Cincinnati Bearcats Football: Showdown with Rutgers Looms Large

Alex CallosCorrespondent INovember 13, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 26:  Butch Jones the head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats watches the action during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on October 26, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With the Louisville loss at Syracuse over the weekend, the Cincinnati Bearcats are now right back in contention for the Big East title.

If Butch Jones and his squad have any plans of winning the conference crown, they are going to need to knock off Rutgers on Saturday.

The Scarlet Knights come to town ranked No. 22 in the latest BCS Standings. Rutgers boasts an 8-1 record and is undefeated in conference play. 

Rutgers is the only Big East team still undefeated in the league and a win by Cincinnati would force a three-way tie atop the standings.

One of the keys to the game will be the talented Cincinnati offense against the stout Rutgers defense.

Cincinnati is averaging over 34 points a game, but Rutgers has one of the best defenses in the country, only allowing 13.4 points a contest. That number ranks fifth in the country. The Scarlet Knights have only allowed over 15 points two times all year.

While Rutgers does struggle a little bit on offense, it more than makes up for it with one of the nation's best defenses, led by linebacker Khaseem Greene.

The play of newly named starter Brendon Kay will be interesting for Cincinnati. This is the first time he has gone up against a very talented defense in his college career.

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the game, and what could decide the outcome will come from the running back position.

Without question, the two best running backs in the Big East will be featured in this one, as George Winn from Cincinnati will go up against Jawan Jamison from Rutgers.

Winn currently leads the Big East with 980 yards. He has done it on only 173 carries. He also has nine rushing touchdowns on the season.

Jamison has rushed for 953 yards on 214 carries. He only has four touchdowns, but is by far the biggest offensive threat for the Scarlet Knights. Jamison is also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield with 308 receiving yards and two scores.

As always with any two relatively evenly matched college football teams, it is likely going to come down to who can win the turnover battle.

Now that Kay is running the show for Cincinnati, the edge might go to the Bearcats in this category. If that happens, the Bearcats will also likely have the edge when it comes to the final score.