Ohio State always gets a lot of flak for not playing in-state opponents very often, but to be fair, the Buckeyes usually have a reason not to: their in-state opponents aren't very good. Cincinnati is typically the one exception. The Bearcats have criticized the Buckeyes for refusing to play them before, and this year, they'll get a chance to beat OSU with what looks like a pretty good team.
The Bearcats look like one of the teams to beat in the AAC this year, and quarterback Gunner Kiel has finally gotten his shot at redemption. The former top recruit committed to Indiana and LSU before eventually deciding on Notre Dame, where he transferred from after sitting behind Everett Golson. Now, he's finally gotten a chance to start in college, and in two games with Cincinnati, he has 9.07 yards per attempt with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Meanwhile, Ohio State hasn't been dominant with Braxton Miller out, and the Buckeyes' loss to Virginia Tech stings more and more as the Hokies keep losing. Can the Bearcats turn this into a worst-case start for Buckeyes? They've got a better shot than people think.
Cincinnati will be playing with heavy hearts after the death of Chamoda Kennedy-Palmore. The walk-on running back was killed in a motorcycle accident Thursday in Cincinnati.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game time: 6 p.m. ET
Radio: Ohio State: IMG Sports Network, Cincinnati: 700-WLW
Online streaming: BTN2GO
Rankings and records: Ohio State is 2-1, and the Buckeyes are ranked 22nd in the AP Poll and 20th in the Coaches Poll. Cincinnati is 2-0 and unranked.
Vegas: Ohio State opened as a 12.5-point favorite and is now a 15.5-point favorite.
Weather forecast: 75 and clear.
Two things at stake
Ohio State needs this win to stay in the national conversation, and also for state bragging rights.
A Cincinnati win would vault the Bearcats into the national rankings and certainly make them the team to beat in the AAC.
One big matchup
Cincinnati passing game vs. Ohio State secondary: Gunner Kiel can sling it. He proved that as a high school All-American, and he's shown it in his two games at Cincinnati. The Ohio State secondary struggled last year, and the unit showed it was still a work in progress against Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes have a lot of talent on defense, but if Kiel starts picking them apart, they're going to have problems, and they may not be able to keep up in a shootout.