Defense rules so far at Nippert Stadium

CINCINNATI -- Syracuse has got the kind of style it likes against Cincinnati.

Neither offense has accomplished much after one quarter; in fact, neither team would have passed midfield if not for a late-hit call against Cincinnati in the final minutes of the period.

The Orange will gladly accept a defensive struggle since their offense isn't nearly as powerful as the Bearcats'. Or at least the Bearcats with Zach Collaros. Cincinnati clearly isn't the same team with Chazz Anderson in, as Anderson has failed to connect on some favorable one-on-one matchups down the field.

Syracuse has moved the ball in small chunks and has done a good job of throwing lots of different formations and looks at Cincinnati. But the Orange's most promising drive ended when JK Schaffer sacked Ryan Nassib and forced a fumble.

It was Cincinnati's first forced turnover since the Sept. 25 Oklahoma game, as they had gone three full games since then without getting one. But the Bearcats couldn't even get a first down after the possession change as Anderson misfired on two passing attempts.

Defense has ruled, but Cincinnati has lost a key player on that side of the ball. Nose tackle Derek Wolfe went down late in the quarter and had to be helped into the locker room.