East Carolina QB Shane Carden joins a battle of elite AAC QBs when he faces off against Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel.
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Two leaders of the American Athletic Conference face off in a battle for first place when the East Carolina Pirates face off against the Cincinnati Bearcats in Week 12 of college football.
After falling to the Temple Owls 20-10 two weeks ago, the Pirates were kicked out of the top 25 and have essentially guaranteed that no member of the AAC finishes the season ranked – barring a bowl upset over a top 25 team. But QB Shane Carden has made the Pirates very optimistic of their hopes of winning the conference title with an impressive 18-5 TD-INT ratio. Carden is currently averaging nearly 350 yards per game and came close to getting an upset win over the South Carolina Gamecocks back in September. He is playing some incredible football and was even a Heisman trophy candidate back when the Pirates were on their 5-game winning streak.
The Bearcats have had their ups and downs behind former No. 1 QB recruit Gunner Kiel, who currently has 20 TDs and 7 INTs in 8 games played. Cincinnati is currently riding a 3-game winning streak after falling to 2-3 behind Kiel, but the star QB has played much better since the team’s blowout losses to Ohio State, Memphis and Miami.
Prediction: East Carolina – As impressive as the Bearcats have looked at times, neither of the Pirates losses came by more than 10 points, and one of those was to an out of conference opponent that was far superior to them in terms of talent. Look for Shane Carden to wrap up the game by the 3rd quarter and finish the game with either 4 or 5 TDs against the Bearcats rather over-rated defense.