Bearcats, Knights, Gameday

All That Glitters is Championship Gold


Dark horse, noun, is a little-known person or team that emerges to prominence, especially in a competition of some sort or a contestant that seems unlikely to succeed.


The Cincinnati football Bearcats are in a unique position come this Saturday. For the first time the Bearcats are the feature game on ESPN’s College Gameday. From 9am to noon on Saturday the UCF Knights and the UC Bearcats will be the featured talking points for Corso and the boys. Of course the crew isn’t in Clifton, they’re in Orlando to focus on the UCF Knights.

The Gameday crew isn’t there to watch one of the most improved teams in college football, the Cincinnati Bearcats. They’re setting up shop in Orlando to see the UCF Knights try to extend the nations longest winning streak, which currently sits at 22 games in a row. The crew is there to watch the reigning national champions take on their first ranked opponent of the season. The spotlight is there to shine on the team from the sunshine state.

Most people outside of Cincinnati wonder why we’re even making the trip down there. We’re just going to be their 23rd victim.

Outside of the city, people don’t know the Bearcats are made for this role. The Bearcats have never been the Cinderella, the sweetheart, the darling team the masses fall in love with.

We’ve embraced this persona. The all black uniforms, the grit, the Cincinnati brand, not only of football, but basketball too. The Bearcats are used to living in the shadows, emerging victorious when no one else believes it can be done.

Its personified with Mike Warren II. His style of play, the relentlessness of his game is the perfect example.

Do you not believe me? Just check out the hype video after the UCLA win in week one. Desmond Howard said we didn’t stand a chance.  WE WERE AN UNDERDOG TO THE MIAMI (OH) REDHAWKS!


Cincinnati at UCLA
David Pollack: UCLA
Desmond Howard: UCLA — “I got UCLA big with Wilton Speight at quarterback for Chip Kelly.”
Lee Corso: UCLA
Kirk Herbstreit: UCLA — “I don’t think it’ll be easy. But UCLA, end of the day, too many athletes.”


Is this the only example? No but it illustrates my point. Just look at the CFP rankings if you need another example. We’re ranked 24th, that’s awesome, but we’re ranked behind 2 teams with 4 losses and behind 8 teams with 3 losses.

Here’s a drinking game for you to play from 9 to noon tomorrow. For every time they say something to the affect “The Bearcats have their hands full tonight” take a drink. For everyone who picks against UC take a drink. When Corso comes out in a full suit of armor, picking the Knights, chug a beer. What happens if he picks the Bearcats? He’s not going to do it. (If he does, chug 2 beers)

If I had to guess if someone was going to pick the Bearcats I’d pick Herbstreit. He was teammates with Fickell and knows his well, but still, highly unlikely.

The hype in Orlando has already arrived. People are already camping out to be first in line for the Gameday shooting.

Let the hype build. Let the Knight’s team, fanbase, and everyone else get drunk off of the spotlight before the game even starts because once that ball is kicked off it’s time for the dark horse to shine. It’s time for the Bearcats to show that grit, that Cincinnati brand of football, and emerge victorious.

 

Football Pergatory

Cautious Optimism


    -The Beercat

After posting a second half prediction of the football Bearcats my hopes and dreams were shot down by the Temple Owls in OT on Saturday. I thought we would bring home a W from Philly. That didn’t happen. Instead, our Bearcats panicked the last couple of minutes of the game. The first 3 minutes of the game is highly forgettable too. (A lost fumble on 3rd down and a botched return added onto a Temple touchdown where the receiver landed out of bounds. If you add in the ref icing our freshmen kicker you have a hell of Saturday afternoon) All of this while Temple was without its RB1 Ryquell Armstead.

Can you blame me for thinking the Bearcats could go 11-1 after starting off 6-0? Yeah beating USF is a stretch but if we would have been undefeated heading into that game in Nippert. What a stage that would have been. A perfect one for College Gameday to finally highlight in Clifton. If we win Saturday in Dallas and Nov 3 against Navy, two games that will be an absolute dog fight the next two games will be highly anticipated by Bearcats fans.

Here’s what I’m currently thinking. 8 weeks ago not many people had the Bearcats at 6-0 going into the bye week. Still not a lot of people had them 6-1 at this point. Moving forward though we’re caught in football fan purgatory. What does that mean? I feel like our fanbase doesn’t know how to feel right now. We’re caught in between preseason expectations and the redrawn expectations after going 6-0. Winning when you feel like you shouldn’t be is certainly much sweeter than expecting it. So you get addicted to that sweetness and expect more of it. That’s what happened before last Saturday’s game.

Sure some fans might have kept “realistic” expectations for this team and still have them. That’s fine, but the feeling you get when your team is winning against the odds makes it harder to keep those realistic expectations you started off with before week 1. It’s not wrong to reset expectations. That’s what I did before week 7. I expected the Cincinnati Football Bearcats to win every game in the second half of the season, except one. (UCF if you couldn’t guess)

If before the season started you told me the Bearcats would be 6-6 and bowl eligible I would have said,

“Hey! We’re getting there! A bowl game will be fun, what’s that even like anyway?”

But now after winning the first 6, losing the last 6 would almost be devastating. No one wants to end a season with 6 straight losses, especially if one is to ECU. Yeah we’re still bowl eligible but we’d have absolutely no momentum going into it.

So what do we do now? We proceed with cautious optimism. Maybe some of you were already doing that? Maybe after the bye week I was living dangerously. Let’s ride this thing out a couple of more games to see where we land this season. We hit #20 in the country, that was fun but maybe a bit too much too soon.

Beat SMU this week and get us back into Historic Nippert on Nov 3rd.

I hope to see all of you at The Den’s watch party at Taft’s Brewpourium on Saturday at 3:30pm! I’ll be the guy drinking delicious beer dressed in red and black!

Predicting the Last Half of the Season

Can the Bearcats Go Undefeated?


The Cincinnati Bearcats are 6-0 and are bowl eligible for the first time in 3 years. You know that already though.  The Bearcats are ranked #20 in the country and are coming off of a bye week with Temple waiting in Philly on Saturday.

So far the Bearcats have looked good beating

UCLA 26-17

Miami 21-0

Alabama A&M 63-7

Ohio U 34-30

UConn 49-7

Tulane 37-21

What lies ahead is a gauntlet of a schedule for an AAC team.

Temple looked soft in the early weeks of the season, losing to  Villanova and Buffalo in back to back weeks. Since then though they’ve come storming back beating Maryland, Tulsa, ECU, and Navy.

This one will be a close one for the Bearcats in the city of brotherly love but I think the Bearcats head home with a W. 7-0.

Next up, SMU. The Mustangs have struggled at times, like against North Texas when they lost 46-23. They went on to lose to TCU, Michigan, and UCF which isn’t a bad loss sheet (minus N Texas) They beat Navy in OT and UConn (who hasn’t) so the verdict is out on SMU although we’ll have a better idea after there game this weekend at Tulane. As it stands the Bearcats should leave Texas 8-0.

That takes us to Navy on November 3rd in Nippert. By this time the Bearcats could be in the top 15. Hopefully this is a night game, I’ll be there, you should too! The Midshipmen ran all over us last year. I mean Forest Gump level of running on us. They broke a record on us with their triple option offense. Our D is so much improved this year. Even with the record day of rushing Navy only beat us by 10 (42-32) in Annapolis. Navy has their share of bad losses this season too, losing to Air Force and Hawaii. They’ve managed to beat Memphis though. Assuming this is a night game in Historic Nippert Stadium the Bearcats should role a depleted Navy team. Dare I say 9-0 for the Bearcats.

The very next Saturday the Bearcats host the Bulls of USF. A team currently ranked in the top 25. They’re good and undefeated up to this point and the games up next up until they come to Clifton include UConn, Houston, and Tulane. There’s a strong possibility they roll into town undefeated setting up the biggest game in Nippert Stadium in 10 years. Legends will be made this day. Bearcats emerge victorious. Book it. 10-0

As a reward for beating the Bulls, the Bearcats will get to travel to Orlando, FL to take on the UCF Knights who will be undefeated and will beat us serving up the Bearcats their first loss of the season. We’re not there yet. 10-1

Finally, the Bearcats will finish their season at home against ECU. The Pirates torched us last year. It got ugly quick, which might be payback for the two nail biters the Bearcats pulled out the previous years. This season the Pirates are on about the same level as the UConn Huskies. It would take a monumental meltdown from the Bearcats to lose this one at home.  11-1.

In Fickell We Trust.

Barrels and Bearcats: We’re Still Undefeated

5-0


-The Beercat

The Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0, 1-0) took a business trip Saturday. They got the job done in a massacre of the UCONN Huskies (1-4, 0-2). The game started out reminiscent of last week’s game at Nippert against Ohio. The Huskies marched right down the field in a hardly contested drive right into the endzone to take an early 7-0 lead. The Bearcats responded though with 49 unanswered points. UCONN’s defense was as bas as promised and their offense wasn’t on par with the Bearcats.

Playmakers

After this game the playmakers have emerged on this team. When you need a big play you go to one of these guys. They’ll carry you to where you need to go.

Des Ridder: He went 20-for-26  with 270 yards passing and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. Ridder also ran for 47 yards and a touchdown. In other words. Ridder is the man. He rarely puts the ball in jeopardy and has super quick speed to get separation. My only critique so far is his need to get better at getting rid of the ball after being flushed from the pocket. I’ll live with it for now though.

Mike Warren II: The man is a truck. Against the Huskies Warren rushed for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. He averaged a little over 8 yards per carry. He has an AAC best 10 rushing touchdowns this season. That’s also good for one of the best in the country. The UC record for a season is 17. At this rate Warren should shatter that record.

Josiah Deguara: I have to admit before the season Deguara was not even on my radar as far as offensive playmakers go but so far through 5 weeks the tight end is one of the most valuable players on that side of the ball. He’s a wellrounded TE that can block when he needs to, catch short passes in the flats or run a route and catch a pass for major yardage. We saw all of that against the Huskies. He has Ridder’s trust, look for him to continue to put up T. Kelce numbers this season.

The Defense: It’s hard to pick out just a couple of stars on this defense. Last week they got caught off guard and it looked like we’d have that again for the second week in a row after a long drive for the Huskies to start the game and resulted in a TD. But no. Not the Black Cats. They held QB Pindell in check the rest of the game. The Bearcats D ranks second in the country for points allowed at 12.2 per game, only behind Washington.

Room for Improvement 

The 2018 Bearcats are better than expected. I for one didn’t have them undefeated going into week 6. (I had them at 5-1). The Cats are just 1 of 14 teams that remain undefeated through 5 weeks. There is still room for improvement though. The Bearcats have to buck the trend of starting out slow on defense to start the game. Ohio and UCONN are one thing. USF and UCF are a whole other beast. Additionally, the Bearcats wideouts need to focus or refocus or something. Going into the season WR1 was thought to senior Kahlil Lewis in Harford though he dropped 2 touchdown passes that were uncontested. If we can clear those two things up along with Ridder being just a little better with decision making after being kicked out of the pocket the Bearcats will be just fine.

Respect

People are starting to take notice of the Bearcats. One AP voter currently has them at 21.

Up Next

In week 6 the Bearcats go for bowl eligibility against Tulane in Nippert Stadium for Homecoming. The Bearcats squeaked one out in New Orleans last year after the Green Wave missed a game winning field goal in the final seconds of the game. Similar to the win against the Huskies last year. If this past week’s game was any indication of how the Tulane game will go we’re in for an big time Homecoming game and another week of being undefeated.

 

Bearcats and Bobcats in an Ohio Showdown

UC & OU in Historic Nippert


On Saturday the Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0) host the Ohio Bobcats (1-1) at Historic Nippert Stadium. The Bearcats are looking to continue their hot start with an in state foe this Saturday.  UC holds the advantage in the series 24-23-4 all time. The last meeting was in 1981, a Bearcats victory.

I for one love a good in state game and this Saturday’s game is sure to deliver on that.  We know that team in the middle of the state likes to shy away from playing in state schools or if they do they put up Murray State in week 1. I’m glad to see UC schedule these games, let’s spread the love around the state to know exactly where everyone stands.

What to look for this week

The Bearcats demolished Alabama A&M in week 3 to the tune of 63-7. The Bearcats put up close to historic numbers and looked good doing it. They seek to continue that look this week. Des Ridder let the pigskin fly early and often. Look for his confidence to grow this week and get Sr. WR Kahlil Lewis involved early as well as freshmen phenom Jayshon Jackson.

In a quote about Joey Votto, Marty Brennaman once said, “That man is a horse, I suggest you ride him to the winner’s circle every chance you get!”

I believe that saying holds true for one Michael Warren, star running back at the University of Cincinnati. I don’t see him being stopped this week.

The special teams and the kicker from down under look to keep their dominating performances going Saturday as well.

Earlier this week Ohio coach Frank Solich talked about the Bearcats in his press conference

“… I think they’ve held those three opponents to eight points a game, which is a little scary. You need to put points on the board to win a game, and they don’t allow you to do that. Something has to give here. They are very physical, very strong, and they play with a lot of energy.

The Black Cats as they call themselves, the Bearcats defense, is gaining a reputation for kicking ass and taking names. They’re a hard-hitting, play making, physical bunch. A good reputation to have for a defense.

The Bobcats are kind of headed in the opposite direction as the Bearcats. They struggled against Howard and got handled by Virginia. They are coming off of a bye week which should help them out but I don’t see how they’ll have the talent or composure to pull off an upset at Historic Nippert.

The Bobcats and Bearcats kickoff at noon on Saturday on ESPNU.

Official Prediction:

Bearcats 42 Bobcats 17

Bearcats Bully the Bulldogs

Bearcats Bully the Bulldogs


-The Beercat

The Cincinnati Bearcats push their winning streak to 4 (dating back to the last game of the 2017 season) after a dominating performance against Alabama A&M. The Bearcats looked impressive in all aspects of the game including the passing game. At half time UC QBs were on pace to throw for over 500 yards.

There was a lot going on in my Bearcats world yesterday. It was the home opener and that’s always fun. As Bearcats fans know Nippert is a special place so I was excited to finally get back in there for week 3. Kickoff off was at 7 but I showed up to The Grid at 3.

GoBeercats teamed up with The Den tailgating group and experienced quite the pregame party. If you’re looking to tailgate but don’t know where to start I highly recommend looking into the group. Most everyone was very welcoming and die hard Bearcats fans. You can’t ask for more, except delicious food and cold craft beer…. which they had!

In addition to tailgating our faces off we also sat down with The Voice of Cincy Craft, The Gnarly Gnome himself. We were joined by Collin and Patrick of Taft’s Alehouse for a live on location episode of Cincy Brew Cast. I’m not going to lie it was a little intimidating but I had fun and I’d definitely do it again if the Gnome would have me. Look out for that episode airing sometime this week. You can find Cincy Brew Cast anywhere you find any other podcast. If you have an iphone like me it’s the purple icon with a stick figure person with rings radioing out of its head.

I also met Tim from Q102 and told him an embarrassing story from my college days in Clifton. Hopefully, that never makes it to air.

After all of that …

There were some big questions coming into this game. Would Ridder be QB1? Can he even throw the football? Will be Bearcats come out focused for this opponent?

Yes to everything. Ridder started for the second week in a row and looked great doing it. He came out ready to sling the football around too. He got WR Kahlil Lewis involved early and often marking down the field 79 yards for a TD on the first drive. Lewis would finish with Four catches for 92 yards and one touchdown. Ridder would have a short night though as Fickell played 3 other QBs because of a commanding lead. He finished the night 9-of-10 passing for 199 yards and three passing touchdowns to go along with one 12 yards rushing touchdown.

Michael Warren II is still a mack truck on the field in case you were wondering. The Bearcats went down the depth chart at RB as well, getting young guys reps while the team is up big.

Today is Sunday September 16th and the Bearcats are half way to bowl eligibility.

After this 63-7 victory in Nippert on a Saturday night we can now turn our focus on Ohio U as they come to town next week. We’ll have a preview of this game up on the blog later this week.

#OUNoWay

We cant’ forget about the beer of the game, this week coming from Taft’s

 

 

The Victory Bell Shall Forever Remain in Clifton

We are the 13 Time(in a row) WOOOOOOOOOO! Victory Bell Champions


The Cincinnati Bearcats dominated from start to finish on Saturday night against their rival the Miami (OH) Redhawks, winning 21-0. For most of the game though the Bearcats held onto a 7-0 lead that felt more like a 30-0 lead over the Redhawks. Here are some random thoughts while watching the game.

  • This rain is miserable I hope it’s not like this in the Nippert opener next week.
  • I love seeing previous Bearcats players cheering on this team on twitter.

  • Des Ridder is fast. Like track star fast
  • Michael Warren II is a man among boys out there again
  • The Defense is so improved it doesn’t seem possible.
  • Remember when we couldn’t tackle anything
  • Not only is the defense really good but they’re out to murder someone tonight too.
  • Can Warren continue to handle 30 carries a game?
  • I know it was monsooning in the tri state today but we need more from the WRs
  • The TE Josiah Deguara was the most productive receiver and caught Ridder’s first touchdown pass.  
  • The Bearcats are half way to last year’s win total and it’s week 2.

The Bearcats look to go 3-0 with Alabama A&T coming to Nippert for the first home game of the season!

GoBeercats will be on location tailgating with The Den and doing a live podcasting with the Gnarley Gnome and CincyBrew Cast, the voice of Cincy craft. 

Nippert at Night is one of the greatest things in all of sports. Come out and stop by to say hello on The Grid.

Tailgating with The Den

Bearcats Tailgating with The Den


The tailgate scene at UC is unique, to say the least. We’re all well aware of the challenges of setting up a solid tailgate spot in Clifton; parking, logistics, environment, etc. For almost ten seasons, The Grid Tailgate on Sigma Sigma Commons has been the agreed upon and promoted spot for Bearcats tailgating. On game day if you venture towards the north end of the commons near the glass dorms, you’ll find The Den Tailgate.

The Den has been an organized group since 2015 and merged with the famous “Bearcat Tailgater” group in 2017. Settled on alley spot #5 on The Grid, this is the first tailgate group that the team passes during the “Catwalk” tradition. The Den’s spot on the commons is next to a large grassy area down from the middle stairs of Morgans & Scioto Hall. The Bearcat Tailgater trailer (with TV and speakers) anchors the setup along with corn hole, a community drink cooler, and the famous “Drinko” board.

Along with the location and setup, what makes The Den unique to other tailgate groups or plots on The Grid?

An open community structure. Each season membership is open to anyone that wants to come and have a good time. This season, a “season pass” is $20 with all money raised going back into the tailgate fund. Someone that joins The Den can expect as much food and drink to supply the group, while supplies last that day. For the most part, its BYOB and all are encouraged to add to the community drink cooler. Supplied are the essentials (ice, cups, plates, tables, etc), and we add on as much food/drink as we can afford.

For this season, the tailgate theme is “A Better Way to Tailgate”, which is a play on Blue Apron’s slogan “a better way to cook”. Each tailgate will feature a food spread inspired by the team/school/mascot that the Bearcats play that day. Also, we are partnering with the campus food/supplies charity called the Bearcat Pantry. We are asking tailgaters to bring a donation to the tailgate and toss it in the Bearcat Pantry’s bin. Food, school supplies, and any other essentials that college students may need are what the pantry accepts.

Our biggest draw for this season is our partnership with Taft’s Brewing Company. We are working with the awesome people at Taft’s to host watch parties at the Brewpourium, feature Taft’s beer at the tailgate, and to offer our tailgaters fun promotions and giveaways all season! These are a few features of The Den Tailgate, but we are only scratching the surface. We invite all Bearcats fans to come and tailgate with us this season. You can stay up to date with all Den happenings by going to TheDenUC.com and signing up for the weekly email newsletter. Then, get your season pass!

You can find The Den on twitter and instagram @TheDenUC

Remember, in 2018 The Den is “a better way to tailgate”.

Power Ranking Bearcats Quarterbacks

Ranking the Bearcats QBs since 2008


We’ve talked about the schedule and our season predictions. We’ve talked about 5 things to look for this season as well. In anticipation of the season now we’re going take a look back over the past 10 years and power rank Bearcats quarterbacks. It’s the only thing to do while we wait for 7pm on Saturday to roll around.

Since 2008 the Bearcats have had some ups and downs at the QB1. This list takes a look at the major players and ranks them accordingly.

7. Michael Colosimo

#16 in the programs showed up on the stat sheets in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He didn’t see much time under center throughout his career so why is he on the list? He’s the last Bearcats QB to throw a TD pass in a bowl game. Take that in for a second. First, realize that the Bearcats made a bowl appearance a year after he graduated. A game in which they got ran off the field against San Diego St 42-7 in the Hawaii Bowl, the single Bearcats TD came from a Mike Boone rush. So back up a year earlier in 2014 to the Military Bowl against Virginia Tech a game the Bearcats lost 33-17. An injured Gunner Kiel goes down and in steps Colosimo in a “next man up” fashion.

6. Hayden Moore

You’ll find Moore on the depth chart as QB1 again this year. First year coach Luke Fickell named Moore the starter last year and never looked back. That isn’t going to change in year two. Bearcats fans aren’t always thrilled with his performance on the field. He’s inaccurate at times and has been ok at best. Moore has thrown 40 TDs to 27 INTs as a Bearcat averaging 221 passing yards a season. He’s rushed for just 379 yards in his career. It’s been hard to swallow those pedestrian numbers when  his debut looked like this…

5. Brendon Kay 

You’ll find Kay on the roster from 2008 to 2012. Kay was the main QB in 2012 during the Butch Jones Error. See what I did there? In ’12 Kay threw 10 TDs to 2 INTs. He threw for 1300 yards that year and rushed for 306 yds. His biggest game came against Duke at the Belk Bowl. He threw for 332 yds and 4 TDs.

4. Munchie Legaux 

Legaux played for the Bearcats from 2010 to 2014. His career in Clifton was filled with adversity to say the least. He battled coaching changes and even worse a broken leg. Legaux had his biggest impact in 2012 when he threw for 1716 yards with 13 TDs and a less than stellar 9 INTs. His biggest moment came at PBS against Virginia Tech. The Bearcats won it on this TD pass.

3. Zach Collaros

In a season that would soon become the best in school history the little known Collaros was asked to step in for an injured Tony Pike for an undefeated team marching to the its second BCS bowl. He didn’t miss a beat. His career numbers are impressive. He passed for 6278 career yards and 51 TDs and 26 INTs. When Pike went down Bearcats Nation held its collective breath until…

2. Gunner Kiel

The greatest thing that could have been but never really was. When Kiel announced he was transferring to Cincinnati I was ready to name him the Cincinnati Savior. Then he hit the field against Akron and the world was on notice he was the Truth. Tommy T had his 5 star QB and Bearcats football was back. Then Tommy T phoned it in and Kiel got hurt a couple of times and it never truly materialized. Kiel torched OSU in the Shoe. It was amazing to witness live, unfortunately our D couldn’t get off the field that Saturday. Numerous times I thought Miami (OH) and Memphis got in cheap shots against Kiel that led to small injuries or time on the sideline. I hate them both. Kiel passed for 6835 passing yards. DAMN. He threw 56 TDs and 26 INTs. He finished with a career QBR of 145.5.

  1. Tony Pike

The man is a legend in Bearcats football history. He was QB1 in the 2009 undefeated regular season. He played in a cast on his non throwing hand, like a man should. He was Heisman candidate and a Carolina Panther. He threw for a career 5018 yards, 49 TDs/20 INTs. He completed about 62% of his passes and played in a tougher Big East Conference. #GOAT

 

How do you feel about our list? Let us know with a comment or on Twitter.

GO BEARCATS!

**Shout out to Nick Colosimo and others for their awesome work on You Tube and digital media in general. **

What to Watch for this Football Season

What to look for this Football Season


The Cincinnati football Bearcats are coming off a complete rebuild year with a new coach, Luke Fickell. The Bearcats went just 4-8 last season, with their four wins coming against Austin Peay, Miami (OH), Tulane, and UConn. Three of those wins came by four 4 points or less. The win against Austin Peay was just 12 points. Needless to say, the Bearcats kept it close and interesting in those wins.

When they lost though, they lost pretty bad. Navy ran for a record number of rushing yards in Annapolis onto an eventual 1o point win over the Cats. The Bearcats kept it close with the Wolverines of Michigan until late into the 3rd quarter. UM would go on to a 22 point win. I won’t rehash the losses to USF, UCF, or East Carolina, they weren’t good.

In less than one week though we start a new. The Bearcats travel to the West Coast to take on UCLA at the Rose Bowl with their new coach Chip Kelley.

Earlier this year when the official schedule came out we broke down the schedule and predicted a 7-5 finish for the Bearcats. You can read that breakdown here. 

7-5 would be a vast improvement that everyone in Bearcats Nation would appreciate. If the Bearcats are going to get back to their winning ways some stars have to align.

What to watch for this season

  1. QB1 – It’s no surprise that senior Hayden Moore will be the starter come Saturday night. What the Bearcats will need though is for Moore to be a little less… pedestrian. Through the first three seasons Moore is averaging 221 passing yards per game with a 40/27 TD to INT ratio. He has been known to be inaccurate at times and has a tenancy to overthrow his receivers, that’ll need to be reigned in to make the Bearcats offense better.  At numerous times last year his receiving corp didn’t help him much by dropping passes at crucial times, which brings us to #2.
  2. The Wide Outs – It looks like WR1 will be senior Kahlil Lewis. The Florida native will be called on to lead this offense. We will have to wait and see who emerges as the second, and third option.
  3. Something missing– If you watch the NFL this season you’ll find a host of Bearcats in the league. Several from last year’s team. Keep an eye on who fills in on the defense. The Bearcats lost leading tackler Jaylyin Minor. He was all over the field last year. The Bearcats D will need help. Not to mention Marquise Copeland is playing on Sundays now. Watch Perry Young and Malik Clements take over, hopefully.
  4. Special Teams – It seems like there has been a lot of turnover on special teams over the past two years and everything needs improvement from last season.
  5. Luke Fickell – Dan Hoard did a segment for Bearcats football earlier this month where he talked about how the team last year didn’t really trust Coach Fickell but over the summer and at Camp Higher Ground he hoped to change that and gain more trust with them. Additionally, he’ll have to better manage some miscues he had in games last season.

I said the Bearcats would finish 7-5. I’m sticking with it.

Here’s a little something to get you hyped for Saturday.

Go Bearcats!