The Down the Drive staff weighs in on Saturday’s game between Cincinnati (1-1) and Miami Ohio (1-1) as they battle for the Victory Bell for the 124th time.
Clayton Trutor: College football is my favorite sport become it is simultaneously timeless and ever-changing. Every year, new groups of young men contest the ancient rivalries of college football. The game is traditional yet progressive. It is etched in stone and living and breathing. Cincinnati-Miami is one of the rivalry games that makes college football so great. I hope it lasts as long as college football does.
Cincinnati 38 Miami (OH) 21
Phil Neuffer: The Battle for the Victory Bell is certainly nothing like the Crosstown Shootout but it is a serviceable rivalry all the same. It might not have the pomp and circumstance of other college football rivalries and I do wish the Bearcats had a more natural and storied rival in their own conference, but this one still has some juice. In my three plus years with Down the Drive, the game has actually led to some rather epic moments, such as Malik Clements’ game-winning pick six in 2017 and fourth quarter rallies from the Bearcats in 2015 and 2016. While games against UCF and Ohio State are clearly the marquee matchups included in this year’s schedule, this is still a game to look forward to, especially since the Bearcats have made a habit of winning it during the last 13 years. They’ll need to keep that going this week if only to get last Saturday out of our collective heads.
Cincinnati 28 Miami (OH) 13
Michael Schneid: Cincinnati needs to get back to basics this week and clean up their mistakes. In each of the first two games, they committed 10 penalties, missed (or had blocked) a field goal, and had multiple turnovers on offense. The offensive line must step up and punish the Miami front seven. Establishing the run and getting Michael Warren going is key. Not just for his own sake but for the sake of QB Desmond Ridder. The play calling has been way too conservative the first two weeks and, by establishing the run, they must open up the playbook and take shots down field. Defensively, after giving up 42 points to Ohio State, they must refocus and make the key stops and reinforce their toughness. Miami has been sneaky the last few seasons and have come close several times to finally beating Cincinnati. It will be important for the Bearcats to jump out to a multi-score lead in the first quarter and put their foot on the gas to rebuild momentum in preparation for conference play.
Cincinnati 42 Miami (OH) 14
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