After putting a 42-7 pounding of the Purdue Boilermakers the Cincinnati Bearcats hit the road as they travel to Illinois to play the
Fighting Illini opening their season with back to back games against the B1G. Saturdays game will be Tommy Tuberville’s first road game as the head coach of the Bearcats.
A dominating performance by the Bearcats defense last week, one that forced 4 turnovers looks to do the same Saturday. Led by upperclassmen Greg Blair and Jeff Luc the linebacking corps for the Bearcats is the heart and soul of the defense. The best linebacking corps in the American Conference will look to dominate the Illini defense.
Illinois comes into Saturday’s game off a win 42-34 over Souther Illinois. An 8 point win over and FCS school certainly isn’t the way the Illini wanted to start their season. Although quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was named B1G offensive player of the week with 416 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. The defense for Illinois failed to impress last week. Giving up 34 points and 407 total yards to Souther Illinois certainly isn’t what the defense wanted to do. With Cincinnati on Saturday the Illini defense needs to step up if they want to stay in the game.
Cincinnati’s offense will likely be led again this week by Munchie Legaux who took majority of the snaps in practice this week. The Bearcats will use their running back rotation again this week, last week the Bearcats had three running backs with a touchdown, not to mention Legaux had a rushing TD as well.
Bearcats noticed one thing about the new Tommy Tuberville coached team last week, the fact that their is essentially a rotation on every play. “We will continue to rotate players, we want them to be fresh, last year they got tired, they played the whole game it tired them out” Tuberville said when asked about his coaching style. On nearly every play two or more players will run out and rest for a play or two. It appeared to work agains Purdue.
Cincinnati and Illinois met in 2009 during the Bearcats undefeated season. Cincinnati beat Illinois 49-36 in front of what was then the largest crowd in Nippert history. This time around the Bearcats appear to have a better defense and another new coaching staff.
Saturdays game agains Illinois will be shown on ESPN2 at Noon ET. You can listen on 102.7 WEBN.