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Cincinnati Preview 2006 - Offense
Cincinnati Bearcats
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 1, 2006


Cincinnati Bearcats 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.

Returning Leaders
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 offensive line
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:
Offensive line

Quarterbacks
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

Projected Starter
- 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 games.

Top Backups
- 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 year.

Running Backs
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 game again.
Running Back Rating: 6

Projected Starters
- 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.

Top Backups
- 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 Doug Jones.

Receivers
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

Projected Starters
- Earnest Jackson, Jr. - 27 catches, 364 yds, 13.5 ypc, 3 TD
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.

Top Backups
- 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.

Offensive Linemen
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

Projected Starters
- 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 steady.
- 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.

Top Backups
- 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.

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