Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 6 -- Weekend Preview

Huge weekend for Cincinnati sports, and a long weekend at that. Let's take a look ahead, shall we.

Pittsburgh Panthers @ Cincinnati Bearcats, tonight 8 p.m. ESPN

An annual Big East premier match-up, Nippert Stadium is sure to be rockin' for the University of Cincinnati's season opener. The Bearcats squeezed a win out of this one last year by a mere three points, but the Panthers come to town 0-1 after a loss to, dare I say it, Youngstown State. Pittsburgh finished 6-7 overall last season, well behind Cincy's 10-3 mark. The Bearcats recorded better numbers in interceptions, passing touchdowns, rush yards per attempt, rushing yards per game, and sacks last year, but games are always close between these two teams. Cincinnati has won the the Paddlewheel Trophy the past three of four years, but historically the Panthers have dominated this match-up (8-3 in the River City Rivalry game). Pittsburgh also brings much more offensive experience in senior quarterback Tino Sunseri and running back Ray Graham, while Cincy quarterback Munchie Legaux makes his inaugural first-string start tonight.

UC Players to watch:

Munchie Legaux, #4 QB, Junior -- (2011) 749 pass yards on 116 attempts, 5 TD, 4 INT
George Winn, #32 RB, Senior -- (2011) 219 rush yards on 40 attempts, 2 TD
Anthony McClung, #6 WR, Junior -- (2011) 49 receptions for 683 yards, 6 TD

PITT Players to watch:

Tino Sunseri, #12 QB, Senior -- (2011) 2,616 total passing yards and a 124.1 QB rating 
Ray Graham, #1 RB, Senior -- (2011) 958 total rushing yards, 9 TD
Devin Street, #15 WR, Junior -- (2011) 53 receptions for 754 yards, 2 TD

Cincinnati Reds @ Houston Astros, 9/7, 9/8 7:10 p.m. FSN, 9/9 1:10 p.m. FSN

The Reds host Houston this weekend with an eight and a half game lead in the National League Central, hoping to inflate that gap. The Astros have the worst record in baseball and a interim manager at the helm. Head-to-head this season, the Reds are 9-3 against the Astros. Joey Votto will be truly game-tested if he plays in this entire series after going 2-3 in his return from knee surgery last night against the Phillies. Also, keep an eye on Todd Frazier's playing time; recently the NL Rookie of the Month, it will be interesting to see how Reds' manager Dusty Baker uses his young gun with Votto back in the lineup.

Probable pitchers:

9/7 HOU Lucas Harrell, RHP (10-9, 3.81 ERA) vs. CIN Homer Bailey RHP (10.9, 4.09 ERA)
9/8 HOU Bud Norris, RHP (5-11, 4.80 ERA) vs. CIN Bronson Arroyo RHP (11-7, 3.76 ERA)
9/9 HOU Edgar Gonzalez, RHP (1-0, 1.69 ERA) vs. CIN Johnny Cueto, RHP (17-7 2.58 ERA)

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