Thursday, September 25, 2003

Roethlisberger's success highlighted by efficiency

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer contributor

Ben Roethlisberger is one of several Miami RedHawks who are 2-0 as starters against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in their annual Victory Bell game, but it's not something he's savoring.

2001: 20-25, 264 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
2002: 27-37, 240 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Totals: 47-62, 504 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
"We have played those guys tough, but it's important to not dwell on the past," said Miami's fourth-year junior quarterback, who will lead the RedHawks against UC at 2p.m. Saturday at Yager Stadium. "If you do that, then you're not looking forward to what's going on. We have to focus on this year. They're 3-0."

The game is the third in three years to feature the matchup between the 6-foot-5, 248-pound Roethlisberger, who is being touted by Miami as a Heisman Trophy candidate, and 6-3, 220-pound UC junior quarterback Gino Guidugli, who has started each of the last two UC-Miami games. Guidugli has been the more prolific passer in the games, but Roethlisberger has been more efficient.

Roethlisberger is a combined 47-of-62 (76 percent) for 504 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception.

Guidugli has more attempts (84), completions (49) and yards (559), but he also has fewer touchdowns (one) and more interceptions (three).

Roethlisberger preferred to not discuss Miami's success against the Bearcats during his era, but he did acknowledge the intensity of the rivalry.

"There's that big rivalry and not being very far apart," he said. "There's a lot riding on this game every year, and there's a little bit of hatred. When you first come here, you don't understand it until you play in it."

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vs. South Florida (3-4)
• 1:00 p.m. Sat. Nov. 20
• Nippert Stadium
• Radio: WLW-AM 700


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