The Bearcats give a little preview to the 2012 season tomorrow afternoon when they play Bearcat Bowl VI. Since Bearcats Blog is the Bearcats blog that cares, here are 10 things that you need to know about the event. Yeah, I had no good opening paragraph.
The event takes place at Nippert Stadium at 4 pm. That's the most important piece of information that you need.
Admission is free. But they get you with the parking because that costs $5. That's the second most important piece of information. Be sure to bring a stress ball for when you can't find a parking garage that is open and you drive around campus for seemingly your entire life. That may or may not have happened to me when I went to the Marquette game.
The game is at 4, but there are activities around campus all day. For those so inclined, some players will be signing autographs from 2:15-2:45.
The game itself will be 4 12 minute quarters. The first half will run like a regular half. After a 10 minute intermission, the last 24 minutes will feature a running clock.
The last 6 will feature things to watch for during the game.
This is the first time in some years that Cincinnati is on a little shaky ground when it comes to QB play. Munchie Leagux is the starter. We all believe in him. But the fact that he's a little unproven is still a thing. In his 4 starts last year, he had just 1 where he completed over 48% of his passes. His footwork and accuracy is something that has been worked on all offseason. It's something to hunker down and watch tomorrow. I think he's going to have a fine day tomorrow. Look for his touch on the deep balls. I think he hits at least 2. Also look out for Jordan Luallen. He was primarily a runner last season. There was talk of moving him around to running back or receiver. He's going to be a swiss army knife player. Brandon Kay should get some reps. Hopefully Patrick Coyne does too. He's the pride of Badin High, gotta support him.
Staying with the offense, the next thing to watch is the backfield. Just like how the Bearcats have turnover at quarterback, they have it at running back as well. With Isaiah Pead off to the NFL, Bearcat Nation turns it's eyes to Jameel Poteat. Poteat had 23 carries for 108 yards last year with a TD against Akron. He was mainly used in the blowout situations. He's getting a majority of the carries this spring. Since he told me that on twitter, I'm taking him at his word. He was a big time recruit to Cincinnati who battled some injuries last season. Namely a concussion, I think. Poteat should get a majority of the early carries. There are still going to be opportunities for George Winn, the primary back up last season. The bruiser the big run against Vandy in the Liberty Bowl. Ralph David Abernathy IV should get some carries. Maybe some of the freshman, I don't know. Great analysis to close this paragraph.
I'm interested in what we see from the receivers. No receiver hit 700 yards a year after UC had 2 receivers at nearly 1,000 yards. Anthony McClung is definitely the man this season. He had 683 yards and a team high 6 TDs. Kenbrell Thompkins should made a bigger impact. He was second on the team in catches. He had 536 yards and 2 TDs. After that, there is a void. Alex Chisum worked his way onto the field by seasons end. He should be a starter in a 3 receiver set. There is Travis Kelce returning at tight end. After that, it's a mystery. Anthony McClung said he would score 6 TDs tomorrow. If he doesn't, yell at him after the game.
UC loses a lot on the defensive line numbers wise, but the depth they established last season should go a long way in helping this group look good. Cameron Beard is a player drawing a lot of praise. I'll be honest, haven't kept up with a lot of the spring reports so this is an area I'll be keeping tabs on closely.
Solomon Tentman had an awesome story written about him by the man Paul Dehner Jr, link, and he steps into this game as the starting middle linebacker. This is a position that was held in the solid hands of JK Schaffer. The void is large in the eyes of the fans. Tentman has put in a lot of work to not only get his legs healthy, but to get his starting spot. If his twitter is accurate, he's been busting his ass ever since last season ended. Don't hold the fact he went to Roger Bacon against him. He's a good story. More than that, he's got the potential to be a very good player. He's got Maalik Bomar to one side and Nick Temple to the other. They could have a nice year as a surprising linebacker corps.
Finally we wrap things up with the secondary. The group played very well to close last season. There are still some injuries to guys like Malcolm Murray and Dom Battle. That gives the rest of the unit time to shine. Cameron Cheatham and Deven Drane return at corner. Drew Frey returns at safety. I want to see more from Reuben Johnson. It was disappointing that he didn't get a lot of run last year. I hope that turns around this year because RJ is the man. Did I write this just to shout him out? Maybe.
The most important thing to remember tomorrow is that it's all about fun. Have a good time. It'll be a fun event. If you can't make it, you'll miss out on everything and probably should sit at home and think about your life. Even if you live in England or something, there is no excuse to not be there. It's free. It's Bearcats football. Enjoy the day.