Bengals kickers divided on UC/OSU game

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CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals' kickers have divided loyalties heading into their bye weekend. One thing is known: Either punter Kevin Huber or kicker Mike Nugent is about to have an embarrassing photo posted the next time they get together.

Huber went to the University of Cincinnati. Nugent was the kicker on Ohio State's national championship team in 2002. There's no way that they were going to take the high road with their schools playing on Saturday in Columbus.

One of them is going to end up looking bad. Publicly.

"Whoever loses, there's going to be something on Twitter," Nugent said. "That's all I can say at this point. I've got to leave some build-up for you guys.

"We have a good Twitter bet going. We didn't want to do anything money-wise, we want it to be more pride and maybe have to do something to support the other team if you lose."

The game will be front-and-center this weekend with the Bengals (3-0) on their bye week. Nugent will be at a friend's wedding and won't get to see the game, but plans to keep up on it through text updates from friends.

Their bet will be settled when they get back together Monday in Cincinnati and begin preparation for a Sunday night game in New England.

It'll be only the fifth time since 1931 that Ohio State (2-1) and Cincinnati (2-0) have played in football, but it's a game that has a lot riding on it. The Buckeyes haven't lost to an in-state school since a 7-6 defeat against Oberlin in 1921. They've gone 44 games without such a loss.

Cincinnati came the closest to ending the streak. Playing at the Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium in 2002, the Bearcats dropped two passes in the end zone during the closing minutes, allowing Ohio State to hold on for a 23-19 win. Ohio State went on to win the national championship.

"Oh my gosh, I think it came down to the last play five or six games that season," Nugent said. "One of those things that we could lose it here or we could win it here and move on. That was at the point in college where if you lose one game, your chances of going to the national championship are pretty slim."

Paul Brown Stadium was a grass field back then, in only its third season. There were so many problems with the grass — it pulled loose from a sandy base very easily — that it was eventually replaced with artificial turf.

"It was up-and-down," Nugent said. "You'd be on the hash (mark) and you're going up and down like tiny little hills, so it just wasn't very consistent and you can see why it was changed."

Huber was a backup on the Cincinnati team that lost at Ohio State 37-7 in 2006. It'll be the first time the schools have played since then.

Huber and Nugent spend a lot of time together at practice, working on their kicking together. So it was a natural that they'd have something riding on their college game. The loser has to dress for a photo of the winner's choice. And the photo will be posted on Twitter.

"I'm hoping I'm not going to be involved in any picture or anything," Nugent said. "It's going to be me taking a picture of Kevin."


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