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FOUR GAMES TO WATCH

No. 5 West Virginia (8-1) At No. 21 Cincinnati (8-2)

November 15, 2007|PETER YOON

* Kickoff: Saturday, 4:45 p.m. PST.

* TV: ESPN.

* Line: West Virginia 6 1/2 .

* West Virginia update: The Mountaineers are on a four-game win streak thanks to a running attack led by Steve Slaton and Pat White. Slaton has 885 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing. White, the Heisman Trophy hopeful at quarterback, has run for 803 yards and 10 touchdowns. West Virginia is third in the nation is rushing and 10th in scoring, averaging 40.44 points. The Mountaineers give up 275.4 yards a game, fourth in the nation.

* Cincinnati update: The Bearcats overcame a two-week stumble and defeated Big East contenders South Florida and Connecticut in consecutive weeks to get back in the conference title race. They rely on an opportunistic defense that leads the nation with 35 takeaways and 22 interceptions. Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith each have five interceptions and the Bearcats give up only 16.4 points a game. Punter Kevin Huber leads the nation with a 46.73-yard average.

* Story line: West Virginia is in the Big East driver's seat, needing victories over Cincinnati, Connecticut and Pittsburgh to claim the title. Cincinnati needs to win out and hope Connecticut loses one of its two remaining games.

* The pick: West Virginia. The Mountaineers have only 14 turnovers, so they should control the ball and the game.

- PETER YOON

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