Saturday, November 18th, 2023 1:30 p.m. CT; Milan Puskar Stadium; Morgantown, West Virginia
Radio: Mountaineer Sports Network (Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace, Jed Drenning); Sports Network (Dan Hoard, Jim Kelly Jr., Mo Egger)
Records: West Virginia (6-4, 4-3); Cincinnati (3-7, 1-6)
Series History: West Virginia leads 16-3-1
Last Meeting: West Virginia 24, Cincinnati (2011)
Line: West Virginia (-6.5)
WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
QB GARRETT GREENE
While junior quarterback Garrett Greene has had a solid season so far in 2023, the Mountaineers have found themselves on the losing end of some key games. Greene has thrown for 1,699 yards in limited games this season alongside an impressive 12:3 touchdown to interception ratio. The Florida native has also added 451 rushing yards and eight scores on the ground this season. Greene will be a key player to keep an eye on if the Mountaineers intend to sing John Denver after the game.
DB BEANIE BISHOP
Senior defensive back Beanie Bishop has been an important player in the Mountaineers secondary this season as he leads the squad with four interceptions. The Kentucky native has also registered 54 total tackles this season and has been a key factor in stopping the run. Bishop should have a good opportunity to record his fifth interception of the season against a somewhat turnover-prone offense when the Cincinnati Bearcats come to town in Week 11.
RB COREY KINER
Junior running back Corey Kiner had a breakthrough game in Cincinnati’s first conference win against Houston carrying the ball 23 times for 129 yards and two scores. The impressive performance brought his season total up to 161 carries for 885 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Kiner helped the Cincinnati offense sustain drives against Houston and he will be needed to do the same in Week 11 against West Virginia.
S DESHAWN PACE
Cincinnati safety DeShawn Pace has done a little bit of everything for Cincinnati’s defense this season and has just about one of every statistic under his belt. Pace leads the team with 64 total tackles this season and also adds 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and five pass breakups to his season total. Pace has been a difference-maker for Cincinnati and will need to continue the trend as the team gets set to take on a streaky West Virginia team on the road.
WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
What is the plan with Neal Brown? I believe if you took a poll of West Virginia fans at the beginning of the season and asked what to do with Neal Brown if he could manage an 8-4 season 75% of fans would want to retain him. The only issue with the situation is that he has won all of the games he’s expected to win, and none of the games he isn’t. West Virginia has recorded wins over Duquesne, Pittsburg, Texas Tech, TCU, UCF, and BYU while losing to Penn State, Oklahoma State, Houston, and Oklahoma. Mediocrity is okay especially when considering some of the people occupying head coaching jobs, but if you lose to Cincinnati, how does that change in the minds of fans?
Should fans get their hopes up for back-to-back wins? Look, I completely understand that a 1-6 conference record is not an ideal start to the season, but if Scott Satterfield can double his season total of conference wins in two weeks, fans will at least have some light at the end of the tunnel. Beating Houston is one thing, especially considering the fact that they beat West Virginia, but if Cincy can grab their second Big 12 win, Saturday will be a big day for Bearcat fans.
PREDICTION: WEST VIRGINIA 28, CINCINNATI 27
This game will absolutely come down to the wire. I do expect West Virginia to do a solid job of controlling the pace against Cincinnati, but somehow some way, they will find life. Morgantown has been a tough road trip for anyone this season but for some reason, I feel some positivity shining down on Cincinnati. This game is going to be a field position and turnover battle for both teams, but at the end of the day, I give the Mountaineers the edge.