Maybe Cincinnati Bearcat fans have just had too much time away from the game. We are four weeks into the college football season and all I've heard is how the Bearcats should beat the Virginia Tech Hokies this weekend. Maybe two bye weeks will do that to fans, but not me. Do I think they have a chance to win? Of course I do. I think Head Coach Butch Jones will have his guys ready to play on Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field.
But, is this game a lock? Should Bearcat fans be looking past the Hokies? The answer is no. In fact, this is a big game for the Cats. If they can pull it off, it will boost their resume on their quest to a BCS Bowl game. However, the Bearcat train is running into a storied program, and a hall of fame coach that could lead to the Bearcats first loss of the season.
The Hokies will be ready to play on Saturday. Most fans have said the Bearcats will be victorious Saturday because UC beat Pittsburgh 34-10 and Pittsburgh beat Virginia Tech 34-17 the week after. If that's your reasoning, forget it. Virginia Tech was embarrassed against Pittsburgh and would like nothing more than to take out the defending Big East Champion Bearcats. Tech doesn't believe they lived up to their potential against Pittsburgh. "We keep saying that the Pitt game was a fluke and all that, but I mean, I guess a good way to prove it would be to go out and play well against Cincinnati," Hokies linebacker Bruce Taylor told CbsSports.com.
The Hokies responded to the loss against Pittsburgh by beating Bowling Green 37-0. The loss seems to have helped them regain their focus and I have no doubt both teams will be ready for their first head-to-head matchup since the 2009 Orange Bowl when Virginia Tech defeated the Bearcats 20-7.
The Bearcat defense will be asked to stop the 6'6, 260 pound junior quarterback Logan Thomas. Thomas is as big of a threat with his legs as he is with his arm and will present a challenge for Walter Stewart and the rest of the defense. Senior Wide Receiver Marcus Davis will receive his fair share of looks. He leads a young wide receiving core and his 6'4 frame gives Thomas a big target to throw to. The Bearcats should compete in this game, but there is a reason Virginia Tech has been to a BCS Bowl game 3 times since 2008.
This game will be entertaining, but it will also present a tough test for the Bearcats. Don't expect a blowout on either side; I expect four quarters of competitive football. This is the biggest non-conference game of the year for the Bearcats and one you can't miss this Saturday!