The Buckeyes had a saying – “Urban doesn’t rebuild, he reloads.” While that may have been true for the past x number of years, Meyer is no longer walking that sideline and OSU’s newly-promoted-from-within-no name-coach Day is about to walk into a gun fight with a pool noodle.
While the game is in Ohio Stadium, which should come as no surprise, it is sure to be sold out with all of the Buckeye faithful rearing and ready to go, drunk off their koolaid. That’s pretty much where the advantages stop.
The Bearcats return their HC and OSU product Luke Fickell for year 3. Last year Fickell piloted the football Bearcats to an 11-2 season, including a win in the Military Bowl over ACC opponent Virginia Tech, 35-31. The Bearcats return at least 7 starters on both sides of the ball and held onto the majority of their coaching staff this offseason. Which is a nice change of pace.
UC Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman and his Black Cats at one point last season ranked #2 nationally for scoring defense and finished #7 for total defense.
UC Offensive Coordinator Mike Denbrock has a heck of a problem, he doesn’t have one worthy running back, he has four. Right now you’d guess Mike Warren II is the number one guy. Expect Gerrid Doaks to get his though. Through in the Tavion Thomas and Charles McClelland, two guys who carried the ball very well last year and you have the Bearcats Hydra attack. Not counting QB Des Ridder, who rushed for 583 yards, the top 3 RBs for Cincinnati combined for over 2300 yards. Over 1300 of those yards singlehandedly came from Warren. The 3 also combined for 30 rushing touchdowns. that’s all without this guy
Freshman phenom and Jayshon Jackson will look to build on a solid first year at wideout with Ridder letting it fly all over the field. If you’re looking for a position with the depth of the RBs check out the tight ends. You’ll hear Joshiah Deguara and Josh Whyle a lot, all year.
Fickell and staff will have the Bearcats ready on both sides of the ball. Sophomore QB and AAC rookie of the year Des Ridder is more than ready to answer this call after putting up impressive numbers his rookie season. Rookie Ridder completed 63% of his passes last season, 20 touchdowns, only 5 INTs and a QBR of 164.
The Buckeyes offer up Ryan Day. The previous offensive coordinator that acted as HC during Meyers suspension last season. You’ll remember that Meyer was forced to serve the suspension for not reporting domestic abuse within his coaching ranks. OSU is Day’s fifth coaching stop and first as head coach. Day will be quick to find himself in over his head. With Haskins, Weber, and Bosa now in the NFL Day will have to piece together a roster starting with QB1.
The Buckeyes offer up
Fields, a transfer, is a good QB don’t get me wrong but he’s about to go through some growing pains at the hands of the Black Cats and Marcus Freeman. He spent last year riding the pine in the SEC.
At best what Day is working with is a question mark. How the players respond to him instead of the Urban legend is yet to be seen and the Bearcats get them early.
The Bearcats went 11-2 with their backup running back breaking down records and defenses
Of course the series favors the Buckeyes. The most recent installment was in 2011 when the now US Senatorial candidate for Alabama Tommy T led the Bearcats. The UC Bearcats marched into Ohio stadium and scored on a Gunner Kiel to Chris Moore touchdown less than ninety seconds into the game. The Bearcats had the offensive firepower to hang that day. Moore himself put up 330+ yards on the Buckeyes weak D. Unfortunately the Bearcats D couldn’t get off the field with Zeke Elliot having his way all afternoon.
Ryan Day after this game I’ll be a big fan of yours. The State of Cincinnati can’t have you screw up and ruin a good thing for us even if Buckeyes fans are too blind to see it. This day though, Fickell will be king.