Tomorrow night at 7 pm on ESPN3 and the radio, the Bearcats are set to host Delaware State. In a fun fact, Cincinnati has never lost the second home game at Nippert Stadium under Butch Jones. Tell that to your friends during tailgating. They will be very impressed. They will say "What about the Oklahoma game?" and you throw back "PBS, stupid. Get me another beer." Even if you aren't drinking beer.
On a serious note, tomorrow is Hometown Heroes day. Get to the field a little early so you can show your appreciation.
Record: 1-0, 1-0 Big East
Coach: Butch Jones 15-11
Vs Delaware St: 0-0
Non-conference Nippert Winning Streak: 21 games
Leading Passer: Munchie Legaux 14-28, 205 yards, 2 TDs
Leading Rusher: Munchie Legaux 6-117 yards
Leading Receiver: Ralph David Abernathy IV 4-71-2 TDs
Quarteback: Munchie Legaux is the starter. His numbers from last week are visible just 2 inches up. His performance against Pittsburgh was a little above expectations. No one thought he would throw for 200 yards and run for 100 yards. His actual passing was probably a little blew expectations though. He's got a great chance to change all of that tomorrow night. We don't know how much he'll sling the ball around the field, but he should be able to put up some yards against Delaware St. Branden Kay saw a little bit of action last week. He ran for 2 yards. He should get a couple of drives. Considering how things progress, we might even see Patrick Coyne.
Running Back: George Winn was the leading rusher of this group last week with 95 yards and 2 TDs. He doesn't have the home run reputation, but when he gets the chance, he will make things happen. I expect something around 70 yards and a score for him tomorrow. Jameel Poteat didn't run that great against Pitt, 8-25. I expect Jones and the coaching staff to try and get him going. I think he'll get 50 yards and a score. Ralph David Abernathy IV was a big time receiving threat, but did run for 20 yards. I think he'll balance more, something like 60/35 rushing and receiving. It would be a surprise if we didn't see some of the guys from the bottom of the depth chart.
Receivers: The leading receiver for the Bearcats was Kenbrell Thompkins, who caught 2 passes for 48 yards. Travis Kelce had 2-42. Anthony McClung caught the most balls for this group, 3, but only had 21 yards. Danny Milligan and Alex Chisum combined for 3 catches and 23 yards. The pressure is on the receivers tomorrow. They didn't put out much against Pitt. They may not get a ton of throws, so that means they have to make big things happen when the ball is in the air.
Offensive Line: Eric Lefeld is the starting left tackle, Austen Bujnoch the left guard, Dan Sprauge the center, and Sean Hooey the right tackle. The only change is that Sam Longo has locked down the starting job at right guard. He was in an OR situation with Parker Ehinger last week. The group was very solid against Pittsburgh.
Defensive Line: The line raised some hell against Pittsburgh. They have to be foaming at the mouth to get a shot at Delaware State. There was a change on the depth chart. Adam Dempsey is listed as the starter over Camaron Beard. Dan Giordano and Walter Stewart both had 9 tackles from the end spots. Stewart had 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and a forced fumble. Giordano had 3 hurries. John Williams, the other starter, had 1.5 sacks in his UC debut. Dempsey had a tackle last week. Beard had 0.5 tackles for loss last week. Brandon Mills got a hurry. Jordan Stepp had 2 tackles. Elijah Schuler had a sack.
Linebackers: The Bearcats leading tackler came from this group last week. It was Greg Blair, who had 10 tackles. He had the lone Bearcats interception. Maalik Bomar had 7 tackles, 0.5 for loss. Nick Temple, the third starter, had 5 tackles, 1 sack. Solomon Tentman had 5 tackles as a reserve. Silverberry Mouhon had 1 tackle. Corey Mason had 2 tackles.
Defensive Backs: The same unit rolls out from last week. Deven Drane and Cam Cheatham at corner, Chris Williams at the nickel, Arryn Chenault and Drew Frey are the safeties. The leading tackler of the group was Chenault with 6. Frey had 5, Cheatham and Williams 4, Trenier Orr and Malcolm Murray had 3. I'm thinking the group gets 2 INTs tomorrow night. Maybe one for a score. Maybe.
Special Teams: Kirk Willis will snap the ball back to Pat O'Donnell, who is the punter and holder. Tony Miliano is the kicker. RDA IV returns kickoffs and Anthony McClung punts. O'Donnell averaged 43.2 yards a punt last week. He put 1 inside the 20. Miliano was 2-2 on field goals, 39 and 46, and 4-4 on extra points. Abernathy returned just 1 kick for 24 yards against Pitt. McClung had 4 punt returns for 55 yards.
Coach: Kermit Blount 4-9
Last Game vs a FBS Team: 2009
Leading Passer: Nick Elko 53-82, 454 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Leading Rusher: Malcolm Williams 29-116
Leading Receiver: Justin Wilson 16-155-1 TD
Quarterback: Nick Elko is the starter and the leading passer in the MEAC. Elko went 35-50, 298, 1 TD, 2 INTs last week. He's a 57.4% passer for his career. Delaware State didn't throw the ball around that much before Elko got there. He was the first Delaware St QB to throw for over 300 yards in back to back games. His 3,384 yards rank 4th all time. That's not even UC's 4th highest season (it could be I'm not looking it up). He's not a threat to run, although he did run for the winning TD against VMI. He's listed as the backup punter and holder.
Running Back: Malcolm Williams is the starter, but he has not been that great. He has a 32 yard run, which is a lot of his 116 yards. He's not getting a lot of attempts either. It's not totally his fault. He's the only guy who is going to carry the ball a lot. The rest of the team has 21 carries. Williams has caught 8 passes, so look for him on dump offs. Nagee Jackson has 25 yards and a TD.
Receivers: Justin Wilson, Travis Tarpley and Justin Brewton are listed as the starters. Ryan Langdon the tight end. As mentioned earlier, Wilson has 16 grabs for 155 yards and a TD. Tarpley had 10-106-1 TD. He had the longest catch of the season at 26 yards. Brewton has 6-63. Langdon 4-28. The ball is going to Wilson and Tarpley.
Offensive Line: Delaware St is averaging 2.8 yards a rush and just 69 yards a game. They are putting out 4.5 yards a play offensively. They have given up 13 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. And a blocked kick. This is a bad unit. That's a shame because their left tackle is Nail Muradymov. Left guard Keon Williams, center Brandon Cunningham, right guard Jadira Green and right tackle Tywan Lee.
Defensive Line: The Hornets play a 3-5-3. The ends are Rodney Gunter and Keith Hunter, with George Bansah at the nose. Chikeze Ukeje, Shabasz Gordon and Tarique Anderson are the back ups. Gunter has 8 tackles and 2 hurries, Hunter 4 tackles and Bansah 3. Ukeje has 4 stops.
Linebackers: The 5 backers are SPUR Terrick Colston, ROVER Joe Boyd, TED Quintin Fortes, MIKE Ernest Adjei and BOB Olusengun Ayanbiola. Colston has 19 tackles, tied for the team lead, and 0.5 TFL. Adjei has a team high 2.5 tackles for loss. Fortes has forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. Ayanbiola has half a sack. Boyd has 9 tackles and a tackle for loss.
Defensive Backs: Nick Williams and Jermond Colston are the corners, Davon Moore the free safety. Colston has 7 tackles. Williams had 9. Williams seems the better of the 2 at tackling. Moore has 19 tackles. You'll see 44 a lot, I'm guessing.
Special Teams: Quintin Fortes is the long snapper. Travis Tarpley is the holder. Watch a fake. Mitchell Ward is the kicker, Marko Kano the punter. Tarpley also returns kicks and punts. He does it all. Tarpley has averaged 28 yards on his kick returns. His 1 punt return went for 0 yards. Ward is 1-2 on field goals, making from 30. He's 4-4 on extra points. His blocked kick was from 20-29 yards. Kano averages 40.5 yards a punt. He's had 3 fair caught. He's put 2 punts inside the 20, but also 2 in the end zone for touchbacks.
Cincinnati has never played a team from Delaware.
Delaware State blows. They try hard, they are good kids probably, but they aren't good at football. If they were, they wouldn't be playing in the MEAC. If they were, to the best of the their ability MEAC talent, they wouldn't have picked Delaware State. I'm sorry if any of them google search their names and this post comes up telling them how much they suck. Hey, not everyone got to go to college to play football. You guys are a lot more talented than a number of people. You just aren't as good at football as the team you are playing Saturday. That's all. Good luck in the MEAC.
There are 2 weeks before VA Tech, so the main thing for this game is hoping everyone stays healthy. You don't want to have some one's season end against Delaware State. It would make an already slightly depressing game even more depressing.
Call me crazy, but I don't like games like these. I guess I understand the need for getting new guys reps, but you can play actual FBS talent instead of MEAC talent. After the first quarter, the score should be separated by double digits. It should be a 20+ point game by halftime. The 4th quarter is a running clock. Outside of guys putting up stats in a short amount of time, games like this seem to do more harm than good. You only have 12 chances in the regular season. Why waste 1 of them against a team that is no competition? And if they are competition, you are fuuuuucked.
That said, I hope UC puts up some big stats on Delaware St. Go all Oklahoma St on Savannah St on them. I don't want a 41-7 game. I want a 50 burger dropped tomorrow night. Everyone gets a TD. Even the trumpet player who fell down last week. Put him in Adam Fearing's uniform and no one could tell the difference.
I can't think of anything else to say about this game. If you are going, get there early. Not because of traffic or anything, but because if you saunter in halfway through the first quarter, you might miss 14 points. You can go mingle in the 3rd quarter.
Go Bearcats. Beat Delaware St