It was a busy time for the Cincinnati Bearcats football program. Saturday especially. The Bearcats had 3 players drafted, and many more signed free agent contracts, and some others were invited to rookie mini-camps this weekend. Also, Bearcats Bowl IV took place Saturday night. I'm not going to do a full recap of the game, but mainly a recap of what, and who, looked good and what did not fare so well. Let's start with the draft.
If you visited the blog over the weekend, you already know that Mardy Gilyard was drafted in the 4th round by the St Louis Rams, and Tony Pike was drafted in the 6th round by the Carolina Panthers. The third man drafted was DT Ricardo Matthews, who went to Indianapolis in the 7th. Many congratulations Ricardo, sorry there wasn't a post about about you.
After the draft, the rush of free agents signings occurred. Aaron Webster signed with the Houston Texans. Jeff Lickenbach signed with Indianapolis. Long snapper Mike Windt signed with the hometown Bengals. And Alex Daniels signed with the Oakland Raiders. Attending mini-camps this weekend, are Brad Jones, who is going to Cleveland, and Craig Carey, who is going to Chicago.
Congratulations to all of those men. They busted their asses to make their dreams reality, and now they have a foot in the door. I have no doubt they will bust it down and earn a spot in the NFL. Bearcats Blog is proud of you guys.
The other big event of the weekend was the Bearcats Bowl. It is a little pointless of doing a full recap of every drive. Especially in the second half, when the rain started, the clock rolled continuously, and Coach Butch Jones looked ready to go. We'll roll out positives, and negatives. Ready for bullet points? I know you are.
- DJ Woods was making things happen against the second team D after every catch. He took short passes, and wrecked havoc in the open field. He busted one for 26 yards on the first drive. He and Zach Collaros worked very well together. DJ had 6 catches for 88 yards and a TD.
- DJ also showed off the cannon on his right arm. On a fan called reverse pass, DJ threw a bomb to Vidal Hazelton, who was wide open, for 60 yards. Battle made a nice tackle saving the TD. The fan made the right call on the fan picked play, and DJ made a hell of a pass.
- Zach Collaros was great. He was nearly perfect passing. He possibly could have had some runs, but the QB being tagged kept him in the pocket. He did scramble on one play and hit Darrin Williams for a 20 yard gain deep in UC territory. He got all 3 starting receivers, Woods, Hazelton, and Kenbrell Thompkins, involved to varying degrees of success. He also looked for the tight end well. He threw a couple of TDs to Woods, and Thompkins. He mainly threw short, but aired one out to OJ Woodard.
- Payne played very well. He caught a long touchdown, and almost caught another on that drive that was ruled incomplete.
- Darrin Williams ran effectively. He didn't break any huge runs, despite an 11 yard TD, but he was very solid. I don't know if he has what it takes to be the lead back just yet, but for a game or two, I think he can handle it. He had a couple of receptions, including the aforementioned 20 yarder, and could be a weapon in that aspect. Plus, he dyed the tips of his hair red and it looked awesome.
- Hines ran pretty decent. He had a 26 yarder as his long, but he ran tough. He got thrown into action, and he got better as the game went on.
- The defense played very well against the second team offense. They were able to get pressure against Chazz, limit the running game, and snuff them out. They forced a couple 3 and outs. Giordano had a sack. I kept bad records of the sacks, mainly because I don't remember if they said who got them. It's the spring game, I'll get better.
- The defense had a big stop in the red zone. With the ball at the 4, they drew a holding penalty, got a sack, forced an incompletion, and got another sack. A 41 yard FG was missed.
- The defensive highlight would have to be the one handed interception of a screen pass by McClellan. It was a very athletic grab, and he managed to take it inside the 10.
- Bruce Horner blocked an extra point
- Artrell Hawkins was the sideline reporter. He did a pretty good job. Who knew?
- UC had 10 men on the field for the blocked extra point. I'm sure in a real game there would have been a timeout, but that kind of stuff can't fly.
- Chazz Anderson looked pretty bad. He was very inaccurate. He made a couple nice plays, one a scramble to set up a FG, and a long pass to Payne for a TD. He was high with the ball. He held the ball too long. He seemed rushed all night. It was surprising to see that from him. He looked nervous or something. He played better in the second half.
- The second team offensive line was unimpressive. They had Chazz under fire, and didn't really run block well. They sprung the 26 yard run by Hines, but overall, not great.
- The secondary, at least against Collaros, brought back visions of Florida. Receivers were running wide open, there were a couple of big long passes, and they got scored on nearly every time when Collaros was at QB. Granted, they were playing vanilla, but still. It brought back memories of that disaster, and that's a negative.
- Milligan's attempt from 41 yards was so bad that it looked like they had a fan try and kick. Milligan could have used a Mulligan. Am I right?!?!?
- The fan who called the screen pass. You have 8 plays to call, including the reverse pass, and you choose a screen? Really? You call reverse pass every time. You suck guy who picked this play.
- Rain. I didn't go to the game because the person I was going to go with didn't want to sit in the rain. Watching on tv was probably better, but I didn't have my chance to meet the Bearcat. Or call the reverse pass. Or ask to run the fumble rooski. It also forced the game to end early.