Run and Shoot: Knights At Knight

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Knights At Knight

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - A Saturday night contest in the Big East featuring an undefeated team on the road, and a homestanding team looking for revenge. The teams in question are Rutgers and Cincinnati. Talk about a case of "uv ajed."

That would be "deja vu" backwards, by the way, and that's what we have tonight at Rutgers Stadium as the No. 20 Bearcats of the University of Cincinnati, sitting at 5-0 on the season, visit the No. 21 Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who are 3-1 in the 2007 season.

For the record, the Scarlet Knights have won thier last four games following a loss and six of their last seven, with their last two-game losing streak coming in November 2005, when Rutgers lost to USF and Louisville. With Rutgers coming off of a 34-24 loss to Maryland last week, the Scarlet Knights will not only look to bounce back from that defeat, but to avenge last season's 30-11 loss at Nippert Stadium.

In that game last season, the Bearcats effectively dared then-sophomore Mike Teel to win the game for Rutgers at quarterback, and Teel completed 21 of 42 passes for 238 yards with four interceptions and no touchdowns. Suffice it to say that Cincinnati will most likely face a very different quarterback in No. 14 tonight, as the junior from Oakland, N.J. owns a 188.65 quarterback rating (second in the nation), and is coming off of a career-high 25 completions for 310 yards and two touchdowns last week against Maryland.

Of course, the Scarlet Knights did lose that game, which raises the question of whether Teel can be the guy to actively win games. That's a question that Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano will hope not to have to answer last week, as Ray Rice will look for a big game after rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries - good numbers, but not the kind of spectacular Heisman Trophy candidate performance Rutgers looks for from the school's all-time leader in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He'll be tested tonight against the top rushing defense in the Big East.

On the other side, of course, is a Cincinnati team that is ranked higher in the Associated Press Top 25 (but lower in the coaches' poll) and has yet to lose a game under new head coach Brian Kelly. As a matter of fact, the Bearcats haven't lost since that game at Nippert Stadium last November. Quarterback Ben Mauk brings in the Big East's No. 2 passer rating, and the fourth-best in the nation at 183.71.

Cincinnati also brings in a strong ground game, with 193 yards per game on an average of 42.2 carries. Stopping the run will likely be a concern for the Scarlet Knights after Maryland was able to gain 239 yards on the ground last week.

One more thing to keep an eye on tonight: the turnover margin. Cincinnati brings in the No. 1 turnover margin in the land, and Rutgers coughed up three turnovers in the loss to Maryland last week.

Should be a good one.

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