Monday, March 7, 2011

Cincinnati Bearcats 2010 Review

2010 Record: 4-8 (2-5), 7th Big East
2010 Bowl Game: None
2010 Schedule/Results
@ Fresno State, L 28-14
Indiana State, W 40-7
@ NC State, L  30-19
Oklahoma, L 31-29
Miami (Ohio), W 45-3
@ Louisville, W 35-27
South Florida, L 38-30
Syracuse, L 31-7
@ West Virginia, L 37-10
Rutgers, W 69-38
@ UConn, L 38-17
Pittsburgh, L 28-10

417.3 yards per game

The falings of the Bearcats in 2010 had a little to do with the offense, as they did their job as advertised only half of the time, and they tended to disappear the other half. When you look at the stats, the Bearcats failed to score more than 19 pojts in a game 6 times. By stark contrast, they scored 30 points or more 6 times. This is a painting of a team that lacked identity and confidence, and failed to play up to their big play ability. There were significant injuries at times, but the talent pool was deep, and is not a good excuse for this team. The offense also remained almost exactly the same with Butch Jones having replaced Bian Kelly as coach after Kelly left for Notre Dame.
Zach Collaros did what he was supposed to do at QB, having passed for 2902 yards (263.8 per game) and 26 TDs in 12 games. He did toss 14 picks, but averaged 34.8 attempts per game, which is exceptionally high. Collaros will have a chance to be the team savior as he returns as a senior in 2011.
You can't blame Isaiah Pead at RB, as he crossed the 1000 yard marker (1029 yards) and 6 TDs while rushing for 6 TDs on the season. There is one issue, as other back rushed for more than 188 yards on the season, making for a void of depth behind Pead. Collaros was actually the second leading rusher with 288 yards.
The loss of Vidal Hazelton in the opener against Fresno State proved to be a major issue, but Cincy had more than enough talent on hand to make up for the loss. Armon Binns was one of the more talented WRs in the nation, and he collected 75 grabs for 1101 yards and 10 TDs as a senior. DJ Woods was solid in his own right, as he collected 57 receptions for 898 yards and 8 TDs. After that, the production dropped by more than half, with Marcus Bennett only collecting 25 catches and Anthony McClung only hauled in 22.

369.4 yards allowed per game

Let's be real here. Cincy's strong suit has never been on the defensive side of the football. That again was the case in 2010. The Bearcats gave up 27 points or more in 10 of 12 games in 2010, putting a huge strain on an uneven offense to keep up the pace. Teams passed on the Cats at a pace of 234 yards per game.
JK Schaffer may have been one of the more under appreciated LBs in the nation, as he put a ton of production on his own shoulders by racking up 111 tackles (9.25 per game). 67 of those tackles were solo jobs by Schaffer. After Schaffer, production fell to 5.83 tackles per game (LB Maalik Bomar).
Brandon Mills was the only player on the team, much less the line, that registered much pressure on the backfield having registered 12.5 TFLs. He is the only Bearcat defender that registered double digits there, and also led the team with 6 sacks. UC will have to put more pressure on opposing offenses if they hope to rebound in 2011.
Schaffer, Reuben Johnson, and Camerron Cheatham all tied for the team lead with 5 passes defense, but there was very little in the way of pressure in the secondary, as Drew Frey and Wesley Richardson tied with only 2 picks a piece to lead the team. Again, pressure has to be upped, and playmaking must be better in 2011.


Jake Rogers handled the PK job in 2010, and he was solid, as he connected on 11 of his 14 attempts. He will have to be replaced in 2011, but Cincy should not have an issue finding a quality replacement.
Pat O'Donnell was a solid punter in 2010, having averaged 41.88 yards per punt.O'Donnel will be a junior in 2011, and if the defense does not improve, his leg will be an important factor in giving them as much room to work as possible next year.


The Bearcats are definitely falling under my most disappointing teams in 2010. I felt that with the talent that they had returning, that they should have been more than able to compete in a very weak Big East, but the Bearcats reversed course in Butch Jones' first season, and became a bad team in a very poor conference. Improvement is not out of reach in 2011, as the Bearcats still have one of the best QBs in the conference in Collaros. The offense finding a consistent groove is a good start, but the defense has to catch up at some point, and that hasn't happened. Finding a competent and complimentary piece to Schaffer on defense is an immediate must, as he cannot do it alone.

9/1 Austin Peay, 9/10 @ Tennessee, 9/17 Akron, 9/22 NC State, 10/1 @ Miami (Ohio), 10/15 Louisville, 10/22 @ South Florida, 11/5 @ Pittsburgh, 11/12 West Virginia, 11/19 @ Rutgers, 11/26 @ Syracuse, 12/3 UConn

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