Game 6: October 6, 2007 vs. Rutgers , Rutgers Stadium
Saturday November 18-th 2006, perhaps the greatest day in the
history of The University of Cincinnati football program. The same date may be
the worst in the history of the
The Scarlet Nights came into Nippert 9-0, 7-th ranked team in the
country, just off an upset over
Rutgers stepped onto the national scene in 2006; they proved they can
stay there when Head Coach Greg Schiano turned down
Losing 9 starters of that caliber would be a sign of rebuilding for many
programs but Rutgers has plenty coming back and should come into this game
undefeated if the can handle
Leading the way will be RB Ray Rice for his junior season. Ray Rice is a
workhorse in the backfield, last year gaining 1,794 yards and scoring 20 TD's.
With Brian Leonard gone don't expect Rice to become a one man show. Mike Teel is
entering his Jr. year as a much improved passer. In the 8 games prior to UC last
year he averaged 128 yard per game, in the 3 games after UC his per game passing
average jumped to 230 yards.
The last few
Winning on the road in major college football is difficult; when the
opponent is as talented as Rutgers winning on the road becomes almost
Dave Berk: The Scarlet Knights have one of the top weapons in the Big East with Ray Rice. Last year Teel's struggles at quarterback allowed teams to stack the box and win game as Cincinnati did. This year with Teel being a year better he'll take advantage of one of the top young groups of receivers in the country. Last year was a dream season and now the pressure is on for Greg Schiano and crew to continue their trek towards a Big East crown. By the time the Bearcats hit town Maryland will have been the toughest opponent. The Knights will use their defense along with their passing game to defeat the Bearcats and take their first step towards the title and a BCS matchup.
What does UC have to do to win?
A copy of last season's game. Stop Ray Rice and harass Mike Teel into
rushing his throws. On offense make big plays and keep the pressure on the
Dave Berk: The Bearcats must keep their cool and not look back at last year's game. Both teams have seen some changes in personnel with Cincinnati having the biggest change to its entire coaching staff. While there may be a different guy running the defense for the Bearcats he's got some of the same attitudes and will use pressure up front to force Mike Teel into throwing the ball before he wants. Loading the box and getting pressure on Teel is a must while the play of the corner backs against a trio of receivers has to be at its highest for a road victory. Being smart on offense by not turning the ball over and playing special teams will determine the outcome.
Doug's Prediction: Very tough battle but the home team wins. Rutgers takes it 24 to 21 with the outcome being decided late in the fourth quarter.
Dave's Prediction: I agree this game will be a battle but one the Bearcats can win. Cincinnati and Rutgers match-up well against each other and the team that comes out early and has success controls the outcome of the game. The Scarlet Knights will score more than eleven points in this one but come up short as the Bearcats offense becomes the talk of the Big East posting a 34-24 victory. Why do you think we call these fearless predictions?
Bonus for Game 6
Doug Goodwin: It's hard not to like Rutgers; their history and situation
is remarkably similar to UC's. What
Dave Berk: I agree with Doug that it's hard not to like what Greg Schiano has done entering his seventh season as the head coach. But with more winning comes more pressure and the country is watching as Rutgers has enjoyed some nice recruiting classes the past few years. Bearcat fans have been asking when a local Cincinnati product will bypass the major college programs to help the program take the next step, Anthony Davis did just that last year as he turned down all the major programs across the country to stay home and play for the Scarlet Knights.
But don't get lost in the fact Schiano still has a losing record (30-41) entering his seventh season. The schedule sets up for a great run as Rutgers doesn't hit the road until mid October against Syracuse and only plays four games total on the road. If the Knights can have a run like last season the whole country will be watching them battle Louisville for a BCS trip.