The last time Rutgers found themselves on the brink of a Big East title, their hopes were suddenly dashed by an eager Bearcats squad. On Saturday, the setting looked very familiar for the Scarlet Knights in Cincinnati. Rutgers came into the game in Nippert Stadium 4-0 in the conference and leading the Big East. Cincinnati was 3-1 in Big East play and looking to tie atop the conference in which they currently sit in third place.
This time, though, the Bearcats couldn’t get the upper hand in the game and the Scarlet Knights prevailed 10-3. Cincinnati’s quarterback, Brendon Kay, had zero points and two interceptions in the game, out-dueling the Rutgers’ quarterback by 65 passing yards as he picked up 251 through the air. However, Gary Nova was more successful in putting points on the board and scored the game’s lone touchdown, as Rutgers defense did the rest to get the win.
The ground game was lopsided between the two teams. The Scarlet Knights’ running back, Savon Huggins, picked up 179 yards on 41 carries on the ground and accounted for a large chunk of the team’s offensive game-plan. On the other hand, the Bearcats’ dynamic running back George Winn couldn’t anything going and was held to just 46 yards by the Rutgers’ defense.
Overall, both defenses played a part in the low-scoring Big East match up. Rutgers’ won the battle of the D’s, though, holding Cincinnati to just one field goal. This was the game that the Bearcats had to have to keep their hopes alive in the title hunt and now they are all but dashed. Cincinnati does still have a slim chance if Rutgers and Louisville, who face each other in two weeks, lose in their upcoming games. The Bearcats are heavily favored in both of their remaining match ups, if that were to occur.