the game 3-0 with a chance to stay unbeaten but there should be some extra motivation to try and get revenge for the Bearcats’ road win last season. Fickell explained the magnitude of the matchup via Cincinnati Athletics.
“This is a 3-0 football team and you don’t get a lot of those to come into your stadium so it’s a big deal for us. I’m sure it will be a big deal for them because obviously last year in their house didn’t go the way they wanted to. If I was them, I would have this one circled. The ability to go on the road and redeem what we did to them last year. The key is we understand that and prepare for that but I think more than anything, our guys just love being at home and playing in front of a wild crowd.”
The Bearcats have won 28 straight games at home and are expected to extend the streak against Indiana. Despite being an undefeated Big Ten program, Indiana opened as double digit underdogs and Cincinnati is currently a 17-point favorite per WynnBET.
“Our guys just love being at home and having the ability to play in front of a wild crowd.”@CoachFick, @JoshWhyle81, and @JowonBriggs recapped the Miami (OH) game and previewed this weekend’s matchup against Indiana.
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) September 20, 2022
Cincinnati Football: Luke Fickell previews upcoming Indiana matchup
Tom Allen’s team relies heavily on the passing game with 136 passing attempts in three games including passes on 64.5% of plays this season. During the press conference, Fickell discussed defending the Hoosiers new-look offense.
“There isn’t a giant sample size. We just have three games looking at them so there’s a lot you’re trying to speculate. We know they’re going to spread the ball around. If you don’t pay attention to the run, that’s where they’re dangerous. Everybody talks about the shots down the field but their ability to have balance is what makes them so good. That’s a little bit of what I see from Indiana. There’s always different things and you have to be aware of it.”
Missouri transfer quarterback Connor Bazelak and former Florida State receiver DJ Matthews lead the way offensively alongside junior receiver Cam Camper and senior running back Shaun Shivers. Bazelak has 891 yards and five touchdown passes in three games.
// The #Bearcats return home to host the Hoosiers.
Saturday, September 24th
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) September 19, 2022
Cincinnati Football: Josh Whyle previews upcoming Indiana matchup
The Bearcats should come out with enough energy and focus to beat the Hoosiers for a second year in a row but it’s not going to be an easy win. Josh Whyle broke down what it will take to get past Indiana this week via Cincinnati Athletics.
“They’re going to come out strong and fast. It’s something we have to be ready for. On defense, I think they’re physical up front and disguise things on the back end. Just do what we do. This is our house. No matter who comes in here, we have to protect it. It’s plain and simple. As an offense, you have to start fast and stay fast. We have to limit turnovers and penalties. That’s going to be a key factor to this game. We have young guys on our team. It was somewhat surprising to me but kind of a relief that they are very mature. I think that comes from the guys that led this program in the past. They set a standard and that’s something the young guys have looked up to.”
It will be important for the Bearcats to avoid another slow start because the Hoosiers offense can hit big plays and grab an early lead. From how the team has prepared in the past, I’m sure all three units will be ready to go against Indiana on Saturday.