Football: Q&A with Cincinnati's The News Record ahead of Saturday's games

UConn fell to former big east rival Syracuse 31-24 at Rentschler Field on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The team's record fell to 2-2 and they will taken on Houston this thursday. (Amar Batra/ The Daily Campus)

A big weekend for UConn athletics kicks off with its fair share of competition against American Athletic Conference rival Cincinnati, taking the Bearcats on in football at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field and in men’s soccer just a few hours later at 7 p.m. With a handful of games against Cincinnati, sports editor Dan Madigan talked with David Wysong, sports editor of the The News Record, Cincinnati’s student paper, to discuss football, soccer and Big 12 expansion.

There has been a controversy at quarterback in Cincinnati this entire season. What quarterback, or combination of quarterbacks, will UConn likely see under center Saturday, and what do they bring to the table?

Tommy Tuberville said Hayden Moore will most likely still be injured, so that means it will either be Ross Trail or Gunner Kiel. Fans would love to see Kiel get the start because he can put up big numbers in a flash, and has the skill set in the passing game to take over any game. I think Trail will probably get the start, however, and will probably get majority of the playing time. Kiel left the team for personal reasons right before the bowl game against San Diego State and, since he returned, the coaching staff has made it nearly impossible for him to get on the field. Trail has some speed and a big arm, but his inexperience costs him, as he has been a turnover machine so far this season.

Who are some the Bearcats’ impact players on offense and defense?

Offensively, the Bearcats impact players are running back Tion Green and wide receiver Devin Gray. Green has a great amount of experience, being a redshirt senior, and it has shown in the way he has played so far this year. He is leading the team in rushing, with 345 yards, and is averaging nearly five yards per rush. Gray, on the other hand, is enjoying success in his first year at Cincinnati. He is a junior college transfer and so far this season is leading the team in receiving, with 344 yards on 20 receptions.

What is Cincinnati’s biggest weakness, and how can UConn exploit it?

Cincinnati’s biggest weakness is turnovers. The Bearcats have 13 turnovers in five games this year, nine of them being interceptions. Only thing UConn needs to do is make it hard for, I’m assuming Trail, to throw. If he gets some pressure on him and there are a couple tight windows around his receivers, that will be a wrap.

Let’s talk soccer. With the Bearcats coming to Storrs for soccer this weekend, which players are Cincinnati’s best bets to snap the Huskies five-game winning streak?

The best players to help Cincinnati snap the Huskies five-game winning streak are midfielders Adam Wilson and Ryan Melink. Wilson has put up the most shots on the team, by a large margin, as he has put up 39 so far this season. He also knows how to find his teammates, leading the team with six assists. Melink, who has 24 less shots than Wilson, actually has more goals than his teammate. Wilson has two goals on the year while Melink has three on only 15 shots. This will be an interesting game because Cincinnati has also had recent success. After starting the season slowly, they are on a six-game unbeaten streak with five wins and one tie.

With Big 12 expansion rumors seemingly never ending, what is the vibe on campus about Cincinnati’s chances of being selected as a member of the Big 12?

The vibe is anxiousness. Everyone wants to know if we are joining the Big 12 or not, we are all tired of waiting. Everyone thinks Cincinnati is one of the best options and everyone who is a high official in the school is doing everything they can to make sure we get in. Personally, I would love Cincinnati and UConn to be the teams to join because the basketball rivalry, in my opinion, needs to stay intact.

Dan Madigan is the sports editor for The Daily Campus, covering women's basketball. He can be reached via email at He tweets @dmad1433.