|One big play from dynamic RB/WR/KR Ralph David Abernathy IV could be the difference for Cincinnati on Saturday against Rutgers. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, noon ET (Big East Network)
Spread: Cincinnati by 6.5
Watchability: Indirectly, this game will have just as much an affect on the Big East championship as the much-anticipated Rutgers-Louisville showdown. A Rutgers win gives the Scarlet Knights all the power; a Cincinnati win would create a logjam at the top.
Shining stars: Rutgers -- LB Khaseem Greene. The senior had been somewhat quiet in recent weeks, but Greene broke out big against Army last weekend with 22 tackles and forcing a fumble. His main objective Saturday will be containing Cincinnati RB George Winn. Cincinnati -- RB Winn. The senior continues to impress. He had consecutive 100-yard rushing games before settling for 83 yards with two scores in the blowout win over Temple. The going will be significantly tougher against a Rutgers defense that has allowed five rushing touchdowns all season.
Who could steal the show: Rutgers -- RB Savon Huggins. Starting RB Jawan Jamison's status is uncertain due to an ankle injury, so the sophomore will have at least an increased workload. Huggins has the potential to make big plays, and he'll likely get his chance to prove that Saturday. Cincinnati -- RB Ralph David Abernathy IV. Cincy will likely try to get Abernathy some chances in space, where the sophomore can be deadly. If Rutgers can contain Winn, look for the Bearcats to get creative with their run game to try to catch the Scarlet Knights' defense off guard.
You going? Ranking the road trip: It doesn't get much better than this. Nippert Stadium will be rocking with Rutgers in town and a chance at the conference championship on the line.
Magic number for Rutgers: 41. Rutgers' defense has allowed 41 points total in four Big East games. The Bearcats average better than 34 points per game. Something has to give.
Magic number for Cincinnati: 19. The Bearcats' streak of 19 straight games with a sack came to an end last week against run-heavy Temple. Still, it could be a sign that Cincy really, really misses DE Walter Stewart.
The game comes down to: Rushing. The Scarlet Knights allow just 110 rushing yards per game, and Cincinnati's offense averages better than 226 rushing yards per game. The winner will likely come out victorious.
Prediction: Cincinnati 20, Rutgers 17
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