Seniors are ready for UC. Freshmen are about to be.
What a difference three years of experience makes in college football.
At the press conference following Miami’s win over Tennessee Tech last Saturday, Brett Gabbert and Bart Baratti were asked what they were thinking about Saturday’s matchup against the rival Cincinnati Bearcats.
Gabbert, a freshman quarterback who’s barely 19 years old, spoke first.
He was subdued, acting like a veteran and giving predictable answers — the kind he’s heard his NFL brother, Blaine, issue many times. He said what he was supposed to say.
“I’m really excited for the rivalry. It’s going to be a fun environment down there at UC. It’ll be packed. It’ll be a great game.”
“[Getting a win] would be everything. I don’t know too much about the rivalry, but I’m sure I will come Saturday.”
“I’m really excited to go out there with the guys and compete against UC. It’ll be really fun.”
Baratti, a senior defensive back, provided the real soundbites. He addressed the press with piercing eyes and intensity in his voice.
“Yeah, [I’m chomping at the bit].”
“Can’t stand UC. Can’t wait to play them. We’ll see what happens.”
“I don’t care about any of those chances, the odds, the spread, whatever. We’re going to bite down on our mouth pieces and see who’s the bigger guy.”
Baratti understands his team’s struggles against Cincinnati. For the last three years, he and his RedHawk teammates have battled to bring the Victory Bell back to Oxford and failed.
Every RedHawk in the decade before him fell victim to the same fate.
The losing streak sits at 13 years and counting.
Gabbert was five years and one month old last time Miami bested the Bearcats. He doesn’t know the pain of continually losing to his rivals. He’s hoping it stays that way.
While Miami laid a beatdown on Tennessee Tech, Cincinnati was blown out by the Ohio State Buckeyes, 42-0.
Baratti said the Bearcats’ performance last week doesn’t matter. Every week brings a new set of circumstances and challenges.
“I didn’t even know they lost today ’cause I couldn’t care less about what they do,” Baratti said.
Both teams care about the result of this weekend’s contest.
Baratti knows what to expect in his fourth game against UC, though. Gabbert is about to find out.