Coach: Butch Jones 7-9
QB: Zach Collaros continues to put up solid numbers in completion percentage, 66, and TDs, 9, but not yards, 784. The UC game plan hasn't involved a lot of down the field passing. The receivers haven't really broken short plays into huge ones. They've done a nice job, but not a nice enough one for Collaros' numbers to pop. Zach was a threat on the ground last week, and has pushed himself to 3rd on the team in rushing with 93 yards, and is 2nd in TDs with 3. He has thrown 1 INT. Munchie Leagux could see some time.
RB: Isaiah Pead has 424 yards on 7.9 a pop and 5 TDs. He's averaging 106 yards a game after his explosion against NC State. Pead had 145 yards against the Redhawks last year. That also followed a huge game. I would love to UC use Pead the way Pitt used Ray Graham last night. That was fun to watch. George Winn still seems to be the primary back up. Jameel Poteat is 2nd on the team in yards however, with 103.
WR: DJ Woods remains the top target at receiver. He's got 21-254-1 TD. Anthony McClung is gaining on him though. McClung has 17-217, and a team best 3 TDs. Kenbrell Thompkins has a solid 14-176-2 TDs. Alex Chisum has 63 yards, Adrien Robinson 2 catches, 2 TDs. The receivers have been solid, but not quite spectacular. The chance to make a play will be there this weekend. I'd like to see Woods get in the end zone.
OL: The group of Alex Hoffman, Randy Martinez, Evan Davis, Austen Bujonch and Sean Hooey continues to force teams to their will in regards to the running game. UC is averaged a snappy 5.8 a rush. The group has only given up 3 sacks. They committed a couple of penalties last week, including a seemingly out of character late hit on Martinez, but you can't really knock this group. They have played well.
DL: Speaking of groups that have played well, look at the D-line. They have done a big part in keeping opponents to 2.8 yards a carry and getting a majority of the 11 UC sacks. Derek Wolfe entered the week as the Big East leader in sacks, with 4. He leads UC in TFL with 5.5. John Hughes has 13 tackles, 2.5 TFL. Walter Stewart has 13 tackles, 3 TFL. Dan Giordano has 2 sacks, and another TFL. Jordan Stepp has 1.5 TFL, as does Monte Taylor. Wolfe has forced 2 fumbles, Stewart 1, Stepp 1, and Taylor 1. A bang up job by these guys.
LB: JK Schaffer is on pace to be a first team All Big East linebacker. He leads UC with 28 tackles, leads UC with 3 INTs, and is second on the team in passes broken up. He's got 1 TFL. Schaffer has been a terror on opposing defenses this season. Him dropping back into coverage has been huge, as he's had nearly off the picks he's gotten put in his numbers. Maalik Bomar has 12 tackles, 1 TFL and the 2 fumble recoveries. Ben Pooler 11 tackles, 1 TFL and 2 fumble recoveries of his own. Nick Temple played a lot in the last game, and he's up to 7 tackles. Clemente Casseus could see time if the reserves get action. He's got 8 tackles, 2 TFL.
DB: Cam Cheatham is second on the team in tackles with 25. He's got an INT. Wes Richardson has 19 tackles, Drew Frey 18. Richardson forced a fumble, Frey got an INT. Chris Williams has 13 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack. Dominique Battle has 12 tackles, 1.5 TFL and a pick. Adrian Witty has 8 tackles. The group hasn't really been tested since Tennessee. A couple of huge breakdowns led to the only NC State scores last week. They have to be sharp.
Special Teams: Tony Miliano is 6-8 on field goals, and 21-22 on extra points. Solid. Pat O'Donnell has 9 punts for a 47.6 yard average. 6 have been inside the 20, 4 have been over 50, including the second longest punt in UC history, a 76 yarder. That was a lot of commas. RDA IV has taken kicks for an average of 25 yards, DJ Woods punts for 6.8 yards. Danny Milligan is listed as the back up punt returner. Butch Jones reads the blog.
Coach: Don Treadwell 0-3
QB: Zac Dysert is back for what feels like his 10th year as Miami QB. I swear, he's started since Roethlisberger left. He's 78-126-784 on the season. He's thrown 2 TDs against 4 INTs. He's taken off a little bit, gaining 78 yards. He's ran for 1 TD. Dysert has made some mistakes, and UC has to take advantage.
RB: Erik Finklea is the go to back for the Redhawks. He's got 150 yards on 3.5 yards a carry. He's rushed for 3 TDs. He and Dysert have 67 of the 88 Miami rushing attempts this season. Expect to see him get the ball a lot.
WR: Nick Harwell is the top target. He has 20-301 on the season. He's a dangerous player. Chris Givens has 16-185-1 TD. Givens is a nice compliment to Harwell. Dawan Scott has the other TD. Andy Cruise and David Frazier both have 11 catches for an average of 90 yards. They are bascially the same guy. Harwell has gotten all his numbers the past 2 games. Yeah, 20-301 in two games. Cover that man.
OL: The Miami O-Line has been banged up big time. The starters are listed as Matt Kennedy.....Kennedy, John Anevski, JoJo Williams, Brandon Brooks, and Brad Bednar. Williams hurt his hand and didn't play last week, but is expected back tomorrow. The Redhawks are averaging just 2.3 a rush. They have given up 10 sacks. They might be in trouble.
DL: Will Diaz leads Miami in TFL with 4.5. 1 of those is a sack. He's made 15 tackles. Austin Brown has 14 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack. Kelvin Jackson is listed as a starter, but has just 1 tackle. Wes Williams has been a stud on the line. He's made 11 tackles, gotten 1.5 sacks and has an INT.
LB: Jerrell Wedge leads the linebackers. He's made 16 stops, 2 TFL and half a sack. Chris Wade and Evan Harris haven't done much. Harris has 9 tackles. Wade just 4. Miami has given up 4.3 yards a rush.
DB: Anthony Kokal is the leading tackler for Miami at his safety spot. He's made 22 stops, 1.5 TFL, forced a fumble and recovered one. Pat Hinkle is the other safety. He's second on the team in tackling with 20. Demetrius Quarles has 10 tackles at corner. Dayonne Nunley is at the other spot. He's made 16 stops, 2.5 for loss, with 1 of the 2 Miami INTs.
Special Teams: Mason Krysinksi is 2-3 on FGs, and 4-6 on extra points. Not great. Zac Murphy has a 37.5 yard average on his punts. Nick Harwell will probably take punts, he's got 1 return for 7 yards. Dawan Scott and Dayonne Nuley have been a dynamic return duo. Scott averages 26 yards, and Nunley 32.3. Something to watch.
Keys for the Victory Bell
Let's start with special teams. Miami has great kick coverage, and greater kick returns. Don't give up a big play to their return group. Just do not do that.
Get Dysert down. Miami gave up 6 sacks last week. The Bearcats line teed off on Miami last year. This one should be no different.
Get Pead going. Like I said up top, I'd love to see Pead put up a Ray Graham game from last night. Not the total yards, but getting a lot of carries, getting passes out of the backfield, and controlling the game. He's not the best player on the field for nothing.
Go deep. I'm liking the short, quick passes, but every once in a while you have to get down the field. I want to see DJ Woods running free 40 yards down field at least twice tomorrow.
Bring the Bell back.
Don't be too cocky. I don't know what the players think, but coming off such a big win over NC State, level heads are needed. Not only is UC going on the road, they are playing a rival with nothing to lose. Maybe I'm worrying a bit too much. UC went on the road once, and they were hammered. You can't take anyone lightly.
I am going to take Miami lightly in the prediction though.
Cincinnati 45 Miami 10