Cincinnati Preview 2006 - Offense
Preview 2006 - Bearcat Offense
What you need to know ... The
Bearcat offense was extremely raw last year, and it showed. This
year's offense is still raw and still needs a little more time
before it starts to produce. The line is the biggest problem
with several backups needing to turn into consistent starters in
a big hurry, but the skill players are in place with several
good receivers for second-year quarterback Dustin Grutza to work
with. There will be a decent rotation of running backs, but
they'll need holes to run through.
Passing: Dustin Grutza
168-300, 1,799 yds, 11 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Bradley Glatthaar
159 carries, 620 yds, 7 TD
Receiving: Brent Celek
32 catches, 361 yds, 3 TD
Star of the offense: Senior TE Brent Celek
Player that has to step up and become a star: The entire
Unsung star on the rise: Junior RB Greg Moore
Best pro prospect: Celek
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Celek, 2) FB Doug
Jones, 3) WR Earnest Jackson
Strength of the offense: Wide receiver
Weakness of the offense:
Dustin Grutza fought through some early growing pains and
started to become a decent passer by the end of last year. His
key will be to limit the mistakes he made early on and push the
ball downfield a little more. Backup Nick Davila is a nice
number two player to have in reserve with two years of JUCO
experience and a year in the Bearcat system. 6-6 Nick Davila
will be the number two man next year.
The key to the unit: Be more efficient. Starter
Dustin Grutza has to get his completion percentage up past 60%
and he needs to average more than 11 yards per completion.
Quarterback Rating: 6
- Dustin Grutza, Soph. - 168-300, 1,799 yds, 56%, 11 TD,
11 INT, 106 carries, 28 yds, 2 TD
Grutza had a decent first season on a rebuilding team, and the
hope is that he'll grow into the job as the team grows into the
Big East. Smart enough to have the offense down and mobile
enough to get out of the occasional jam, he has the tools to be
a strong leader for the next three seasons. He had only one
really big, redshirt freshman melt-down performance throwing
five interceptions against Miami University, but he got better
and better with only three interceptions over the final seven
- Nick Davila, Sr. - 26-45, 344 yds, 58%, 4 TD, 2 INT,
4 carries, 12 yds
A two-time junior college All-American at Chaffey Junior
College, the 6-3, 200-pound Davila stepped in and was
immediately a strong number two option. After a year in the
system, he should be even stronger in a relief role. He had one
strong outing in garbage time against Louisville, but he was
awful when he got a chance early on against Pitt.
- Tony Pike, RFr.
The top scout teamer is an athletic 6-6 and 210 pounds with an
accurate arm. He's the clear number three in the mix and will
push to see time to be groomed for the number two job for next
There's not a special runner in the bunch, so it's the
old tailback-by-committee trying to get the most out of
everyone's talents. Bradley Glatthaar is back after leading the
team in rushing and scoring; he'll bring the power. Butler
Benton adds a bit more dash, and Greg Moore is a nice
combination of the two. Doug Jones is a fantastic fullback who
should earn All-Big East honors if he can stay healthy.
The key to the unit: Find a reliable rotation that
works. There's too much experience to only average 125 yards per
Running Back Rating: 6
- Greg Moore, Jr. - 62 carries, 297 yds, 4.8 ypc, 4
catches, 94 yds, 23.5 ypc, 1 TD
While technically listed as the starter coming out of spring
ball, he might get the first few carries of the game, but he's
not going to handle it 25 times an outing. He's a good-sized 6-2
and 225 pounds with a little bit of wiggle when he gets in the
open field. His workload increased as last season went on before
getting hurt late in the year.
- Fullback Doug Jones, Jr. - 8 carries, 19 yds, 2.4 ypc, 10
catches, 107 yds, 7.1 ypc
Back for his third year as a starter, the huge 282-pound junior
will be more than just a crushing blocker for the ground game.
The former tight end has nice hands as a receiver and is a load
on short-yardage plays. Now he's healthy after struggling with a
broken hand and other injuries.
- Butler Benton, Jr. - 71 carries, 287 yds, 4.0 ypc,
1 TD, 7 catches, 76 yds, 10.9 ypc, 1 TD
Benton has seen time since he first stepped on campus and has
been an occasional contributor in the running back rotation. He
has a nice burst and was used more as a receiver last season.
Expect around 8-10 carries a game.
- Bradley Glatthaar, Jr. - 139 carries, 620 yds, 4.5 ypc, 7 TD,
11 catches, 77 yds, 7 ypc
Last year's leading rusher and scorer is a powerful,
between-the-tackles back who'll also see a few catches. While
not necessarily a workhorse with a high carry game of 18, he'll be at his most effective as part of a rotation.
- Fullback Brad Bury, Soph.
Mostly a special teamer, the 240-pound sophomore is a tough
all-around player who'll mostly be used as a blocker when he
gets on the field. He won't see many carries, if any, behind
The receiving corps improved as quarterback Dustin Grutza
got better, and vice versa. Last year's young, relatively
inexperienced group should be far better even with top receiver
Derick Ross gone. Earnest Jackson appears ready to step into the
number one role, while the duo of Bill Poland and Dominick
Goodman should be good enough to provide a reliable number three
target behind Jackson and all-star-to-be tight end Brent Celek.
The key to the unit: More overall production. The
experience is there along with a good array of talents to play
around with. There's no reason this group can't crank out more
than 200 yards per game.
Receiver Rating: 6.5
- Earnest Jackson, Jr. - 27 catches, 364 yds, 13.5 ypc, 3
It took a little while, but Jackson eventually turned into the
team's most dangerous target with a 56-yard touchdown catch
against Pitt and a seven-catch day against Syracuse. He came to
Cincinnati as a star defensive back and quarterback and was
turned into a receiver right away. Now he knows what he's doing
and should be a star at a quick 6-3 and 215 pounds.
- Bill Poland, Sr. - 17 catches, 255 yds, 15 ypc, 2 TD
A very big, very strong target at 6-3 and 205 pounds, Poland has
found his way into the mix over the last two season doing a
little of everything for the receiving corps. He didn't do much
of anything over the first six games as he tried to get over a
knee injury, and then he became a key factor highlighted by a
six-catch, 124-yard day against South Florida.
- Tight end Brent Celek, Sr. - 32 catches, 361 yds, 11.3
ypc, 3 TD
One of the best all-around tight ends in the nation, the 6-4,
255-pound senior has caught 56 passes for 654 yards and 11
touchdowns. He's athletic enough to make big plays when he's on
the move and is a fantastic route runner.
- Dominick Goodman, Soph. - 12 catches, 163 yds, 13.6
ypc, 2 TD
The very athletic 6-1, 200-pound sophomore is still learning the
ropes after spending his high school career as a quarterback
before converting to receiver in his true freshman season. He
came on at the end of the year as a receiver and turned into the
team's main kickoff returner.
- Jared Martin, RFr.
He did a little of everything on the scout team last season, and
now he'll likely be the fourth receiver in the rotation playing
behind Bill Poland. He's one of the team's fastest players and
has the potential to grow into a strong deep threat.
- Tight end Connor Barwin, Soph. - 8 catches, 144 yds, 18
ypc, 1 TD
Barwin played as a true freshman showing off nice hands as the
backup behind Brent Celek. He also showed off impressive speed
averaging 18 yards per catch.
40 sacks. Four ... zero. Only Stanford, New Mexico State,
Ball State and Buffalo were worse at protecting the passer, and now the
Bearcat season hinges on whether or not the front five can keep
quarterback Dustin Grutza alive. It'll likely be a work in progress with
several career reserves needing to step up their production in starting
roles around left tackle Digger Bujnoch.
The key to the unit: There's experience, but it'll take a while
for some cohesion. The faster the starting lineup can be decided on and
the longer the front five can stay healthy, the better.
Offensive Line Rating: 5.5
- OT Digger Bujnoch, Jr.
As the steadiest starter returning to the line, the junior has to be the
leader. He's a former tight end with good athleticism and nice upside,
and now he has to be better in pass protection.
- OG Jeff Reinstatler, Sr.
After three years of barely seeing the field, the 6-2, 287-pound senior
turned into a decent run blocker in the rotation at right guard. He's
not going to dominate, but he'll be competent in a rotation with Frank
Straub on the left side.
- C Mario Duenas, Jr.
The JUCO all-star got to Cincinnati early and took over the starting
spot in the middle. He's not as big as the rest of the Bearcat linemen
at 280 pounds, but he's an active all-around blocker who should be
- OG Trevor Canfield, Soph.
Canfield started in three games last season when he wasn't coming off
the bench to be one of the team's better run blockers. He's a very
strong 6-5 and 300 pounds with the potential to grow into a fixture n
the right side.
- OT J.P. Simon, Jr.
A backup so far, the 6-6, 310-pound Simon came out of spring ball as the
starter on the right side. He has the size, but he has to prove he can
be a steady pass blocker.
- OT Jeremy Bolton, Jr.
The team's top reserve tackle, Bolton is 6-5 and 310 pounds with a
little bit of starting experience stepping in on the right side. He'll
start out behind J.P. Simon but can play either tackle position.
- OG Frank Straub, Sr.
A career backup at both guard and tackle, the 6-6,
310-pound senior is one of the team's biggest players starting out at
left guard behind Jeff Reinstatler.