To help preview the Battle for the Victory Bell, The Miami Student asked Claude Thompson of The News Record a few questions about Miami and the University of Cincinnati. Thompson is the football writer for The News Record, the student newspaper at the University of Cincinnati.
Q: Gunner Kiel certainly made quite the impression in his first collegiate action. Just how high is his ceiling?
A: Gunner's record for passing touchdowns for a player's debut was extremely impressive, but what made it more impressive for me was how poised he looked in the pocket. Gunner's ceiling? He has the potential to be the best pure passer in college football. He doesn't take off and run like other quarterbacks who are out there making their names, so I would definitely expect him to finish in the top 5 in passing yards and touchdowns this season.
Q: UC jumped out to a 34-0 lead, but let Toledo come back and make it a game. What went wrong for the Bearcats and how did they regroup and hold on for the win?
A: Cramps. Tommy Tuberville said almost the whole starting defense, and even Gunner, went down with cramps and needed to be stuck with IVs. That's definitely why they struggled in the third quarter. I think their plan was to knuckle down and play ball control, which is why the game never really felt out of hand, despite having -2 yards for the whole third quarter. Then once the defense forced two field goals from Toledo, the offense went back out there and acted like nothing had happened.
Q: What is the atmosphere around UC's campus regarding the Battle for the Bell? Does it really matter to them much after winning eight straight games?
A: The whole campus is really excited about homecoming. Now, I haven't seen as much excitement from the students about the football game, though many have said they are going.
Q: How serious is UC taking the matchup with Miami? Is there a chance they are peaking ahead to the looming game with Ohio State?
A: Tuberville isn't the kind of coach to mess around. This team will be focused on the game on Saturday, no doubt about it. Ohio State looks to be the weakest they have been in the last 3-4 years. If the Bearcats are peeking ahead to any games, they would be conference match ups.
Q: What's your prediction and score for the game?
A: The RedHawks have struggled mightily up to this point and UC will be in front of a rowdy home crowd. I expect a couple of dazzling passes from Kiel, but a heavy dose of the run game to control the game up front. 45-14, in favor of UC.