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Football week one preview: Miami meets Cincinnati in 125th Victory Bell

<p>The Miami RedHawks run onto the field at Nippert Stadium before the team&#x27;s 2019 matchup vs. Cincinnati.</p>

The Miami RedHawks run onto the field at Nippert Stadium before the team's 2019 matchup vs. Cincinnati.

The Miami RedHawks football team kicks off its 2021 season by traveling to Cincinnati to play the No. 8 Bearcats in the 125th Victory Bell matchup. The game takes place at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 4, at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. 

Last year, the two teams missed their annual matchup for the first time since 1945 due to Miami’s conference-only schedule in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the 2019 game, the RedHawks took an early 10-0 lead with a strong defensive showing in the first quarter. However, the Bearcat offense, led by quarterback Desmond Ridder, soon settled down and took control. Running back Michael Warren showed off his speed with a 73-yard touchdown, and there was little the RedHawks could do.

Cincinnati beat Miami 35-13 for their 14th consecutive win against the RedHawks. The all-time series moved to 59-58-7, in favor of Miami. 

This year, Cincinnati is heavily favored to defeat Miami. The Bearcats bring back star quarterback Ridder, who appears on the brink of being one of the best at his position in the country. 

The Bearcat defense is what makes Cincinnati such a threat – a dominant backfield supported by a defensive line that ranked 13th in yards allowed per game last year. 

Cincinnati’s Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman left the team for the same position at Notre Dame, so new Defensive Coordinator Mike Tressel will be tasked with stopping the Miami offense. 

Miami Head Coach Chuck Martin looks to snap Miami’s losing streak against Cincinnati. The team brings back many of its key contributors from the last two seasons and the majority of its coaching staff, and the organization will do its best to put Miami back on top. 

The key to victory for the RedHawks will be stopping the potent Bearcat offense. Miami led the nation last year in sacks per game with 4.33, albeit in a small sample size. 

The Game

Miami @ Cincinnati 

Kickoff: Saturday, 9/4, 3:30 p.m. at Nippert Stadium

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TV: ESPN+

Radio: Miami Sports Network

Players to Watch

Miami RedHawks

Brett Gabbert (QB, So.) last season’s stats: 23/35, 384 yards, 4 TD

Mac Hippenhammer (WR, RS Jr.) 5 receptions, 77 yards

Kameron Butler (DL, Jr.) 16 tackles, 2.5 sacks

Dominique Robinson (DL, Sr.) 9 tackles, 2 sacks

Cincinnati Bearcats 

Desmond Ridder (QB, Sr.) 186/281, 2296 yards, 19 TD

Jerome Ford (RB, Jr.) 73 carries, 483 yards, 8 TD

Ahmad Gardner (CB, Jr.) 28 tackles, 3 interceptions

Myjai Sanders (DL, Sr.) 31 tackles, 7 sacks 

orzeched@miamioh.edu

@edward_orzech

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