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The Virginia Tech Hokies look to stay in the win column this week and improve to 4-1 on the season against the Cincinnati Bearcats in their "neutral" site game at FedEx Field Saturday. The Bearcats, who are coming off their second bye week already this season, pounded Pitt in their first game who then subsequently beat the Hokies to a pulp one week later. The Hokies are hoping to complete the maddening triangle of sports that proves why games are not played on paper (ex. Team A beats Team B, Team B beats Team C and Team C beats Team A).
For all you'll need to know about the matchup, its history and important statistics and interesting facts, simply jump right in to this game guide.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats are coming off a bye week, their second in four weeks to start out the season. Their last game was against Delaware State, in which they recorded an underwhelming 23-7 win over the...(not going to go look that mascot up out of principle, but it looks like a bee). After dominating the Pittsburgh Panthers 34-10 a week and a half earlier, the Bearcats committed six turnovers against their FCS foe. Junior quarterback Muchie Legaux who looked masterful against Pittsburgh with over 300 total yards (passing and rushing combined) with two touchdowns and no turnovers, committed four of Cincy's turnovers against Delaware State, two via interception and two via fumble. Defensively though, the Bearcats have been impressive in both games.
Trends: The Bearcats are 1-3 against ACC opponents since ACC expansion in 2004, including 0-2 against the Hokies.They have won their last two non-conference games against teams hailing from a BCS conferences, a 31-24 Liberty Bowl victory over Vanderbilt and a 44-14 drubbing of N.C. State, both in 2011. The Hokies lost their last game against a Big East foe two weeks ago against Pittsburgh 35-17.
History Lesson:Virginia Tech has played Cincinnati nine times, six times under Beamer. Beamer holds a 5-1 record over the Bearcats. Four of the six games under Beamer were played in Blacksburg, one in Cincinnati and one in Miami for the 2009 Orange Bowl. The Hokies lost the first three games in the series, beginning in the 1946 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Tx. with a 18-6 loss. The Hokies first win in the series came in 1987, Beamer's first year, in a 21-20 thriller in Blacksburg. After racking up three straight wins against the Bearcats, Beamer's Hokies were stunned in Blacksburg in 1995 by the score of 16-0, dropping the eventual 10-2 Big East Conference and Sugar Bowl champs to 0-2. Since then, Beamer has beaten the Bearcats twice with a 29-13 sweater and a 20-7 physical drubbing of the Bearcats in the 2009 Orange Bowl.
What to Expect
The Bearcats run primarily out of the spread formation on offense.
Defensively the Bearcats line up in a 4-3 formation.
The Bearcats defense ranks third nationally in points per game allowed at 8.5 per game. Keep in mind though, that average is comprised of only two games. Cincinnati ranks No. 38 nationally in total defense. They rank No. 39 nationally in rushing defense, and No. 53 in passing defense.
Legaux is joined by running back George Winn to create a dangerous rushing attack. Winn has averaged 121 yards per game so far and has only lost seven yards total.
Legaux has completed almost 62 percent of his passes, compiling 413 yards with 4 TD's and 2 INT's for a passer rating of 141.6.
Like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati is a little bit of wide receiver by committee. Although they have only played two games, no receiver has more than 7 receptions or reached 100 yards on the season.
Hokies Win If: They control the line of scrimmage and limit Munchie Legaux. He'll have his big plays, it's just a case of limiting them to shorter and less frequent big-gainers.
Bearcats Win If: They limit their turnovers, stop the Hokies run game and get to Logan Thomas.
Dot-dot-dots: According to this article, the Bearcats have won 22-consecutive non-conference games at Nippert Stadium. The article also gives the reason for Cincinnati's willingness to lose a home game by coming to D.C. for their return trip of the home and home: money. $3.5 million worth. The Hokies have beaten the Bearcats by an average score of 23-17 in the series. The Hokies have been shutout once in the series. The Bearcats lowest point total in the series is 7 points. This is the Hokies final non-conference opponent of the regular season.
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