Cincinnati still fighting, takes aim at West Virginia

Field Level Media

November 15, 2023 at 12:31 am.

Although Cincinnati will not be bowl-eligible for the first time in six years, the Bearcats aren’t ready to give up.

Coming off the first Big 12 Conference win in program history, Cincinnati brings momentum into Saturday’s clash with West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va.

The Bearcats (3-7, 1-6) snapped a seven-game losing streak and defeated Houston 24-14 last Saturday to earn the milestone victory.

Corey Kiner rushed for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 23 carries and Emory Jones completed 13 of 16 passes for 131 yards and a score.

While it hasn’t been the season Bearcats coach Scott Satterfield wanted, he is pleased with the perseverance his team has shown.

“It’d be real easy for them to throw the towel in and say, ‘Hey, we’re gonna play for next year,'” Satterfield said. “But our guys have continued to fight, and I love that.”

Still, Cincinnati won’t play a bowl game for the first time since 2017, when it went 4-8 under then-first-year coach Luke Fickell.

Meanwhile, the Mountaineers (6-4, 4-3) already are bowl-eligible, but coach Neal Brown doesn’t want them to take their foot off the gas — and he certainly isn’t overlooking the Bearcats.

“If you just looked at the stats and didn’t look at the win-loss record, they’re a team that’s one of the top rushing teams in the whole conference,” Brown said. “Defensively, they stop the run at a high rate, and then you look at their win-loss record. They’ve won three games and one league game.

“Really kind of a weird makeup.”

West Virginia saw a two-game winning streak come to an end last weekend when it fell 59-20 to Oklahoma. Garrett Greene threw for a pair of TDs, but the Mountaineers were outgained 644-330.

Saturday marks the 21st all-time meeting between these teams but the first since 2011. West Virginia is 16-3-1 against Cincinnati.

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