Cincinnati has Big East title in reach

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CINCINNATI (AP)—No. 23 Cincinnati is one victory away from taking control of the Big East race.

Of all the surprises in the conference this season—teams trying to desert, lawsuits flying back and forth—it’s one of the bigger ones.

DefensiveStandout
DEFENSIVE STANDOUT—Pitt’s Aaron Donald (97) rushes against Alex Hoffman of Cincinnati, Donald a sophomore from Penn Hills leads the Panthers defense with seven sacks. (Courier Photo/William McBride)

Cincinnati (7-1, 3-0) has the only perfect conference record in the Big East and can essentially put away another top threat on Saturday when it hosts West Virginia at Paul Brown Stadium.

The Bearcats have beaten Louisville, South Florida and Pittsburgh in the last three weeks, rallying from behind in the second half of each game. They overcame a nine-point deficit to beat Louisville at Paul Brown, and 10-point deficits at South Florida and at Pittsburgh.

They’ve been living on the edge without falling off, leaving them on the verge of a third Big East title in four years.

Their defense held on Saturday night in Pittsburgh for a 26-23 win that put them in control of the conference. Louisville is alone in second place with a 3-1 conference mark and 5-4 overall. Rutgers is third at 3-2 and 6-3 overall.

“Right now, anything can happen,” Pittsburgh’s Todd Graham said on Monday. “Other than Cincinnati, everybody else is right there.”

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