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Cincinnati (0-0) vs. Pittsburgh (0-1)
September 6, 2012 8 p.m. ET ESPN 700 WLWGAMEDAY INFORMATION: UCGameday.com
Cincinnati, Ohio Nippert Stadium (35,000)
FOOTBALL OPENS 125TH SEASON THURSDAY IN THE RIVER CITY RIVALRY
The University of Cincinnati football team opens its 125th season Thursday against BIG EAST Conference rival Pittsburgh in historic Nippert Stadium at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. UC puts a three-game winning streak on the line, dating back to the Syracuse game in 2012.
The teams will play for the River City Rivalry Trophy, a 46-inch tall, 96-lb replica of a riverboat telegraph - a device for signaling the engine room - and a silhouette of the Ohio River. With Pitt's pending move to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Thursday will mark the last game in the rivalry for the forseeable future.
Thursday marks the 12th meeting in the River City Rivalry between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The Bearcats have won three of the last four meetings but Pitt holds a 3-1 all-time edge in Nippert Stadium. Two of the last three games have been decided by a total of four points.
Butch Jones, the 2011 BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year, enters his third season with the University of Cincinnati program and his sixth as a collegiate head coach with a career record of 41-24. He has won three conference championships (2007, 2009 at Central Michigan, 2011 at Cincinnati).
PAUL CHRYST, a two-time finalist for the Broyles Award, awarded to the top assistant coach in college football, is in his first season at Pittsburgh. He came to Pitt after six years as the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin.
ON THE AIR
TELEVISION - ESPN/ESPN3
Rece Davis - Play-By-Play
Jesse Palmer - Analyst
David Pollack - Analyst
Samantha Steele - Sideline
RADIO - WLW (700 AM)
Dan Hoard - Play-By-Play
Jim Kelly Jr. - Analyst
Tom Gelehrter - Sideline
Mo Egger - Host/Engineer
STREAKS, STORYLINES, SIDEBARS
- The University of Cincinnati football team, under the direction of third-year head coach Butch Jones will play its 125th season of football in 2012.
- The Bearcats program dates to 1885 and ranks as one of the 10 oldest in major college football and following a 10-3 campaign in 2011, holds an all-time mark of 561-553-51.
- UC has won three of the past four BIG EAST Championships and has played in a bowl game in five of the past six seasons.
- Jones, the 2011 BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year, enters his third season with the Bearcats program and his sixth as a collegiate head coach.
- The Bearcats have won 55 games over the last six years, the most among current members of the Big East.
- UC returns 13 starters and 43 letterwinners from the 2011 squad that won its third BIG EAST Conference title in four years and replaced seven offensive starters and four defensive starters in the lead up to the 2012 season.
- Junior QB Munchie Legaux will start the season under center for the Bearcats. He made three starts a year ago, throwing for 749 yards and five touchdowns, going 2-1.
- Some of UC's key returnees are: RB George Winn (219 yards, 2 TD), RB Jameel Poteat (108 yards, TD), WR Anthony McClung (49 catches, 683 yards, 6 TD), WR Kenbrell Thompkins (44 catches, 536 yards, 2 TD), RG Austen Bujnoch, RT Eric Lefeld, RT Sean Hooey, DE Walter Stewart (44 tackles, 11 TFL, 6 sacks), DE Dan Giordano (35 tackles, 9 TFL, 5 sacks), LB Maalik Bomar (61 tackles, 3.5 TFL), LB Nick Temple (35 tackles, 2.5 TFL), SS Drew Frey (1st Big East, 73 tackles, 2 INT), CB Deven Drane (42 tackles, 3 INT), CB Cameron Cheatham (59 tackles, 3 INT), PK Tony Miliano (17-25 FG), P Pat O'Donnell (1st Big East, 43.8 avg.), RB/KR Ralph David Abernathy IV (26.5 avg., TD) and DB Chris Williams (46 tackles, 4.5 TFL).