If you have been under the haze of Reds baseball the last week, you might not have noticed that the Cincinnati Bearcats have a game tomorrow night. You might not have noticed because no one has talked about it, no one is going to it, it's not on TV and it's at night. That makes you a slightly bad fan for not knowing the schedule, but you get a pass for the following reason. The 7pm game on WatchESPN.Com does not matter.
Saying a game doesn't matter in your preview for the game? That's not good business you might think to yourself. It's true though. The win counts for the record books, but it doesn't push the Bearcats any closer to being bowl eligible. In the eyes of the FBS, this game is meaningless. Unless Cincinnati somehow loses. Then it becomes very meaningful and will get UC knocked out of the top 25 and people won't take them seriously for a while. That probably won't happen though. Fordham is not very good.
Coach: Butch Jones 18-11
Vs Fordham: First meeting
Home Non-Conference Win Streak: 23
Leading Passer: Munchie Legaux 66-120, 946 yards, 9 TDs-3 INTs
Leading Rusher: George Winn 68-446-4 TDs
Leading Receiver: Kenbrell Thompkins 13-211-1 TD
Quarterbacks: Munchie Legaux needs to get off to a good start tomorrow. He played well in the second half against Miami. The Bearcats need that kind of efficiency from him the whole first half. I've said before that I would come out throwing against Fordham and that hasn't changed. UC has a tricky road game next Saturday night and getting Munchie going this week is key. He has yet to have a complete performance. Would you say Va Tech was his best game? One he went 19-42 and threw an INT that led to a Tech TD? I don't know. It's time to blow these fools off the field. Brendon Kay got in the game last week and ran a couple of times. He should see the field. Hopefully the pride of Badin high Patrick Coyne does as well.
Running Backs: The Bearcats should run wild on Fordham. Villanova ran for 287 yards on them. That's what the Bearcats should be aiming for. I think it will be a more spread out effort for the yards. George Winn will get his, but I would limit his touches to around 10-15. I would lean more on Ralph David Abernathy IV and Jameel Poteat. If not Poteat, Tion Green and Deionte Buckley. I would look for ways to get other people involved, while still letting Winn hammer the defense. Besides Winn and Munchie, no other Cat has over 100 yards rushing. RDA is the second leading receiver with 194 yards, but in over double the touches rushing, he has 100 less yards. I don't know if he we see Jordan Luallen run the Luallen up the middle play. I hope not. Line him up with Munchie and see what happens. Maybe run a double pass or screen to Munchie or Luallen. That would be fun.
Wide Receivers: The UC receivers have not had a great season. Kenbrell Thompkins has 13 catches, Anthony McClung 12, Damon Julian 11 and no one else double digits. Only 4 receivers have totaled 100 yards receiving. I've already counted RDA as a running back, not a receiver so his total doesn't count. There isn't one guy that Munchie looks to that much. I guess it keeps defenses honest, but it doesn't say a ton about the receivers. I would predict someone would have a monster game this week, but I don't know if they would. I'll say Shaq Washington gets in the end zone.
Offensive Line: The Bearcat line is Eric Lefeld-Austen Bujnoch-Dan Sprague-Sam Longo and Parker Ehinger/Sean Hooey. It seems to me, and probably everyone who follows the team kind of closely, that Ehinger is pretty much the starter. The redshirt freshman is getting groomed to be a 4 year force on the offensive line. He's done a nice job. He can play multiple positions. This should be a good game for Cory Keebler, Andre Cureton, Dominic Mainello and whoever else is a back up to get some run (blocking).
Defensive Line: The Bearcats defensive line should have a big game on Saturday. Fordham throws a lot, so the ears should be pinned back and the pass rush on. Walter Stewart has 18 tackles, 6 for loss and 3 sacks. Dan Giordano only only has half a sack, but has 5 hurries. John Williams played well against Miami with a sack. He's got 2.5 this season. Camaron Beard has 2.5 tackles for loss. Jordan Stepp got a sack last week. Brandon Mills has a sack and 2 hurries this season. I'd like to see Adam Dempsey get one this week.
Linebackers: The Killer B's, Cincinnati edition, have 70 tackles. Tacklers 3-6 have 68. That says a lot about Greg Blair and Maalik Bomar. Blair has the tackle lead at 36. He also has 2 INTs after picking off Dysert last week. Bomar has 34 tackles. Nick Temple played well late in the Miami game when he replaced Blair or Bomar. He has 14 stops this season. Solomon Tentman has played well when he's seen the field with 8 tackles. Silverberry Mouhon has seen the field late in the UC blowouts, as has Clemente Casseus.
Secondary: Fordham throws the ball a ton, which should make things interesting for the UC secondary. Cameron Cheatham has picked off passes the last 2 weeks. Deven Drane got one last week. Arryn Chenault has a pair this season. Drew Frey needs to stop being lazy and get one this week. Chenault has 22 tackles, 3rd on the team. Malcolm Murray and Chris Williams both have 9 tackles. Aaron Roberson has a sack this season. Everyone should play this week, Dominique Battle, Trenier Orr, Pat Lambert and especially LEVITICUS PAYNE.
Special Teams: The man Kirk Willis snaps back to is still the punter/holder Pat O'Donnell. O'Donnell has punted his way to a 42.6 yard average. He's held well for the Golden Toe Tony Miliano to go 6-8 on field goal and 16-17 on extra points. One of the missed field goals was because of a bad snap that messed up timing, so get on that Willis. Anthony McClung is averaging 12.8 yards a punt return on 11 tries. RDA IV has nailed 31.7 a kickoff return with a long of 58.
Coach: Joe Moorhead 4-2
Last Win over an FBS School: 1954 (13-7 at Rutgers)
Leading Passer: Ryan Higgins 120-176, 1,468 yards, 8 TDs-5 INTs
Leading Rusher: Carlton Koonce 151-812-5 TDs
Leading Receiver: Brian Wetzel 32-445-1 TD
Quarterbacks: Ryan Higgins throws the ball a lot. He's pretty accurate at 68%. He averages 245 yards a game through the air. He will throw INTs. I don't know anything about him.
Running Backs: Carlton Koonce is the real deal. He's averaging 5.4 yards a carry. He put 250 yards on Columbia a few weeks ago. That skewed his numbers quite a bit. He set the Patriot League rushing record with a 92 yard TD run in that game. He also had 176 yards against Cornell. A majority of his yards, 426-386, came in those 2 games. He could be a threat, but I don't really think he will be.
Receivers: Fordham throws the rock around to 5 guys almost evenly. As noted, Brian Wetzel is the top target with 32-445-1 TD. Greg Wilson is the red zone threat with 4 TDs with his 23 catches for 303 yards. Nick Talbert has 27 grabs for 347 yards and 1 TD. Koonce has 19-117-2 TDs out of the backfield. Dan Light is the last receiver with 18-178.
Offensive Line: The line from right to left are: John Hohlt, Steven Tapia, Chris Watkins, Lloyd Morrison and Mason Halter. Good luck!
Defensive Line: The Rams appear to run a 3-4. They have someone called the BAN, which I think is an end. Matt Sconiers is the end, Patrick McGee the nose guard, DeAndre Slate the tackle and BAN is either Nick Womack OR Brett Biestek. Biestek has 3 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. He leads the team with 5 passes broken up. He might be a linebacker. Or he bats passes down at the line. I don't know. Womack has 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Slate has 2.5 tackles for loss. McGee has 1.5 sacks. Sconiers has 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks.
Linebackers: I'm guessing the linebackers on this team make a lot of tackles. The MIKE is Jake Rodriques, the WILL Austin Hancock and the SAM Mike Martin. Martin leads the team with 65 tackles, 7 TFL and is tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks. He's forced a team high 3 fumbles. Rodriques is the second leading tackler with 46 stops, 5.5 for loss and is tied with Martin with 3.5 sacks. Wouldn't you know Austin Hancock is the 3rd leading tackler with 40. He had 1 sack and 1 INT. I didn't actually know the linebackers led the team in tackles. That is what bad defenses do.
Defensive Backs: Ian Williams and Jordan Chapman are the corners, Brendan Melanophy and Jake Dixon the free and strong safeties respectively. Ian Williams is 4th on the team with 28 tackles. He leads the team with 3 INTs. He's forced 2 fumbles. He's a player. Dixon has 32 tackles, 5th on the team. Melanophy has an INT. He has broken up 4 passes. Chapman has 17 tackles.
Special Teams: Joe Sullivan snaps punts to Patrick Murray, who averages 46.2 yards a punt.. Sullivan snaps kicks to holder Brian Wetzel, who holds for..... Patrick Murray. It's the same guy, they don't have 2 players named Patrick Murray. Murray is 12-14 on field goals, missing both from over 40 yards, and is 19-19 on extra points. Brian Wetzel also returns kicks and punts. He does it all. He averages 24.4 yards a kick return and 4.4 yards a punt return. He doesn't do it all very well.
On a level of 1-10 with 10 being pants wettingly excited about a game, I'm a 1. I can't even say I'm not looking forward to it because that would show more caring than I actually have about this game. I'll watch it and tweet about it because I would be a shitty blogger if I didn't. And you all need someone to watch it so you don't have to. Yeah, that's my mindset for this one. Watching it for those who can't. I'm your hero.
Think of it this way season ticket holders, you are paying for this game and the Delaware State game, the Big East games are free!
I hope no one gets hurt.
That's about all I have to say about the game. I'm not looking forward to it and I hope no one gets hurt. That about covers it. I'll make a prediction for fun.
Cincinnati 59 Fordham 13