(Courtesy JC Online)
How about let’s never play a morning game ever again, k?
The Bearcats got behind 21-0 today and they didn’t even seem to notice. When they finally figured out that a football game was being played and they were an integral part of it, they had to dig themselves out of a seemingly insurmountable hole. Going forward, it’s probably not a great idea to make broad, overarching assumptions about Cincinnati after they crushed a team that beat Indiana State by just 6 points today. I was as guilty of this as anyone.
Look, coaching changes are difficult and that was evident this afternoon. The players and coaches are clearly still trying to get on the same page. Still, I would have never imaged Cincinnati would lose by 4 touchdowns to a team that they were heavy favorites against. I can’t really place the blame on either the coaches or players. Everyone shoulders a piece of that today. Just an embarrassing performance all the way around and not what this program needs right now.
More observations after the jump.
“Indisputable Video Evidence”
Someone needs to explain what that means to me because I still haven’t a clue.
Was there a gameplan for the goal line today?
I’m not sure. Regardless of the horrible, horrible call from the ref on the goal line (among many more), Cincinnati didn’t put itself in a position to win by constantly trying to pound the ball in from 2 yards out with Ralph David Abernathy. Now, RDA IV is many things but a between-the-tackle runningback he is not. He does most of his damage on the outside beating players in space. Forcing him to try to score a touchdown along the goal line is lunacy. The Bearcats have a 240 lbs fullback in Jared Golden, a 220 lbs runningback in Tion Green, and a 199 lbs runningback in Hosey Williams yet Eddie Gran opted to pound the ball with a 161 lbs Abernathy. Don’t get it.
If I never see Ralph David Abernathy run up the middle it’ll be too soon.
Again, RDA IV is a burner in open space but shouldn’t be ran straight up the middle. That’s Hosey Williams and Tion Green’s job. The only exception is on read-options but on set plays from the I-formation or Ace sets, keep the ball away from Abernathy, please.
Too many mental errors this week.
Maybe is a factor of playing on the road. Maybe it was a factor of getting up an hour earlier on gameday due to the time change. Regardless, this Cincinnati team just looked “off” today. After being called for 2 penalties all of last week against Purdue, the Bearcats had 5 today in the first quarter alone. That was the bulk of the flags thrown in UC’s direction but it certainly set the tone for the game and allowed the Illini to jump all over the Bearcats in the first half.
The passing defense got exposed big time.
That goes for everyone in the secondary right down to the defensive line. Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase passed for over 300 yards today, 4 touchdowns, distributed the ball to 11 different receivers, and was barely touched. No play epitomized Cincinnati’s ineptitude against the pass than on 3rd-and-19 in the beginning of the fourth quarter down with the Bearcats down by two scores and needing a stop more than any other time during the game. They didn’t. Scheelhaase completed a 23 yard pass to a receiver slicing across the middle of the field for a first down. Absolute heartbreaker.
It’s Brendon Kay’s team from here on out.
Munchie Legaux experienced an absolutely gruesome injury in the fourth quarter today and had to be carted off the field. It was likely season ending and the worst way for him to end his career. You can’t help but pray for the kid who has shown nothing but heart and maturity during his time as a Bearcat. With Legaux sidelined, Brendon Kay is now the starting “indisputable” starting quarterback (see what I did there). Hopefully now that he knows he’s “the guy”, the offense will rally around him and put on a better show with fewer mistakes the rest of the season.