The University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team has been one of the most consistent programs in the nation for the past few years. The Bearcats have won at least 10 games in five of the past six seasons, which a lot of teams could not say they have accomplish that feat. Former head coaches that included Mark Dantonio that started the program resurgence in the 2004 season, then followed by Brian Kelly and Butch Jones.
During the off season they hired Tommy Tubervile from Texas Tech in probably one of the most surprising off season moves, as the new head coach
he inherits a team with a handful of guys with star power. The Bearcats has had 22 players taken in the past nine drafts, with 15 of those selected in the past five years. If Tubervile can find a quarterback, a new featured running back and a rebuilding defensive line, this team again will flirt with the 10 win mark. With a easy non-conference schedule should help matters. The Bearcats who preseason selected to finish 2nd in the American Athletic Conference, but won’t be surprise if they can be at the top at the end of the season.
Players to Watch:
ILB Greg Blair: Blair a late signee out of junior college in 2011, then red shirted that fall year with a knee injury. He returned with an absolute monster last season with Big East high 138 tackles. He also had nine tackles for loss, two interceptions and six pass breakups. He is definitely one of the top 10 senior linebackers in the nation and I can assure you will see him play on Sundays.
WR Anthony McClung: During his sophomore year in 2011 he had 49 receptions and six touchdowns. But last season he struggled only having 34 receptions and two touchdowns. You can say the reason for his down year was the uneven play of the quarterbacks. Expect him to bounce back this season and also you might see him doing punt return duty as well.
Senior Quarterbacks Munchie Legaux and Brendan Kay: The Bearcats have the luxury of two successful senior quarterbacks, but figuring out how to use them could be tricky for Tubervile in his first season. He said after Kay is the starter after he went 4-1 in the last five games and led them to win over Duke in the Belk Bowl. But Kay and Legaux will split time at least initially.
OL Lefeld and Austin Bujnockh: All Big East first team selections from last season
RB Ralph David Abernathy: ran for 366 yards last season on 69 carries behind Whinn, but will be a factor on kickoff returns. And will be the number one option at running back this season.
Top games to watch:
August 31st vs Purdue
Nov. 16th at Rutgers
Dec 5th vs Louisville: A game where if both teams take of business leading up to this it will definitely decide the champ in the AAC and with Louisville ranked preseason number 9 in the country, UC could ruin their potential National title hopes if the Cards can be undefeated leading up to the showdown. The good thing for the Bearcats is that this game will be played at Nippert, Keg of Nails Showdown.