Sept. 3, 2009
Game Notes | Roster | Gametracker | Live Audio
AT A GLANCE
Date: Sept. 7, 2009
Time: 4 p.m. (EST)
Location: Piscataway, N.J.
Venue: Rutgers Stadium
Live Stats: GoBEARCATS.com
Series Record: RU leads 7-6-1
In Piscataway: RU leads 6-1
ON THE AIR
ESPN will televise the game in HD. Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Brian Griese (analyst) will have the call.
The game will air over the Cincinnati Bearcats Radio Network presented by IMG College starting at 3:30 p.m. Monday's game will be aired in Cincinnati on WEBN (102.7). Dan Hoard (play-by-play), Jim Kelly Jr. (analyst), Tom Gelehrter (sideline), and Mo Egger (host/engineer) make up the UC broadcast team.
The radio broadcast can also be heard over the internet at GoBEARCATS.com.
FOOTBALL OPENS 122ND SEASON WITH BIG EAST CONFERENCE GAME AT RUTGERS
The University of Cincinnati football team opens its 122nd college football season Monday, facing BIG EAST foe Rutgers at 4 p.m. on Labor Day in a nationally televised ESPN game at newly renovated Rutgers Stadium. Cincinnati enters 2009 on the heels of its most successful year in program history. The Bearcats won a school-record 11 games, claimed its first BIG EAST championship, and played in the FedEx Orange Bowl for the first time. This year’s game marks the first time UC has opened a season against a BIG EAST conference foe, and it’s the earliest BIG EAST opener since West Virginia defeated Syracuse Sept. 4, 2005.
A UC THUMBNAIL
UC returns eight offensive starters, including Tony Pike (QB), Jeff Linkenbach (OL), and all-America wideout/kick returner Mardy Gilyard. The Bearcats return only one starter on defense (Aaron Webster), but the depth chart features veteran players who have seen extensive playing time. UC has a new defensive coordinator in Bob Diaco and a new multiple-front defense.
Cincinnati and Rutgers meet for the 15th time Monday with Rutgers holding a 7-6-1 advantage. UC has won the past three meetings, including a 13-10 decision at Nippert Stadium a year ago, and four of the last six. Rutgers holds a 6-1 advantage at Rutgers Stadium. The Bearcats 28-23 win in Piscataway in 2007 was UC’s first triumph on the Scarlet Knights’ home turf.
Brian Kelly, the two-time reigning BIG EAST Coach of the Year, is in his third full season at the helm of the Cincinnati football program with a 22-6 record and a 19-year career mark of 159-57-2. Kelly led the Bearcats to a school-record 11 wins, a BIG EAST Championship, and a Bowl Championship Series game berth in 2008. He won two NCAA Division II National Championships at Grand Valley State and led Central Michigan to the 2006 Mid-American Conference Championship. He is the leader in victories among active BIG EAST coaches and is the only current BIG EAST coach with 150 or more career wins.
Greg Schiano is 46-51 in his ninth season with the Scarlet Knights. He is 1-3 against UC.
STREAKS, STORYLINES, SIDEBARS
- UC is receiving votes in both the Associated Press poll, and USA Today Coaches Polls entering the week. The Bearcats closed out the 2008 season ranked No. 17 in both polls.
- Under third-year coach Brian Kelly, Cincinnati had its second straight 10-win season in 2008. Before Kelly arrived, Cincinnati had exactly one 10-win season (1951).
- UC set a school record with its 11 wins in 2008.
- Cincinnati was picked third in the BIG EAST preseason media poll, despite the Bearcats’ receiving as many first-place votes (eight) as favorite Pittsburgh.
- The Bearcats will have 10 new starters on defense. The lone returning starter is safety Aaron Webster.
- Quarterback Tony Pike burst onto the scene in 2008, passing for 2,407 yards and 19 touchdowns, completing 61.4 percent of his passes. He earned second-team all-BIG EAST honors.
- Wide receiver Mardy Gilyard caught 81 passes in 2008 for a school-record 1,276 yards and a team-high 11 touchdowns.
- Cincinnati returns its top four runners (Jacob Ramsey, John Goebel, Isaiah Pead, Scott Johnson) from last season.
- Junior Jacob Rogers and freshman Patrick O’Donnell have been battling for the starting punter job, both aiming to replace Kevin Huber, the first two-time first-team AP all-America selection in school history. Huber was a fifth-round draft selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009.