A primetime Friday night game on ESPN may be exactly what the Cincinnati Bearcats football team needs to get back on track this season. A game against the winless Temple Owls inside a hostile Nippert Stadium
should take away the depression from the loss to the South Florida Bulls one week ago. What does Cincinnati have to do to beat Temple though?
First start with the offense, an efficient offense, one that does not wander around aimlessly would be a good place to start. Getting off to a quick start would be a step in the right direction as well. In their last two games the Bearcats have scored only 6 points (touchdown missed XP) in the first 3 quarters while scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter. Their lack of urgency in the firs three quarters has been mind boggling. New offensive coordinator Eddie Gran has not called many effective plays against the defenses teams are presenting this season.
Not only the slow offense has been hurting the Bearcats but the turnovers as well. USF beat Cincinnati without scoring a single offensive touchdown last week. A blocked field goal returned 75 yards and a fumble recovering returned 10 yards both being touchdowns doomed the Bearcats. The two interceptions from quarterback Brendon Kay did not help as well. So Cincinnati must take care of business on offense.
Against the Temple Owls though the Bearcats should have plenty of offense. Temples defense has given up over 400+ yards in 5 out of their 6 games this season. Their run defense is among the worst in the American as well as their pass offense. Temple has struggled massively in their last two seasons, this season doesn’t look to be much different.
The Temple offense will be led by freshman PJ Walker making his first career start Friday night. Walker had a respectable game last season against the Louisville Cardinals but this weekend he runs into the 4th best defense statistically in college football Friday night.
Cincinnati’s defense has been stout this season. Led by the best linebacking corps in the American with Nick Temple, Jeff Luc and Greg Blair the defense has been a run stopping machine this year. Although the UC coaching staff refuses to call their defense great after failing to stop USF multiple times last week on third down. The secondary would use a little tune up and tonight against a freshman quarterback and a struggling team should be just what they need.
Friday night marks the first time the Bearcats have played at home since the tragic passing of freshman lineman Ben Flick. There will be a moment of silence and a remembrance for Flick before the game. Emotionally the team will be up tonight, win this one for Ben and his family.