IT'S FINALLY GAME DAY!!!

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 Piscataway, New 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!!!


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