Cincy game a mirror matchup, Leavitt says

Think of it as mirror images – that’s what coach Jim Leavitt is thinking. He says his team and this week’s opponent, Cincinnati, are all too similar. While the Bearcats have a 3-4 record and the Bulls are 5-2, there are certain areas where the two teams have a lot in common, Leavitt said at Tuesday’s media luncheon.

“(Cincinnati) plays with passion, they play with energy – a lot like our guys,” Leavitt said. “All of our guys. I see, really, two teams that are very similar. I really do.

“They have big running backs, big receivers, and this quarterback has got the heart of a lion.”

Leavitt added that Bearcats quarterback Dustin Grutza, who has 1,113 yards and seven touchdowns, is similar to Bulls quarterback Matt Grothe.

“(Grutza) is a lot like Matt,” Leavitt said. “He is going to do whatever it takes, and you saw that when he played us last year. This quarterback is outstanding. He can beat you throwing and running.”

Bright spotlight: The Bearcats host the Bulls on ESPN on Sunday at 8 p.m. While the Bulls may enjoy the national exposure, it hasn’t equated to good results in the past.

The Bulls are 0-2 when playing on ESPN, having lost to Alabama in 2003 and Louisville in 2004.