Early this season, predicting that these two teams would win their conference titles and meet in a BCS game would have drawn a hearty laugh. Virginia Tech lost its season opener to East Carolina, while Cincinnati was blown out by Connecticut in its second Big East game. But the Hokies and Bearcats rallied, cobbling together offenses despite various quarterback issues. Cincy rides in on a six-game win streak, while Virginia Tech has won three in a row since losing to Miami at Dolphin Stadium -- the site of the Orange Bowl -- on Nov. 13.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech began the season with the idea that senior
"The first thing you better do is you better match them physically. Bud does a great job. He's as sound as anybody in the business. They're not going to beat themselves. They aren't going to give you easy points. You can't formation them and get an obvious mismatch. You have to execute to beat a Bud Foster defense. And to execute, you'd better be ready to match their toughness.
"With a trips formation [on one side of a four-receiver set], you can match up one-on-one on the back side. But here's the problem. You've got Macho Harris on the back side. You've got their best defender. They don't mind doing that. But sometimes, if you've got a good enough player [to match up with Harris], you can do something.
"The other thing is, you've got to be able to run the football. Even when you can't run it, you still have to keep trying. As soon as you become one-dimensional, and those front guys get to tee it up, they make it tough on you."