×

No. 2 Cincinnati travels to Navy with highest ranking ever

By The Associated Press undefined

No. 2 Cincinnati (6-0, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) at Navy (1-5, 1-3), Saturday at 12 p.m. EDT (ESPN2).

Line: Cincinnati by 27 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Navy leads 3-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Cincinnati has its highest AP ranking ever, although the big question is what the playoff committee will do with the Bearcats if they stay undefeated. Navy is facing a top-five opponent at home for the first time since 1984.

KEY MATCHUP

Navy’s running game vs. Cincinnati’s defensive front. The Bearcats are heavily favored for a reason, but the Midshipmen are a tricky team to prepare for and Cincinnati doesn’t want to let Navy hang around with clock-draining drives. The Midshipmen did keep it close against a nationally ranked SMU team earlier this season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cincinnati: RB Jerome Ford ran for 179 yards and four TDs in a 56-21 win over Central Florida last weekend. Although Navy’s option-based offense is unusual and can cause problems for opponents, there’s little indication that the Midshipmen can slow Cincinnati’s offense.

Navy: LB Diego Fagot leads the Midshipmen in tackles and tackles for loss. He returned an interception for a touchdown in last week’s loss to Memphis, but it was called back because of a penalty.

FACTS & FIGURES

The last top-five team to play at Navy was No. 2 South Carolina in 1984, and the Midshipmen won the game 38-21. … Cincinnati has scored 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time. The Bearcats beat Temple 52-3 before their win over UCF. … Navy also beat UCF 34-30 for its only win so far. … Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder has a 37-5 career record. … The Bearcats are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete only 49% of their passes, although passing isn’t usually a big priority for Navy.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25