With two quarters in the books, the Bearcats are up on Temple by 8 points. Here’s some halftime notes in case you missed the first half.
- Offense is condensed and thus much more fluid. I’ll elaborate on this in a full post but for now I’ll just say that it’s painfully obvious that Cincinnati’s offense looked better tonight because Eddie Gran simplified it. For most of the first half, the Bearcat offensive coordinator opted for short passes and screens. It worked to a tee as Brendon Kay was able to build his confidence and get into a rhythm; the perfect recipe for a reeling quarterback. Those who have clamored for UC to “open up” the offense are hopefully silenced by this performance thus far.
- Tion Green deserves more playing time. Or maybe, he’s established himself as Cincinnati’s #1 runningback. Green garnered 63% of the rushing plays in the first half over Ralph David Abernathy (21%) and Hosey Williams (0%). I love the dual-runningback system UC that has rolled with through the first five games but tonight showed why a single-runningback system has its advantages, especially with a raw talent of Tion Green.
- Special teams continues to be an adventure. A Tony Miliano field goal was blocked and returned for a touchdown last week, then he shanked an extra point, and then he booted a kickoff out of bounds for a penalty. Tonight, Ralph David Abernathy fumbled a kickoff which turned into immediate Temple points. Just a typically day for Cincinnati’s special teams.
- If the secondary was going to be exposed by a team, this isn’t that team. Temple averages about 205 yards through the air per game. They’ve also passed for 3 total touchdowns this year. The Owls have passed for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns thus far. Yikes. I don’t think it’s Art Kaufman’s schemes, it’s the execution. I’ve counted more than a few missed tackles and blown coverages in the secondary.
- Cincinnati fans continue to believe. I was worried after the loss to South Florida that Bearcats fans would toss in their towel on Tommy Tuberville. I obviously underestimated their resiliency. 32,220 showed up tonight, they are wearing red, and they’ve been loud. Couldn’t ask for a much better atmosphere at Nippert Stadium right now.