The Bearcats hope to do something they have accomplished only twice in their football history, beat a ranked opponent on the road. Even after last week's loss to Maryland, Rutgers is ranked #21 in the latest AP college football poll.
The Brian Kelly football machine has its latest challenge awaiting it in
Jersey in the form of the Rutgers'
Scarlet Knights. Greg Schiano's
bunch has plenty of incentive to go along with the revenge factor from Cincinnati's upset victory
over the then #7 ranked Scarlet Knights last season. To make matters worse, the Maryland
Terps upset the #10 rated Knights just last week to end their ten game home
winning streak and cause a free fall in the AP football poll to the 21st
spot. Rutgers will certainly feel an immediacy to defend its
home turf even more vigorously this Saturday night when the Bearcats of
Cincinnati come visiting to open the BIG EAST portion of the schedule.
The loss to Maryland was Rutgers' first this season in four games, but
the most unusual aspect of the contest was the fact that the normally stingy
Scarlet Knight defense gave up 34 points and 458 total yards to a Maryland
offense that was forced to use its back-up quarterback after starter Jordan Steffy was knocked out of the game in the first half due to a concussion. Back-up QB Chris Turner led the Terps to
20 second half points on 14 of 20 passing for 149 yards. Even with the fine offensive showing
last Saturday, Maryland still ranks no higher than #85
nationally in total offense.
This should be an excellent match-up if a fan judges it
solely on the national ratings. The
Associated Press poll has the Bearcats ranked #20 with the Scarlet Knights just
one spot behind. Cincinnati's offense comes into the contest with a #22
national ranking in total offense while the Rutgers defense is 12th in total defense. Rutgers' offense comes into the game ranked #13 while the
Bearcat defense is ranked #37. As
anyone can see, the Scarlet Knights enjoy an slight edge statistically except in
one critical area. The Cincinnati defense is best
in the country in turnovers gained with 21 while the Scarlet Knights have
managed only 4 takeaways putting it tied with two others at 114 in the
nation. There are only 119 Division
IA (FBS) schools.
Saturday night's 8 o'clock
game televised nationally on ESPN2 will be Rutgers' fifth straight home game this season. The Scarlet Knights will play eight of
their twelve regular season games in Rutgers Stadium this year. In addition to their loss to Maryland, the Knights have a resume with victories over
Buffalo, Navy and Norfolk State.
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!!!