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BYU hosts Cincinnati in Cougars' Big 12 home opener


Cincinnati (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) at BYU (3-1, 0-1), Friday, 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

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

Series record: BYU leads 2-0


Both BYU and Cincinnati are looking to avoid falling to 0-2 in Big 12 play. The Cougars surrendered 21 points on three turnovers in a 38-27 loss to Kansas. The Bearcats have suffered back-to-back losses and fell 20-6 to Oklahoma at home after failing to convert on two trips into the red zone.


BYU’s run defense fizzled in the second half against Kansas and allowed the Jayhawks to gain 221 yards on the ground. Cincinnati presents another serious challenge in that area. The Bearcats are averaging 214.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks third among Big 12 teams. Still, they were held to a season-low 141 yards on the ground by Oklahoma.


Cincinnati: Bearcats RB Corey Kiner could give BYU some trouble on the ground. Kiner ran for a career-best 153 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries in a 27-21 win over Pittsburgh in week two. He helped Cincinnati rack up 217 rushing yards against the Panthers.

BYU: Until the running game finds some teeth, Cougars QB Kedon Slovis will be shouldering a heavy load on offense. Slovis threw for a season-high 357 yards against Kansas, but he also tossed two costly interceptions. He has two 300-yard games this season and 15 for his career.


BYU is 15 of 15 inside the red zone this season. The Cougars have scored touchdowns on 12 of those 15 trips inside the red zone. … Cincinnati leads the Big 12 in time of possession (33:48). … All three of BYU’s starting linebackers – Ben Bywater, Max Tooley, and AJ Vongphachanh – have amassed more than 200 career tackles. Bywater leads the Cougars this season with 32 tackles through four games. … Cincinnati WR Xzavier Henderson is tied for third in the Big 12 with 23 receptions. He has 340 receiving yards through four games for the Bearcats. … Slovis is responsible for 16.5 points per game, ranking no. 23 nationally in that category.

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll