No. 16 Oklahoma (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) at Cincinnati (2-1, 0-0), Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (FOX)
Line: Oklahoma favored by 14 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Oklahoma leads 2-0
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Both Oklahoma and Cincinnati have been among the winningest programs in college football since 2018. The Sooners and Bearcats entered the season as two of only seven teams who have won at least 50 games over that span. While Cincinnati looks to bounce back from its first loss in 17 years to in-state rival Miami (Ohio) and show it belongs among the Power Five, Oklahoma looks to focus on finishing its stint in the Big 12 on a high note. Oklahoma and Cincinnati last faced off in 2010. The Sooners edged the Bearcats 31-29 at Paul Brown Stadium (now called Paycor Stadium), the home of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincinnati will face a familiar foe in Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel. The UCF transfer threw for 540 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions in two games (0-2) against the Bearcats in 2019 and 2020. Gabriel threw three interceptions in his last visit to Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium in 2019, including a pick 6 to then-Cincinnati freshman CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Scott Satterfield’s Louisville squad also faced Gabriel and UCF in 2021. Gabriel completed 22-of-29 passes for 184 yards and scored four total touchdowns (three passing and one rushing) in a 42-35 loss at Louisville. Gabriel suffered a broken left clavicle on the final play of the game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma: Gabriel leads the FBS in completion percentage (.825) and ranks second in passing efficiency (220.4) and points responsible for per game (24). He set a single-game school record for completion percentage (.903) by going 28 of 31 for 421 yards and five TDs last week at Tulsa. Gabriel was named the Big 12 offensive player of the week.
Cincinnati: WR Xzavier Henderson is tied for the Big 12 lead in catches with 20. The Florida transfer has 299 yards this season, including 149 in the season opener against Eastern Kentucky.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oklahoma is a league-best 169-58 (.744) in regular-season Big 12 play since the conference began in 1996. ... Cincinnati is 5-4 against ranked opponents since the start of the 2020 season. ... Oklahoma’s plus-46.3 average scoring margin leads the FBS. ... Cincinnati’s 239.3 rushing yards per game lead the Big 12 and rank eighth in the FBS. ... Oklahoma ranks third in the FBS in scoring offense (55.7 points per game) and fifth in the FBS in scoring defense (9.3 points per game). ... Cincinnati ranks second in the Big 12 with 21 scrimmage plays of 20 yards or more. ... Cincinnati QB Emory Jones ranks second in the Big 12 in passing efficiency (161.25).