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Cincinnati Fresno State Betting – How will the Bearcats fare without Brian Kelly?

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/26/2010 3:58:47 PM

The Fresno State Bulldogs under Coach Pat Hill are known for their willingness to play anyone, anywhere, at any time. In 2009 they traveled to Wisconsin, Cincinnati and Illinois. 2010 brings a home rematch for Fresno State with Cincinnati. This, however, will be a different Bearcats team than the one the Bulldogs met in 2009. Gone is head coach Brian Kelly to Notre Dame, in is Butch Jones (who also replaced Kelly at Central Michigan). Gone is quarterback Tony Pike, but in steps Zach Collaros, a backup who played in nine games last year and proved himself to be quite worthy of the starting position.

NCAA football betting: Cincinnati @ Fresno State
Online Betting Odds: Fresno State -2.5

Why To Bet On Cincinnati

Brian Kelly and Tony Pike might be gone, but, don’t shed too large of a tear for Cincinnati. Zach Collaros completed 75 % of his passes and ended 2009 with a 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in relief of Pike. It also helps that Collaros will have an extremely talented cast of skill position players around him in receivers Armon Binns and Vidal Hazelton; tight end Ben Guidugli; and running back Isiah Pead. The Bearcats were 11th nationally in total offense in 2009 and should be every bit as effective in 2010. Cincinnati also benefits from Ryan Matthews’ departure from Fresno State for the NFL. The Bulldogs’ running back was extremely dependable between the tackles, and he could really lean on opposing defensive fronts in the fourth quarters of games. Now that Matthews is a San Diego Charger and the anointed replacement for the highly-esteemed Ladainian Tomlinson, Fresno won’t have as much ammunition in its backfield. Cincinnati – for all its offensive losses, which also include star receiver Mardy Gilyard – might not have to score 30 points to win this game.

Why To Bet On Fresno State

Pat Hill’s Bulldogs aren’t afraid of BCS competition. Last year’s team lost by just a field goal at Wisconsin, lost by just eight to these same Bearcats on the road, and beat Illinois on the road to finish the season 7-5. A total of 15 starters from that squad return this year, led senior quarterback Ryan Colburn. Last year’s unit was explosive, exceeding 500 yards of offense twice (one of those occasions came against Boise State). The Bulldogs also return seven starters on defense, including five of their top six tacklers. That experience will help in matching with Cincinnati’s explosive offense. Fresno played Cincinnati close and tough last year, and that’s when the Bearcats were far more loaded than they are in 2010. Add home field, and the calculus definitely shifts in favor of the Bulldogs.

How The Game Will Play Out

Butch Jones has stepped into Brian Kelly’s coaching shoes before and performed well. This game will be no different. Yes, Fresno State put up some impressive numbers in 2009, but, most of those numbers were put up by the now departed Ryan Matthews. Cincinnati won’t be forced to put eight or nine men in the box to corral Matthews and should be able to slow Fresno State down enough to allow Collaros and his talented bunch of receivers to move the ball and score. Cincinnati will score and score often.

Cincinnati Fresno State Betting Pick:Cincinnati

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