Indiana to host No. 8 Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati football team outscored its first two opponents by a combined margin of 91-21. But despite the two convincing victories, the No. 8-ranked (Associated Press/Coaches) Bearcats have yet to put together a complete game.

Cincinnati started strong against the rival Miami RedHawks in the season-opener, only to surrender two late scores and lose the shutout.

The Bearcats dominated FCS opponent Murray State in the second half last week, but sputtered to a 7-7 tie against the Racers at halftime.

Cincinnati senior quarterback Desmond Ridder knows if they're going to defeat Indiana (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten) on Saturday and improve to 3-0, the Bearcats are going to have to start fast and finish strong.

More:Scouting report: No. 8 Cincinnati set to face Indiana Hoosiers for first time since 2000

"We just obviously started out the Murray State game slow. I guess guys weren't playing to their expectations or level," Ridder said. "But coming up for the rest of the year on, these two out-of-conference games and then the whole conference schedule, we know that we have to be on our whole game and play all four quarters."

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) sets up a play before the snap in the second quarter of the NCAA American Athletic Conference football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the East Carolina Pirates at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. The Bearcats led 35-10 at halftime.

3 keys to victory for the Bearcats

1. Stay composed: Cincinnati's camp in August consisted of some of the most intense practices of many of the players' football careers.

The days were hot, long and arduous. But all of it was in preparation for the stretch that begins Saturday at noon.

The Bearcats have back-to-back non-conference road games (with a bye week in between) at Big Ten foe Indiana and at defending College Football Playoff participant Notre Dame.

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