Friday, November 16, 2007

Loni Anderson is the Only Good Thing That Ever Came Out of Cincinnati

Well, WKRP in general. I didn't want to leave that last post up as my last post before the game Saturday between WVU and Cincinnati. Still if you have a really good idea about a new cheer, don't be bashful.

Anyhow, we're playing a team that is somewhat of an enigma. They're 4th in total offense and sixth in total defense in the Big East. However they are 2nd in scoring and 2nd in scoring defense. I know it's been said a million times, but the reason is because they are ball hawks. They are 3rd in the country in turnover margin with a +16. I didn't know this, but WVU is 4th with +12. Hmmm. Anyhow, in their two losses against Louisville and Pitt they lost the turnover battle badly. So it would stand to reason that if we don't turn the ball over, we are going to kick their mother lovin' ass.

Their other Achilles heal is that they commit almost 10 penalties per game for 80 yards per.

On the other hand, last year they only averaged about 20,000 per game home attendance. This year's numbers aren't complete, but it looks like they are getting closer to 35,000 per home game. Which I give total credit to new coach Brian Kelly, who has worked the crowd like no one in school history. Besides taking over the team in December of last year and coaching them to an International Bowl win, he's been out pumping up UC football in every way imaginable. Besides speaking to anyone who would listen in the off season, he ran a daily blog for one of the Cincinnati paper through training camp. I don't believe any of it is available now, but it was good stuff to read. He's brutally honest about things he doesn't like. And you have to respect that from a coach. Most would just gloss any situation over and move on. He tells you what he thinks.
Finally getting some love from the Cincy Media, has been a big hurdle for the Bearcats. But winning will do that for you.

How are we going to attack this team? Defensively we have to do the same thing we've done to everyone else. We have to shut down the run and make them one dimensional. Ben Mauk is a pretty nifty runner in his own right. So someone has to spy on him. Mr. Wicks? Mr. Wicks! Cincy has an almost 2:1 passing yards to rushing yards ratio. So they can throw the ball. Mauk has thrown 21 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions this year.

On offense we can not be predictable. One thing this team is looking for is to jump on what you do, ie bubble screens. Sure we need to run the ball a lot. But we also need to show them one thing, and do something else. When is the last time we did a down out and up? Pump fakes are your friend Pat. Cincy leads the nation in interceptions with 22, though. So if it isn't there, don't throw it! They also are the only other Big East team besides WVU that holds their opponents to less than 100 yards rushing a game.

This is a very winnable game for the Mountaineers, but I think it's going to be a tough one. We desperately need to generate some big plays on both sides of the ball. And we really really really need to have a 300+ yard rushing day. For the sake of any hope at a BCS title game, we need to impress some voters this weekend. We have a nationally televised stage to do it on again this week. My wish is to hear 5,000+ Mountaineer fans cheering Let's Go! Mountaineers! at the end of this one a la 2005.

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