2008 Cincinnati Bearcats Season
Cincinnati QB Tony Pike
Cincinnati QB Tony Pike
Posted Feb 4, 2009

2008 Cincinnati Bearcats Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Cincinnati Bearcats

Jan. 1
2009 Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech 20 … Cincinnati 7

Cincinnati marched 72 yards on its first drive finishing with a brilliant 15-yard touchdown catch from Mardy Gilyard for a 7-0 Bearcat lead less than two minutes into the game. And then it was all Darren Evans and all Tech defense. Evans finished with 153 yards and a six-yard touchdown, putting the game out of reach in the fourth quarter, but it was Tyrod Taylor who sparked the run of 20 unanswered points with a 17-yard scoring dash in the second quarter. Dustin Keys added field goals from 43 and 35 yards when long Tech drives stalled for all the points the team would need to stay ahead, as the defense came up with four interceptions, including one in the end zone, and a goal line stand stuffing UC QB Tony Pike on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter.
Player of the Game: Virginia Tech RB Darren Evans ran 28 times for 153 yards and a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Cincinnati - Passing: Tyrod Taylor, 13-22, 140 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Darren Evans, 28-153, 1 TD. Receiving: Danny Coale, 3-52
Virginia Tech - Passing: Tony Pike, 16-33, 239 yds, 1 TD, 4 INT
Jacob Ramsey, 4-34. Receiving: Mardy Gilyard, 7-158, 1 TD
Inside The Box Score ... 5 Thoughts on the Orange Bowl …Turnovers: UC 4 – VT 1 … Rushing yards: VT 258 – UC 71 … Time of possession: VT 39: 39 – UC 20:21 … Sacks: VT 3 – UC 1 … UC DE Terrill Byrd made 11 tackles, a sack and four tackles for loss … Four different Hokies came up with interceptions.

- 2008 UC Preview
- 2007 UC Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record: 11-

Aug. 28 E. Kentucky W 40-7
Sept. 6 at Oklahoma L 52-26
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 Miami Univ. W 45-20
Sept. 27 at Akron W 17-15
Oct. 3 at Marshall W 33-10
Oct. 11 Rutgers W 13-10
Oct. 25 at Connecticut L 40-16
Oct. 30 South Florida W 24-10
Nov. 8 at W Virginia W 36-23 OT
Nov. 14 at Louisville W 28-20
Nov. 22 Pitt W 28-21
Nov. 29 Syracuse W 30-10
Dec. 6 at Hawaii W 29-24
Orange Bowl
Jan. 1 Virginia Tech L 20-6

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record:

Aug. 30 SE Missouri St W 59-3
Sept. 6 Oregon State W 34-3
Sept. 15
at Miami Univ. W 47-10
Sept. 22 Marshall W 40-14
Sept. 29 at S Diego St W 52-23
Oct. 6 at Rutgers W 28-23
Oct. 13 Louisville L 28-24
Oct. 20 at Pitt L 24-17
Nov. 3 at So Florida W 38-33
Nov. 10
Connecticut W 27-3
Nov. 17 West Virginia L 28-23
Nov. 24
at Syracuse W 52-31
PapaJohns.com Bowl
Dec. 22 Southern Miss W 31-21

Nov. 29
Cincinnati 30 … Syracuse 10
Cincinnati tore through Syracuse to clinch the Big East title and a BCS berth with Tony Pike throwing two touchdown passes and Jake Rogers hitting three field goals. Syracuse only managed a 33-yard Patrick Shadle field goal until late in the fourth with a six-yard Dan Sheeran touchdown catch. The Bearcats gained 412 yards and held SU to 211.
Player of the game: Cincinnati WR Marshwan Gilyard caught 11 passes for 114 yards
Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 6-23, 59 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 16-60. Receiving: Marcus Sales, 2-16
Cincinnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 28-44, 272 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: John Goebel, 10-67, 1 TD. Receiving: Marshwan Gilyard, 11-114
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Cincinnati has not only proved that last year's breakout year wasn't a fluke, but it also showed that it could overcome quarterback issues, a midseason blowout loss to Connecticut, and a shaky running game to get to the BCS. Syracuse never had a chance. Tony Pike was sharp early on and the defense didn't led the Orange breathe, especially in comeback mode. There were 10 penalties, but whatever; Cincinnati is off to the Hawaii on a five-game winning streak. This will be a fun month for the program.

Nov. 22
Cincinnati 28 … Pitt 21
Pitt RB LeSean McCoy started off the scoring with a six-yard run just over five minutes in, and then Tony Pike took over. Continuing to play with a broken arm, the UC QB was sharp hitting on 26-of-32 passes with three scores on the way to a 28-point run. Pike connected with Marcus Barnett from 20 yards out, Dominick Goodman from four yards away, and Marshwan Gilyard from 39 yards out. Jacob Ramsey added what would be the winning score with a two-yard run early in the fourth, and then Pitt mounted a comeback attempt. McCoy ran for a 16-yard score on the ensuing drive, and Dorin Dickerson scored on a 41-yard pass play with 1:22 to play, but that would be as close as the Panthers would come.
Player of the game: Cincinnati QB Tony Pike completed 26-of-32 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran nine times for 33 yards
Stat Leaders: Cincinnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 26-32, 309 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Tony Pike, 9-33. Receiving: Marshwan Gilyard, 8-110, 1 TD
Pitt - Passing: Bill Stull, 18-28, 229 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: LeSean McCoy, 17-82, 2 TD. Receiving: LeSean McCoy, 6-45
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Cincinnati is now a win away from going to the show. All the Bearcats need to do is beat lowly Syracuse and they're playing in the BCS after winning four straight and eight of their last nine. Tony Pike was magnificent making big throw after big throw, hitting his receivers on short to midrange passes in places where they could do something with it. The defensive line was fantastic at getting into the backfield, and while it couldn't stop star RB LeSean McCoy, it made the plays needed to get the huge, program-changing win.

Nov. 14
Cincinnati 28 … Louisville 20
Dominick Goodman caught a 23-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter and John Goebel ran for a six-yard score in the fourth as Cincinnati came back to beat the Cardinals. Louisville got a three-yard touchdown run from Victor Anderson in the second and a two-yard James Bryant catch in the first, but the offense was stuffed late on a last-gasp drive and only managed a 23-yard Ryan Payne field goal in the second half. Mardy Gilyard started out the scoring for the Bearcats with a 48-yard catch on the opening drive.
Player of the game: Cincinnati WR Dominick Goodman made nine catches for 134 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Louisville - Passing: Hunter Cantwell, 19-35, 204 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Victor Anderson, 13-60, 1 TD. Receiving: Doug Beaumont, 4-61
Cicninnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 19-33, 250 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: John Goebel, 10-77, 1 TD. Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 9-134, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... After getting beaten up over the last few years in the rivalry game against the Cardinals, UC came through with a big win to establish itself as the leader in the Big East pack. The BCS spot is there for the taking by winning out, and if it get the steady production from Tony Pike and the passing game, and the defense can hold up like it did in the second half against the Cardinals, the chances are good for the big game. It would be nice to start generating more of a pass rush, but that's nitpicking after a good win like this.

Nov. 8

Cincinnati 26 … West Virginia 23
Tony Pike found Kazeem Alli for a two-yard touchdown in overtime to give Cincinnati a tough, thrilling win. West Virginia got 13 points in the final 1:11 of regulation with a safety, a Dorell Jalloh touchdown catch with 19 seconds to play, and after recovering the onside kick, a 52-yard field goal from Pat McAfee to force overtime. McAfee hit a 27-yard field goal in OT before the Bearcats answered. Cincinnati started off the scoring with Marshwan Gilyard taking the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Jake Rogers added two field goals, and Pike ran for a four-yard score for a 20-7 halftime lead, but the Bearcat offense died in the second half. The two teams combined to convert just six of 33 third down chances.
Player of the game: Cincinnati QB Tony Pike completed 16-of-30 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for a score.
Stat Leaders: West Virginia - Passing: Pat White, 20-38, 219 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Noel Devine, 19-58. Receiving: Dorrell Jalloh, 4-54, 1 TD
Cincinnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 16-30, 178 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Jacob Ramsey, 18-83. Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 6-81
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Cincinnati might not always be pretty, but it's finding ways to win games. It had every right to go into the tank after the way West Virginia came back to force overtime, but instead the defense allowed a field goal and the offense came through after doing nothing in the second half. Tony Pike is gutting it out with his broken arm, but going forward, the running game has to start doing more, and there will need to be even more yards after the catch. Now assured of going bowling, the showdowns will come with a trip to Louisville before facing Pitt.

Oct. 30
Cincinnati 24 ... South Florida 10
Cincinnati got two touchdown passes from Tony Pike, including a 26-yarder to Mardy Gilyard, John Goebel ran for a two-yard score, and DE Connor Barwin made a one-yard scoring grab as the offense took advantage of several mistakes. South Florida turned it over three times, all interceptions, and saw two deep drives go for naught. The Bulls tied it at seven in the first quarter on a Moise Plancher touchdown run and managed a 49-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Player of the game: Cincinnati QB Tony Pike completed 20-of-28 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 13-31, 174 yds, 3 INT
Rushing: Benjamin Williams, 17-79. Receiving: Carlton Mitchell, 4-77
Cincinnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 20-28, 281 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: John Goebel, 17-78, 1 TD. Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 5-57
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
For having a broken arm, Tony Pike was more than solid against South Florida. He wasn't able to take snaps from under center and he had to limit his mobility so he didn't take too many shots, but he got the ball out of his hands quickly and the receiving corps did its part with some fantastic catches. The team just needs to get through the quarterback injury issues to get Dustin Grutza back while hoping for Pike to heal up. Still in the Big East title chase, now comes the big test at West Virginia. If the defense plays like it did against the Bulls, a nice winning streak could start up.

Oct. 25
Connecticut 40 … Cincinnati 16
Cincinnati pulled within one, 17-16, on a 22-yard Jake Rogers field goal late in the third quarter. And then Connecticut went ballistic, helped by a slew of takeaways, getting three of Dave Teggart's four field goals, a five-yard Donald Brown touchdown run, and a 28-yard interception return for a score by Robert McClain as part of a run of 23 unanswered points. Brown set the school-record for most rushing yards in a season, now with 1,324 yards, with two scores against the Bearcats. UC got a 27-yard Mardy Gilyard touchdown catch and Jake Rogers field goals from 29, 54 and 22 yards out, but six turnovers proved costly.
Player of the game: Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 29 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns, and led the team with four catches for 58 yards
Stat Leaders: Cincinnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 10-27, 136 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jacob Ramsey, 5-38. Receiving: Mardy Gilyard, 7-87, 1 TD
Connecticut - Passing: Cody Endres, 18-42, 196 yds
Rushing: Donald Brown, 29-150, 2 TD. Receiving: Donald Brown, 4-58
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... UC played way too sloppy a game against Connecticut. It was extremely un-Bearcat with six fumbles, losing three, three interceptions, no accuracy in the passing game, nothing from the ground game, and a ridiculous 0-of-14 on third down chances. The return of Tony Pike didn't matter much for the passing game, but it wasn't his fault; the O line didn't play well. This was a total team meltdown coming at the wrong time with South Florida up next.

Oct. 11
Cincinnati 13 ... Rutgers 10
In an ugly game with a combined 19 punts and 20 penalties, Cincinnati got an eight-yard touchdown run from Chazz Anderson in the second quarter and field goals from 19 and 50 yards from Jake Rogers to hang on. Rutgers got a 17-yard touchdown catch from Jack Corcoran in the third quarter along with a 50-yard bomb of a field goal from San San Te. Cincinnati only gained 97 rushing yards and Rutgers gained 62.
Player of the game: Cincinnati QB Chazz Anderson completed 21-of-29 passes for 239 yards, and he ran for a score
Stat Leaders: Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 19-35, 175 yds
Kordell Young, 22-78. Receiving: Kevin Brock, 7-51
- Passing: Chazz Anderson, 21-29, 239 yds
Jacob Ramsey, 14-85. Receiving: Marcus Barnett, 5-79
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... 12 penalties, nine punts and 0-for-11 on third downs ... and a win?! Cincinnati is going to struggle with its consistency for the rest of the year, but as the Rutgers game showed, the defense can help pick up the slack when the offense is struggling to get going. The offensive line had its toughest game since the Oklahoma loss, struggling in pass and getting nothing for the running game. Even so, QB Chazz Anderson had a solid, efficient game. There's no beefing with a 5-1 start going into an off-week.

Oct. 3
Cincinnati 33 ... Marshall 10
It took a little while, but the Cincinnati offense finally started to move under new starting quarterback Chazz Anderson. The Bearcats started off the scoring on a blocked punt for a safety, and then the offense kicked in with a 21-yard John Goebel scoring run and a 14-yard touchdown catch from Dominick Goodman. Marshall managed a 50-yard field goal from Craig Ratanamorn and a 57-yard touchdown catch from Cody Slate to pull within six, and then Anderson took over throwing a seven-yard scoring pass to Goodman and running for a one-yard score as the Bearcats scored the final 17 points. Marshall turned it over three times and was held to 90 yards on the ground.
Player of the game: Cincinnati QB Chazz Anderson completed 16-of-26 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for a score
Stat Leaders: Cincinnati
- Passing: Chazz Anderson, 16-26, 158 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jacob Ramsey, 17-99. Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 6-51, 2 TD
- Passing: Mark Cann, 17-36, 178 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Chubb Small, 7-62. Receiving: Cody Slate, 7-95, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Find a quarterback, plug him in, win. Cincinnati seems to get production no matter who the quarterback is. The coaching staff does a great job of putting its passers in the position to make plays, and against Marshall, Chazz Anderson was able to get the offense moving after a mediocre first half by hitting on the short to midrange passes. He didn't show off much in the way of mobility, and he ate the ball instead of forcing the pass, but it was a good game. It also helped that the rest of the skill players came through with nice games. Jacob Ramsey is a reliable runner, while Dominick Goodman came up big in the red zone.

Sept. 27
Cincinnati 17 … Akron 15
Cincinnati got two Tony Pike touchdown passes to Marshwan Gilyard, but Pike broke his arm. Akron hung tough with a seven-yard Deryn Bowser touchdown catch, but the extra point was blocked. A one-yard Dennis Kennedy touchdown run in the fourth gave the Zips a one-point lead, but the two-point conversion attempt failed when QB Chris Jacquemain came up short on a run. The Bearcats rallied with a 48-yard Jake Rogers field goal, and the defense held on.
Player of the game: Cincinnati WR Marshwan Gilyard had seven receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Cincinnati
- Passing: Tony Pike, 23-34, 320 yds, 2 TDs
Rushing: Jacob Ramsey, 13-54. Receiving: Marshwan Gilyard, 7-146, 2 TDs
- Passing: Chris Jacquemain, 26-40, 254 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Dennis Kennedy, 11-41, 1 TD. Receiving: Deryn Bowser, 10-72, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Now the Cincinnati offensive system and head coach Brian Kelly will be put to the test. With Dustin Grutza already out with a broken leg, and Tony Pike suffering a broken arm, it'll now be up to freshman Zach Collaros to run the offense. He only completed 1-of-4 passes for two yards, but he ran four times for 18 yards. The running backs are going to have to do more, and the defense is going to have to be even stouter after a great start to the year. 

Sept. 20
Cincinnati 45 … Miami University 20
Tony Pike was nearly perfect as the new Cincinnati quarterback throwing three touchdown passes, while John Goebel ran for scores from five and 20 yards out. Miami stayed alive with two Daniel Raudabaugh touchdown passes including a 34-yarder to Chris Givens to pull within four in the third quarter, but Cincinnati scored 21 unanswered points sparked by a 72-yard Mike Mickens interception return for a touchdown.
Player of the game: Cincinnati QB Tony Pike completed 20-of-24 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns, and ran five times for 33 yards
Stat Leaders: Cincinnati
- Passing: Tony Pike, 20-24, 241 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: John Goebel, 13-63, 2 TD. Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 6-94
Miami Univ.
- Passing: Daniel Raudabaugh, 28-42. 235 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Thomas Merriweather, 17-50. Receiving: Andre Bratton, 9-54
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The system works. Whether it's Ben Mauk, Dustin Grutza or Tony Pike, the Cincinnati offense is fantastic at producing efficient passers. John Goebel had a great day running the ball against Miami University, but this game was all about Tony Pike, who was nearly flawless. He doesn't have to be spectacular, but he needs to be solid. With tune-ups against Akron and Marshall before Big East play kicks in, he'll have time to get even better.

Sept. 6
Oklahoma 52 ... Cincinnati 26
Oklahoma rolled up 592 yards of total offense with Sam Bradford throwing five touchdown passes in a game that was close for the first 40 minutes, but got out of hand. The Sooners ripped off 24 straight points on an 11-yard DeMarco Murray run and two Bradford scoring passes to put the game away. Cincinnati hung around with a one-yard Dustin Grutza touchdown run and a 14-yard Dominick Goodman scoring grab, but the big highlight was a 97-yard kickoff return for a score from Mardy Gilyard. Travis Lewis came up with 12 tackles and two sacks for the Sooners.
Player of the game: Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford completed 29-of-38 passes for 395 yards and five touchdowns and two interceptions
Stat Leaders: Oklahoma - Passing: Sam Bradford, 29-38, 395 yds, 5 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: DeMarco Murray, 15-88, 1 TD. Receiving: Ryan Broyle,s, 7-141, 1 TD
Cincinnati - Passing: Dustin Grutza, 19-29, 218 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jacob Ramsey, 8-27 & John Goebel, 8-27. Receiving:
Mardy Gilyard, 7-119
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Cincinnati played well enough to hang around with Oklahoma for almost three quarters, and then the Sooner offensive machine got rolling and the Bearcat attack couldn't keep up. Worst of all, QB Dustin Grutza got knocked out with a broken leg and will be gone for the next several weeks meaning the running game will have to start doing more after rushing for just 87 yards. Backup QB Tony Pike only completed 3-of-11 passes for 21 yards and an interception ... uh oh.

Aug. 30
Cincinnati 40 ... Eastern Kentucky 7
Cincinnati dominated from the start getting out to a 40-0 lead helped by three Dustin Grutza touchdown passes along with a two-yard scoring run. Dominick Goodson had a great night catching ten passes for 144 yards with touchdown grabs from 21 and 15 yards out. EKU was held to eight first downs and was outgained 557 yards to 195 with 61 of them coming on a Cody Watts scoring grab in the third quarter.
Player of the game:
Cincinnati QB Dustin Grutza completed 21 of 28 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns, and ran ten times for 33 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Eastern Kentucky - Passing: Allan Holland, 12-17, 141 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: C.J. Walker, 9-39. Receiving: S. Sizemore, 6-38
Cincinnati - Passing: Dustin Grutza, 21-28, 296 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Donnell McKenzie, 9-79. Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 10-144, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It's not like the Bearcats were relying on Ben Mauk to win his appeal with the NCAA, but it was still important for veteran Dustin Grutza to come through with a big opening day against Eastern Kentucky before facing Oklahoma. The run defense was stifling against the EKU attack while the defense was a brick wall overall outside of the one touchdown allowed. Overall, the team pitched as perfect a game as it could've wanted, and it showed that things might just pick up where they left off after a strong 2007.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Brendon Kay QB 6-4 220 Ira, MI / Marine City
A three-year team captain ... shined as a quarterback, kicker, and punter ... posted a 34-2 record in three years as the starting signalcaller ... Macomb Area Conference Gold Division MVP in 2006 and 2007 ... directed the Mariners to the 2007 Michigan Division 4 State Championship ... completed 133-of-202 passes for 2,083 yards, with 27 touchdowns and also rushed for 561 yards and 15 scores on his way to being named to the Detroit Free Press Dream Team and the Lansing State Journal Catch 22 as a senior ... totaled 1,182 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air and 340 yards on the ground and seven rushing scores a junior ... twice recognized as a Detroit News All-Metro East honoree ... invited to play in the 2008 Michigan East-West All-Star Game

Potential Instant Impact Players

Darrin Williams RB 5-7 175 Detroit, MI / Martin Luther King
Four-year letterwinner at running back ... posted the third-highest rushing total in Michigan prep history books with 2,837 yards to lead the Crusaders to the 2007 Detroit Public School League and Michigan Division 2 State title ... his 350 carries as a senior are the fourth-most in Michigan high school single-season records ... recognized on the Detroit Free Press Dream Team ... a two-time all-state selection ... prep career totals include 714 carries for 5,955 rushing yards, with an 8.3 yards per carry average, and 56 touchdowns

D.J. Woods WR 6-0 170 Strongsville, OH / Strongsville
Three-year letterwinner at wide receiver and defensive back ... recognized on the 2007 Associate Press Division I All-Ohio second team after catching 38 passes before missing his final five games due to injury ... collected 35 receptions for 750 yards (21.4 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns as a junior ...named to the all-Pioneer Conference first team as a junior and again as a senior ... twice recognized with all-Northeast District first team honors ... amassed 153 receptions for 1,797 yards and 18 touchdown grabs for his career ... also scored on five kickoff returns and three punt returns

Rest of the Class
Dominique Battle DB 6-0 175 Boca Raton, FL / American Heritage
Camerron Cheatham DB 5-8 165 Kalamazoo, MI / Central
Evan Davis OL 6-4 250 Cincinnati, OH / Colerain
Dan Giordano DL 6-4 240 Frankford, IL / Lincoln-Way East
Sean Hooey OL 6-8 260 Litchfield, MI / Hillsdale
Bruce Horner DB 6-1 175 Farmington Hills, MI / Harrison
Ike Iloegbu DB 6-1 185 Cincinnati, OH / Harmony (OH)
Travis Kelce QB 6-5 235 Cleveland Heights, OH / Cleveland Heights
Patrick Lambert DB 6-1 190 St. Cloud, FL / Osceola
Danny Milligan WR 5-9 170 Cincinnati, OH / St. Xavier
Brandon Mills DL 5-11 255 Cincinnati, OH / Colerain
Mark Nelson LB 6-2 225 Westerville, OH / Big Walnut
Lynell Payne WR 6-3 205 Marlton, NJ / Cherokee
Isaiah Pead RB 5-11 185 Columbus, OH / Eastmoor Academy
Quincy Quetant DB 6-0 190 Orlando, FL / Timber Creek
Jared Rains DB 5-10 180 Aliquippa, PA / Hopewell
J.K. Schaffer LB 6-1 210 Cincinnati, OH / La Salle
Walter Stewart DL 6-5 220 Ashville, OH / Teays Valley
Nick Truesdell WR 6-7 215 Cincinnati, OH / Anderson
George Winn RB 5-10 175 Southfi eld, MI / U. of Detroit Jesuit
Derek Wolfe DL 6-5 270 Lisbon, OH / Beaver Local

2008 Early Lookahead
Why to get excited: Brian Kelly came over from Central Michigan and took what Mark Dantonio started and improved it. There wasn't a big weak link on the rock-solid team that won ten games, and now the wheels are in motion to keep things going. This might not be as good a squad as last year's, but if QB Ben Mauk is granted another year of eligibility, the offense should be fine while Kelly's defense, while worse, won't be a liability.
Why to be grouchy: CB Mike Mickens returned for his senior year, but there are some huge gaping holes to fill at safety and defensive end. The offense has skill players, as long as Mauk is back, but the line loses three starters. This is a good team, but it'll be worse and will need a few mega-breaks to be a Big East title contender.
The number one thing to work on is: Getting a bit more from the defense. That might be a lot to ask for considering five starters are gone, and with the offense likely to take a wee step back, coming up with more key stops will be a must. The secondary made big plays last year with safeties Haruki Nakamura and Anthony Williams doing a little of everything, but it still gave up 254 yards per game.
Biggest offensive loss: WR/TE Earnest Jackson
Biggest defensive loss: FS Haruki Nakamura
Best returning offensive player: QB Ben Mauk, Sr. (if he's not able to return), OG Trevor Canfield, Sr.
Best returning defensive player: DE Terrill Byrd, Sr.

2007 Recap
Recap: In his first year at the helm, Bearcat head coach left no doubts that he was the right man to replace Mark Dantonio, leading Cincinnati to a bowl victory and its first 10-win season since 1951.  Kelly's spread offense, a stark contrast to Dantonio's conservative running game, was a smashing success, cranking out 36 points and 434 yards a game.  Cincy's three losses came by a total of 16 points, a testament to how much the program grew in such a short period of time, and how close it was to really doing something special.             

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Ben Mauk

Defensive Player of the Year: DT Terrill Byrd

Biggest Surprise: Waxing Oregon State, 34-3, on Sept. 6.  Still a mystery outside the Queen City, the Bearcats gave a glimpse of its potential in front a national TV audience, blocking a punt for a touchdown and picking off six passes, a degree of thievery that would become their trademark in 2007.  

Biggest Disappointment: Unbeaten and ranked in the Top 25 on Oct. 13, Cincinnati allowed struggling Louisville to temporarily find its footing in a sloppy 28-24 loss.  The Bearcats moved the ball well, but committed four turnovers and 11 penalties in a heartbreaking home defeat. 

Looking Ahead: The foundation is in place for Cincinnati to build on last season, and contend for a Big East championship.  The Bearcats are clinging to the hope that Mauk, the heart and soul of the offense, will be granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.       



Related Stories
Kelly Talks About The Class of 2009 - Video
 -by BearcatInsider.com  Feb 4, 2009
Breaking Down The 3-4 Defense
 -by BearcatInsider.com  Feb 11, 2009
Bearcats Make Staff Moves
 -by BearcatInsider.com  Feb 18, 2009

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