Down The Drive Staff Picks; Rutgers

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bearcats travel to Rutgers, perhaps for the final time. In a departure from tradition there is little consensus from the Down The Drive editorial staff. DTD staff split it right down the middle, three each for the Bearcats and Knights, but everyone expects a mini shootout.

Jeff Gentil: As much as I want to pick UC to win a big game on the road, I'm just not sure they're good enough. Sure Brendon Kay is pretty much on fire, but until I see Ralph David Abernathy IV has switched permanently to slot receiver I'm not convinced UC is putting its players in the best position to succeed. So the offense will be stagnant at times. I'd like to be wrong and this team will build on the "big" win at Memphis a few weeks ago. But again I'm not sure they're capable. It will be another "how did we lose to (insert team here)" games. Rutgers 24-21 on a blocked Tony Miliano field goal in the final minute.

Justin Post: I've been Mr. Debbie Downer for the past week or so regarding this football team, and, unfortunately, I'm not changing my tune just yet. I'd be happy, happy, happy, though, if they proved me wrong on Saturday. Vegas opened this week with the Bearcats as a slight favorite, and it's since switched to Rutgers - but barely. My gut says that's about right: Rutgers capitalizes on a special teams mistake and wins 27-25.

bearcatlair: UC 31, Rutgers 28. With still a lot to play for, UC is still motivated and while not as talented as recent years (I think Butch knew 3-4 yrs ago he was leaving for greener pastures, and didn't recruit too hard), they really do seem to have great chemistry and leadership and play to their potential most of the time.

Matt DuMont: In the beginning of the year, this was the game I had as UC's first loss of the season. Well, we all know that first loss came a while ago. The Bearcats are rolling right now. It seems they have finally found themselves on offense. The guy who we all wanted benched at QB at one point, now leads the country in completion percentage. This should bode well for Brendon Kay and the offense seeing as how they are going against the 3rd to last scoring defense, and 2nd to last total defense in the conference. Let's not forget that Gary Nova is a turnover machine. I think the Bearcats defense will force at least 2 INT's and capitalize on them. I have yet to predict a UC loss, and that doesn't change this week, Cats win a close, entertaining and high scoring game 35-31.

RepublicOfCincinnati: Just a gut feeling here, but the Bearcats will impose their will on the Scarlet Knights.

All around domination as a final "goodbye" before Rutgers cleans out their home in the cellar of the Big East/American.

I expect Luallen to continue to be a difference maker, mixing things up long enough to build a lead until our three headed running back machine of RDA4, Hosey Williams, and Tion Green pound the ball, milk the clock, and get out of the Garden State in time to celebrate back in the Queen City on Saturday night.

Cincinnati - 31
Rutgers - 10

Matt Opper: If ever there was a game for the Bearcats to show that they mean business this would be it. UC is still alive for the conference title, and made an immense 50 spot jump in the BCS standings last week so winning out could conceivably put passing UCF in theoretical sight. But the Bearcats have the maddening tendency to play up or down to the competition. I think that trend continues this week, and it costs them. 24-21 Rutgers.

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