March 6, 2009
2009 Schedule | Printable Schedule | Complete BIG EAST Schedule
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati football team, defending BIG EAST Conference Champions, announced its 2009 schedule Friday, a 12-game slate that will bring one of the best-ever home schedules to Nippert Stadium.
The Bearcats will take on non-conference foes Southeast Missouri State, Fresno State, and Illinois at Nippert Stadium, while hitting the road to face Oregon State, and Miami (OH). In league play, UC will welcome Louisville, Connecticut, and West Virginia to Nippert Stadium, and travel to Rutgers, USF, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh.
“Every schedule brings great challenges and this year’s is no different,” two-time defending BIG EAST Coach of the Year Brian Kelly said. “Our fans have the opportunity to see some great games both at Nippert Stadium and on the road this season. We need to continue to challenge ourselves against top teams nationally to keep building our program at a championship level.”
Three of UC’s BIG EAST games are already scheduled for national television audiences. The Bearcats will play a Thursday-night matchup at 7:30 p.m. against USF for the second-straight season on ESPN before taking on West Virginia in a Friday night contest at Nippert Stadium televised by ESPN2 at 8 p.m. UC and Pittsburgh face off at Heinz Field in the regular-season finale on Dec. 5 on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC as part of the network's 'Championship Weekend.' More television appearances will be announced as they become available.
Cincinnati achieved a school-record 11 victories in 2008, while posting back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in school history. UC also won the school’s first outright conference championship since 1964, and earned the school’s first berth in a Bowl Championship Series game, playing against Virginia Tech in the 75th FedEx Orange Bowl.
UC closed the regular season with its best-ever rankings, earning the No. 12 spot in the Associated Press poll, USA Today Coaches poll, and the BCS standings entering the Orange Bowl. The Bearcats held down a postseason ranking of No. 17 in both polls after the bowl season, tying the top postseason ranking in school history and marking the first time UC has ranked in the end-of-season polls in school history.
UC finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak and captured all three of its rivalry trophies for the first time in the same season, the Victory Bell (Miami [OH]), Keg Of Nails (Louisville), and River City Rivalry (Pittsburgh).
Following the close of the regular season, Kelly was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year for the second-straight season. He also earned American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region 1 Coach of the Year honors, and was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year by Sporting News.
Seven of UC’s 2009 opponents played in bowl games last season, including Connecticut (International Bowl), Fresno State (New Mexico Bowl), Oregon State (Brut Sun Bowl), Pittsburgh (Brut Sun Bowl), Rutgers (PapaJohns.com Bowl), USF (magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl), and West Virginia (Meineke Car Care Bowl).
For the first time in school history, UC opens up the season with a road conference game on Sept. 5 when the Bearcats head to Piscataway, N.J. to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. UC trails in the all-time series, 6-7-1, but has won the past three matchups between the two schools. It is the first time since 2005 that two BIG EAST schools will open up the season with a conference game.
The home opener comes a week later against Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 12. After a trip west to take on Oregon State on Sept. 19, UC returns home to face Fresno State on Sept. 26, in the first meeting between the two schools. Oct. 3 marks the 114th Battle for the Victory Bell, as the Bearcats take on longtime rival Miami (OH) at Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio.
Following a bye week on Oct. 10, UC heads south to take on USF in Raymond James Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 in a Thursday night primetime matchup on ESPN.
UC’s second trophy game of the year, the battle for the Keg Of Nails takes place on Oct. 24 when Louisville makes the short trip north for the 49th matchup of the longtime rivals. The Bearcats have a Halloween trip to the Carrier Dome to face Syracuse on Oct. 31, before starting a three-game homestand against Connecticut (Nov. 7), West Virginia (Nov. 13), and Illinois (Nov. 28).
The Fighting Illini’s trip to Cincinnati, the first matchup of the two schools, marks the first appearance of a Big Ten School at Nippert Stadium in eight years. UC squared off with Purdue on the Nippert turf on Sept. 2, 2001.
UC closes the regular season a week later against league foe Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on Dec. 5 in the battle for the River City Rivalry Trophy.
2009 football season tickets went on sale March 2, with the deadline for season ticket deposits, ticket payments, UCATS pledges, and 2009 football seat improvement requests on April 25 -- the day of BEARCAT BOWL III, UC’s annual Spring Football game at Nippert Stadium. Seat improvement appointments will be made in May and will continue through June. All new season ticket holders will still be able to make a deposit toward 2009 season tickets.
The Department of Athletics is offering all patrons the opportunity to purchase 2009 season tickets at the current price and lock in that price for the 2010 season. Tickets and new deposits can be made online at CATSTIX.com or by calling 1-877-CATS-Tix. The deposit allows fans to hold their spot in line and wait until they select their seats after May 11 to pay in full. The UC Athletics Ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and is located in Richard E. Lindner Athletics Center.
Game times for UC’s 10 remaining games will be announced as soon as they become available. Check GoBEARCATS.com for the most up to date information regarding Cincinnati football.