The Bearcats and Hokies have met 10 times on the gridiron with each team winning 5 of those meetings. As they meet for the 11th time on December 27th at 1:00pm in Annapolis, MD both teams will be looking for revenge. The last time these two teams met (2012) in the DC area the Bearcats scored late to edge the Hokies 27-24. But, the last time they met in a bowl game was on New Year's Day in 2009 as the Hokies beat the Bearcats for the Orange Bowl title.
Cincinnati boasts the 13th ranked passing attack in the nation and averages over 35 points a contest while only allowing 26.8 a game on the defensive side of the football. Their three loses this season came at the hands of Ohio State, Memphis and Miami on consecutive weeks, but they have not lost since.
The Bearcats offense is led by Sophomore QB Gunner Kiel, a Notre Dame transfer, who has thrown for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns on the year, but has turned the ball over 12 times. On the ground the Bearcats are averaging 157.6 yards per contest and have two 500+ yard tailbacks. However, the real strength of this Bearcat offense is at wide receiver where Mekale McKay and Shaq Washington are pushing the 700 yard mark.
Overall, this is one helluva matchup for VT and a win the Hokies need for confidence as it would be a solid win to build from. The storyline we will be following is how VT strengths (DBU and Bud) matchup against Cincinnati's strengths (WR and QB). But lets not forget that VT's offense will need to keep pace if the Bearcats come out firing, I see this game a lot like the ECU tilt early this season. I expect VT's defense to struggle early against the air attack, so VT will need to keep pace.
Go Hokies and Beat Cincinnati!