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.
As we wrap up our 20th visit to Camp Higher Ground… one question still remains.
Who will be the #Bearcats starting quarterback?
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) August 22, 2018
What to watch for this season
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
— Cincinnati Bearcats (@GoBEARCATS) August 20, 2018