When the Cincinnati schedule was released months ago, Bearcat fans had to circle today's date with the Oregon State Beavers. Make no mistake about it-this is a BIG game.

Here at Bearcat Insider, we usually formally announce the importance of each Bearcat game with an "It's Game Day!" post on the message board. Today we've upped the ante by combining the traditional post with a game day story.

One of the interesting sidebars to today's game involves Armon Binns, a true freshman receiver expected to play for the Bearcats. Beaver fans make no secret of their hatred for the Oregon Ducks, and the game between the two schools is called The Civil War. Binns is very familiar with the Beaver/Duck rivalry since his older brother Marques spent three years in Eugene playing for Oregon before transferring to Grambling State for his final year. Armon would no doubt love to make some plays against the Beavs in his brother's honor.

Of the Bearcats' out-of-conference schedule, this is by far their best opponent. Athlon magazine ranked the Beavers #22 in the nation prior to the season while Lindy's had Oregon State at #32. The next highest ranked non-conference team is Marshall which Lindy ranks #73 and Athlon #92.

Some Beaver fans have downplayed the loss of 324 pound offensive guard Jeremy Perry last week to a leg injury, but guys like Perry are not easily replaced. Perry was named 1st team All-Pac 10 last season as a sophomore, and several publications honored him as a 1st team All-American this year. His replacement, Adam Speer at 276 pounds, is a serviceable player but gives up a lot of size and ability. Plus, giving the versatile Speer his second start of his career chips away at the Beaver depth along their offensive front, and that lost depth may be especially important on a hot and humid night.

If you're a Bearcat fan, the biggest mismatch on paper between these two clubs is at the placekicking position. Oregon State has a proven commodity in Alexis Serna. The senior placekicker enters the game with 109 straight extra points while UC missed three such kicks last week. Serna, after missing his first three extra points of his college career, has been a Lou Groza Award semifinalist twice and won the award as a sophomore. He also holds the Oregon State record with a 58 yard field goal last season.

Jeff Quinn and his Bearcat offensive line will certainly be tested tonight with their pass protection. The Beavers recorded 47 sacks last year and return their three top pass rushers in Dorian Smith #93, Alan Darwin #43 and Derrick Doggett #45.

Another stat that Bearcats fans may want to remember is that Mike Riley's teams are 34-5 when the Beavers take a lead into the fourth quarter.

Now it time for our traditional post: IT'S GAME DAY, BEARCAT FANS!!! Time for Bearcat fans to strap on the helmet, apply the eyeblack and DEFINITELY wear that cup because IT'S GAME DAY, and ANYTHING can happen on GAME DAY!!!

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