WVU - UC Matchups

WVU hopes to fare better in their second straight outing against an animal foe that begins with the letter "B".

KEY BATTLES:

WVU cornerback Lance Frazier vs. UC wide receiver Jon Olinger

While Bearcat wideout LaDaris Vann gets a great deal of well-deserved attention, this matchup might be even more important in determining the outcome of the game.

At 6-3, Olinger will possess a distinct height advantage against every WVU corner, and especially against the 5-10 Frazier. Olinger has emerged as the Bearcats' main deep threat, and quarterback Gino Guidugli has no problem with laying the blal up high and deep for Olinger to track down.

To combat this, Frazier, and WVU's other corners, will have to employ good techniques to keep Olinger from getting to the ball. If it's a jump ball situation and Olinger gets a good run at it, chances are he's going to come down with the pigskin.

WVU's zone blitz scheme vs. UC quarterback Gino Guidugli

Of course, this matchup is important because the Mountaineers have to get some pressure on Guidugli in order to slow the Bearcat passing attack. However, there's another aspect we're looking at here as well.



Jeff Casteel
While Guidugli might not be as nimble as WVU's Rasheed Marshall, he is a threat to run the ball, and not just in scramble mode off a pass play either.

Guidugli tucked the ball under his arm more than once on runs against TCU, and while he won't speed by many defenders, he won't be looking to get on the ground quickly either.

WVU's blitz packages and pass rushing schemes must cover running lanes and try to keep Guidugli contained. If he's able to add a couple of first down runs to his expected passing output, the UC offense will be very difficult to stop.

WVU tackle Lance Nimmo vs. UC defensive end Antwan Peek

This is the second time in three games that we've highlighted Nimmo, and with good reason. He's the leader of the offensive line, and as he protects the blind side of quarterback Rasheed Marshall, his importance to the passing game can't be overemphasized.

In Peek (22 career sacks), Nimmo will be facing a quick defender who will use speed and quickness as his number one weapon to get to the quarterback. Peek had ten tackles and a sack in Cincinnati's opening game. If he approaches those numbers against WVU then the Mountaineers will be in trouble.

Nimmo shouldn't be underrated, however. He did great jobs against outstanding pass rushers last year, such as Syracuse's Dwight Freeney. If Peek has trouble with Nimmo, look for UC to move him around to try to create a better matchup.

THINGS TO WATCH:

UC quarterback Gino Guidugli's accuracy scares us. We know that he threw four picks against TCU, but we also noted that the majority of his deep passes were right on target. His interceptions seemed to be more errors of when to throw the ball rather than bad throws.

Somehow, WVU must tighten up their coverage and not allow Guidugli to throw the ball downfield unimpeded. That's a tall order to ask from a new defense in just one

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WVU is the only school that Cincinnati has played at least ten times and never defeated. Will that fact serve as motiviation for the Bearcats?

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It, might, when added in with the "search for respect" factor that ConferenceUSA schools are constantly battling with. Despite Cincinnati being the favorite in this game, there's no doubt that the Bearcats are looking at this game as a way to gain notice from the nation.

Therefore, we expect UC to be on the uptick of an emotional curve for this week's game. If the Bearcats hit a couple of plays early, they could ride that momentum a long way. Therefore, it's critical that WVU not fall into another early hole on the road.

Of course, the flip side to this is that the Bearcats host ohio State next week, so its possible they might be looking past the Mountaineers. We doubt it, but it could happen.

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