Cincinnati at Miami University


Records: Cincinnati 1-1; Miami 1-1

Series: RedHawks lead 59-55-7

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Miami and Cincinnati have been playing each other since 1888, or when riding on horseback was the primary mode of transportation.

Gus Ragland’s history of the Miami Valley rivalry extends about a dozen years ago.

“Growing up, I played a lot of video games and those two teams popped up on the screen," the redshirt junior RedHawks quarterback said. “In the third grade, I’d be playing NCAA football and that victory bell would pop up."

Ragland, who grew up in Cincinnati and led Moeller to back-to-back Division I championships, knows several Bearcats players from high school. When he goes home, he runs into several of his high school coaches who work in the Cincinnati athletic department.

“They talk a little bit," Ragland said, laughing. “A lot of people have been texting me this week about the game. It’s going to be an electric environment."

Most of the electricity has been provided by the Bearcats, who have won 11 straight games against the RedHawks.

When Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was coaching Cincinnati, he suggested that Miami play every game vs. UC at Nippert Stadium or not at all.

This week, it was announced that the home-and-away contract between the schools will extend through 2029. Three games will be played at Paul Brown Stadium, in ’18, ’22 and ’26.

“Cincinnati has been dominant," Ragland said. “The RedHawks want to bring the victory bell trophy back to Oxford. We’re a different team than in the past. Coach (Chuck) Martin is getting the right guys on this team. We’ve also taken ownership."

Martin, who is in his fourth season, led Miami to a Mid-American Conference East co-championship with Ohio and to the St. Petersburg Bowl last season.

Although he has yet to defeat Cincinnati, the games have been close. UC won 27-20 last season and 37-30 and 31-24 the previous two seasons.

The last time Miami defeated Cincinnati was from ’01 through ’03, when it had Ben Roethlisberger, and in ’05.

“We’re proud of the fact that before we got here three years ago it was blowout, blowout and blowout and it wasn’t competitive," Martin said. “We’ve been competitive since we’ve gotten here, but when you beat them it sinks more teeth into the rivalry."

Martin said playing home-and-home benefits both teams.

“We’re so close in proximity that it’s a great road trip for both teams — the easiest road trip of the year — and it’s almost like having another home game," he said.

The distance between the universities is 41 to 50 miles depending on the route.

Cincinnati was handled 36-14 by Michigan last Saturday, but Martin sees an enormous challenge.

“They are athletic on the offensive side of the ball," he said. “Anything we do Saturday will be under duress. We’re not going to have a lot of time. Holes will open and close quickly. Routes will be open for a split second. We have to play fast and execute at a high level."

Kansas at Ohio


This game has a larger question other than whether Quinton Maxwell or Nathan Rourke will start at quarterback for Ohio (1-1). Rourke completed 16 of 23 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown in relief in a 44-21 loss at Purdue. Can Kansas (1-1), which lost 37-21 to the Bobcats at home last season, end its road losing streak at 41 games? The all-time record is 44 straight losses by Western State from 1926-36.

Kent State at Marshall


Kent State coach Paul Haynes, a DeSales graduate and former Ohio State assistant, returns after a two-week absence to have prostate surgery. This series is 18-18, but the Flashes (1-1) have dropped 11 straight to the Thundering Herd (1-1), including in double-overtime last season.

Tulsa at Toledo


Tulsa (1-1) ran up 667 yards, including 442 rushing, in a 66-42 victory over Louisiana last week. D’Angelo Brewer ran for 262 yards on 38 carries. The Hurricane, though, also was wiped out 59-24 by 10th-ranked Oklahoma State on opening day.