No. 20 Tulsa (6-1, 6-0 American Athletic) at No. 6 Cincinnati (8-0, 6-0), Saturday at 8 p.m. EST (ABC).
Line: Cincinnati by 13 1/2.
Series record: Tulsa leads 17-15-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
After four previous attempts, Cincinnati and Tulsa are finally going to play each other, and this time it’s for the American Athletic Conference championship. No. 6 Cincinnati (8-0, 6-0 AAC) will make its second straight appearance in the conference championship game on Saturday night while No. 20 Tulsa (6-1, 6-0 AAC) is making its title game debut. Cincinnati lost to Memphis in last year’s championship game. Tulsa and Cincinnati were scheduled to play on Oct. 17 but COVID-19 issues kept the teams from playing. The Bearcats had held out of hope of getting in the College Football Playoff, but that looks unlikely.
Tulsa’s defense vs. Cincinnati offense. The Golden Hurricane defense has held opponents to fewer than 20 points per game. Cincinnati’s offense averages more than 40.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tulsa: LB Zaven Collins was a unanimous choice for AAC defensive player of the year after recording 35 tackles with four sacks and four interceptions.
Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder has accounted for 21 touchdowns over the past five games. He’s the first player since Lamar Jackson in 2016 to reach that total in a five-game span.
FACTS & FIGURES
Cincinnati has won 19 straight games at Nippert Stadium and has gone undefeated at home in three-straight seasons for the first time in school history. … The Bearcats had a school-record 17 players earn all-AAC honors this season, including quarterback Desmond Ridder who was named offensive player of the year and Luke Fickell who was named coach of the year. … This is Tulsa’s fifth appearance in a conference championship game, but first in the AAC. The Golden Hurricane won the Conference USA title in 2005 with a 44-27 win at Central Florida. … Tulsa has been ranked in the AP poll for five straight weeks, its longest stint in the poll since 1945.
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