NCF Nation: Friday

Posted by's Brian Bennett

Tony Pike is off to a monstrous start for Cincinnati. The senior quarterback has completed 77.2 percent of his passes while throwing for 591 yards and six touchdowns in less than five quarters of action this season. Pike will try to guide the Bearcats to a win at Oregon State on Saturday, but first he had to tackle our Friday Q&A:

What's the feeling like on the team given the great start you guys have had?

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Tony Pike has been focused on reading through his progressions instead of "living dangerously."
Tony Pike: Obviously, it's been a great way to start the season. But we've been talking about it in the locker room. It's only two games, and we've got 10 more to play. And right now we've got to keep our focus. We know we're going out to Oregon State, where it will be a hostile environment and a tough place to get a win.

How much can a win out there make people pay attention to this team?

TP: I think, obviously, with the No. 17 ranking, that shows that some other people outside of Ohio are starting to take notice of us. And that's a great honor for us. But at the same time, we're not worrying about where we're at right now. We want to be up there at the end of the year.

What will you do to pass the time on that long flight to Corvallis? Any worries about jet lag?

TP: Hopefully they'll be showing a good movie. If not, then I might play some cards with some guys, maybe take a little nap. Play it by ear and see how you're feeling on the plane. I think we were all right going to Hawaii last year, so we should be fine.

Is it important for you guys to get a big nonconference win? Last year, you lost to Oklahoma and Virginia Tech.

TP: Absolutely. The Big East has been kind of taking some hits this offseason, with people talking about its BCS berth. It's a huge opportunity for us playing against a Pac-10 team. That's a dominant league, and Oregon State beat USC last year. So this would be huge for the Big East and huge for our program to get a nonconference win over the caliber of program like Oregon State.

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