The 5th ranked Mountaineers invade Nippert Stadium to take on the 23rd ranked Bearcats in a game loaded with Big East ramifications. A win by the Mounty’s would certainly make them the odds on favorite to capture the Big East crown, while a win by the Bearcats would keep them in
surprise contention for the prize with only a trip to Syracuse left on the docket.
West Virginia has been a very exciting team to watch all season long. Head Coach Rich Rodriguez was very wise to have changed his mind about bolting Morgantown for Tuscaloosa this past off-season. The Mounty’s are coming off an exhilarating win over Louisville last Thursday night in which QB Pat White scrambled for the deciding 51-yard TD in the closing minutes of the 4th quarter to pick up the 38-31 home victory. Cincinnati is off a very impressive win over UCONN that saw them take the #18 ranked Huskies out behind the woodshed and serve up a severe beating. It was their second win in a row since their “Bye”, and this is sure to be one heck of a game.
Offensively, the Bearcats rank second to WVU in the conference in scoring with an average of 37 PPG, and they have been able to produce that lofty point total by gaining a solid 429 TYPG. They run a balanced attack and QB Ben Mauk has proved to be a duel threat with his arm and his legs. Just last week, he accounted for 288 of Cincy’s 420 yards vs. UCONN and threw 3 TD passes and put the game away with a late TD scamper as well. Defensively, Cincy gets after you. They make it a point
to shut down the run, 99 YPG, and come in ranked second in terms of points allowed in the Big East (16 PPG). They also lead the Big East in forcing turnovers (35 overall/22 INT’s).
The Mountaineers have been tagged 6-points better in this spot with the ‘Total’ set at 55. West Virginia’s a solid 6-1 ATS the L/7 times they’ve been installed a road favorite between 3.5-10, while the Bearcats are 6-0-1 ATS the L/7 times they’ve been installed a home dog. With both defense ranking #1 & #2, it might be wise to look to the ‘Under’ considering it’s cashed in 7 of the Bearcats L/10 home games and in 9 of the L/13 games the Mountaineers were installed as road favorites.
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