Cincinnati is the best team in the Big East and they visit the Beavers on September 19th. This is a very good match-up that is not getting that much National attention. Last season the Bearcats fell to Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl 20-7 and Oregon State needed one victory to make it to the Rose Bowl, but loss to rival Oregon 65-38. This year the Bearcats have defeated Rutgers and South Missouri State by a combined score of 117-18. The Beavers defense must be prepared to stop a potent offense if they want to win this game.
Cincinnati QB Tony Pike is completing 77.2% of his passes. Pike has thrown for 591 yards and 6 TD’s. WR Marshawn Gilyard (6-1 187) is Pike’s favorite target. Gilyard leads the Bearcat receivers with 14 receptions for 200 yards and 3 TD’s. The Beavers lost a lot of their key players from last season’s defense. The best way for Oregon State to slow down the Bearcats high-powered offense is to control the clock by giving the ball to RB Jacquizz Rodgers. Against UNLV the Beavers won the time of possession battle 33:03 to 26:57. In his first two games this season Quizz has rushed for 269 yards, 4 TD’s and he is averaging 6.4 YPC. Rodgers is one of the best RB’s in the Pac Ten and at 5-7 193 he is very hard for the defense to locate. Oregon State is the first real test for the Bearcats this season and for Cincinnati to be successful they must stop the Beavers running game.
Conference pride is also at stake in this contest. The MWC is proving that they are more deserving of an automatic bid than the Big East Conference with memorable victories such as Utah over Alabama and BYU over Oklahoma. In 2005 TCU defeated Oklahoma 17-10 and in 2008 Utah beat Michigan 25-23. Is there a recent Big East victory in an OOC game that people remember? These are the kind of games that people will point to if the Bearcats lose to support the opinion that the Big East should not automatically qualify for a BCS game. The Pac Ten is also fighting for respect. USC gets a lot of credit and the Trojans deserve it, but other Pac Ten teams are not feared like teams in the SEC or Big 12 are. A lot will be on the line on September 19th. If the Beavers win they will most likely be in the Top 25 next week.