2013 Cincinnati Spring Football Analysis
Cincinnati Bearcats 2013 ...
Head Coach: Tommy Tuberville
Why To Get Excited … new head coach Tommy Tuberville inherits what might be the league’s best offensive lines. Not only are four starters back for another season, but two of them, LT Eric Lefeld and LG Austen Bujnoch, were members of last year’s All-Big East First Team. Now that QB Brendon Kay has been granted an additional year of eligibility, only three offensive starters must be replaced.
9/7 at Illinois
9/14 Northwestern St
9/21 at Miami Univ
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/5 at USF
10/30 at Memphis
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/16 at Rutgers
11/23 at Houston
11/30 OPEN DATE
Why To Be Grouchy … the Bearcats remain a Big East holdover. As the league continually gets downgraded through realignment, Cincinnati has been unable to latch on to a stronger conference. The program has now won 10 or more games in five of the last six years, but absolutely no one off campus is aware of it.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … developing new leaders on defense. LB Greg Blair was awarded a sixth year, and DT Camaron Beard is a riser up front , but the Cats lost a lot senior leaders to graduation. Last year’s 89th-ranked pass defense, in particular, will be without six veterans who exhausted their eligibility.
Team Concerns For 2013: New head coach Tommy Tuberville has the offensive pieces in place, but he needs to do some work on a defense that has to replace seven starters. The secondary struggled giving up 252 yards per outing, but it didn't give up a slew of big plays. Now it has to replace all four starters in the defensive
backfield, while the linebacking corps has to replace two starters. Not having both starting defensive ends is a problem. Offensively, the front five will be great, but quarterback Brendon Kay, running back George Winn and tight end Travis Kelce have to be replaced.
Non-Conference Games: Purdue, at Illinois, Northwestern State, at Miami University
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 9-3
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Purdue, Northwestern State, at Miami University, Temple, Connecticut, at Memphis, SMU, at Houston, Louisville
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Illinois, at USF, at Rutgers
Schedule Analysis: The Big East is going to be easier, but will that matter for a Bearcat team that has to deal with just enough tough dates to screw up a trip to the BCS? If it can beat Purdue and Illinois to kick off the season, it’ll be a 4-0 start with Northwestern State and a trip to Miami University to follow before a light stretch of conference games playing Temple and UConn before going to Memphis and hosting SMU. And then the fun kicks in gong to Rutgers and Houston in back-to-back weeks before closing out with a Big East championship-like game against Louisville.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive backs. Last
year Butch Jones went big on the secondary, and Tommy Tuberville did the same
thing with JUCO transfers Howard Wilder and Darren Doston out of California
ready to go at corner and Mike Tyson arguably the team's best pickup. JUCO
transfer Jerrell Jordan will eventually be the team's best tackler, while
quarterback Tyler Cogswell out of Florida and receiver Tshumbi Johnson out of
Immokalee should be a big part of what Tuberville wants to do offensively.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 30. That Class Was Heavy On ... Secondary. After a few years of going after receivers and skill player, the Bearcats need to strengthen a secondary that’ll be fine for the next two years but needs prospects for 2014 and beyond. Offense won’t be ignored, with head coach Butch Jones going after as many top players for the passing game as possible. Small and speedy Dennis Norfleet could be an instant impact running backs used in a variety of ways.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 48. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. If head coach Butch Jones wants to bomb away, he has the class to do it. The defensive line got the biggest stars with Demetrius Alston, Silverberry Mouhon and Chad West three dangerous ends who can all get into the backfield. Throw in 300-pound Daniel Murray for the inside, and the line is set. Patrick Coyne should be the team’s star quarterback down the road, and Jameel Poteat is a speedy back who’ll be the focal point of the attack sooner than later. The big offensive push is at receiver with Shaquille Washington leading a loaded corps of seven prospects.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 52. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Receivers. Butch
Jones had to try to keep Brian Kelly's recruits
coming to Cincinnati. Only three receivers were
signed, but they'll be the key to the class with
Dyjuan Lewis, a 6-2 target with 4.4 speed, the
likely No. 1 man in the near future. The line got
the most help for the defense with five prospects
signed and needing Josh Russ and Cameron Beard to
grow into roles on the end by 2013. Safety Arryn
Chenault is too good to not get an early look at
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 51. That Class Was
Heavy On ... tight ends. Can you say overkill? Cincinnati has signed four of the country’s top 100 tight ends, providing plenty of depth for Ben Guidugli and Kazeem Alli. From the program that turned Connor Barwin into the Big East’s sack leader a year ago, you can count on one or two of these tight ends, like Will Saddler and Mitch Kessel, to switch position at some point in their ‘Cat careers.