USFNation Game Preview: USF at Cincinnati

This week the USF Bulls are looking to get back on track when they travel to Nippert Stadium for a BIG EAST match-up against Cincinnati. Read on for the lowdown when the Bulls and the Bearcats meet this tonight at 7:30. Only on

As the great and now retired professional wrestler Ric Flair said upon his victory at the 1992 Royal Rumble to win his first WWF championship and eighth World Championship overall.

"In order to stay number one, you've got to be number one!"

USF is figuring out how difficult No. 1 is right now. Getting to a BCS Bowl is not easy it's a long, hard fight through a long, tough season. You have to have depth and the ability to fight through injuries and be mentally tough.

The mentally tough area is what's hurting USF right now. From the coaching staff down to the scout team they aren't mentally tough enough yet. They are still inconsistent at times, they are still heavily penalized at times and they fail to always make the right adjustments.

It's part of the growing process and while USF is miles away from where they were five years ago they could very well still be miles away from where they want to be. That being said everything is still on the table -- a Big East title and a bowl game. It's not going to be easy, the Bulls need to win their final four games and get some help from Pittsburgh.

Tonight would be a good test to see how mentally tough this squad is. On a short week after a tough loss to Louisville, the Bulls travel to another house of horrors and try to stop the bleeding.

When USF Has the Ball: They should be trying to establish the run but they probably won't. The offense will continue to go through Matt Grothe despite the fact that the redshirt junior clearly ran out of steam in the latter stages of the game Saturday against Louisville. Can you blame him? 54 of the 68 offensive plays were on Grothe to make something happen. The hope is that they try to run in the first half and preserve some of Grothe's energy for the third and fourth quarter.

When Cincinnati Has the Ball: The Bearcats have used three different quarterbacks with varying levels of success and it's a gametime decision whether Tony Pike or freshman Chazz Anderson will start tonight's game. The Bearcats are a decent running team led by Jacob Ramsey's rather impressive 5.1 yards per carry, but they definitely prefer the aerial attack and given USF's failure to stop the big play expect some downfield passing early.

He Said It: "You're really behind now pretty much. "You've got to get a lot of help. No question you've got to win all the rest of them and hope a lot of other things happen. Can it happen? Sure. But you've got to beat Cincinnati, that's for sure." -- Jim Leavitt

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