Bearcats Win But Still Need Work

The Bearcats returned to Nippert Stadium for Saturday's matchup with Indiana State hoping to fix some blaring problems that plagued them last week against Fresno State. What I saw came as a surprise in the first half of the game against the Sycamores.

With a 12-7 halftime score, I, just like everyone else that was sitting in the stands was very nervous. Let alone the fact that this wasn't a Big East, Big 10, Big 12 or even a ranked opponent, but an FCS school that had not won a single game last season. Cincinnati had scored one TD, a field goal and a safety.

Maybe there was some hangover from the Fresno State game?

Or maybe this team has not adjusted to this new offense?

Whatever the reason, the first half was not the Bearcats that we are all use to seeing.

There were fumbles, dropped balls, penalties, and missed opportunities with almost everything going wrong.

At halftime though, Coach Jones must have lost his cool because the Bearcats came out smoking in the second half. Now I have to really be honest with you, I love the running game that UC is establishing. It can pay dividends late in the game when you are trying to run out the clock, but where is the passing game?

Realistically, can we really beat teams by running the ball? I don't know if this is the type of team that is built for that. There is no lead fullback and I really am concerned that if we can't throw it down the field effectively then teams will just stack the line to take away the run.

On a positive note though was the improved play of the defense that only allowed one TD. Darrin Williams and John Goebel also turned in good performances in the absence of Isiah Pead.

Armon Binns was his steady self and DJ Woods turned in another solid game minus the fumbles and losing his cool at one point during the game.

Again though I am still puzzled by the non-production of Ben Guidugli and Marcus Barnett. These two have to give the Bearcats production in the passing game if they are going to have success offensively.

Now the Bearcats have a quick turnaround and they must face a tough NC State team on the road Thursday night. I think that this game will show if the Bearcats made any significant strides in their game against ISU.

Of course, it is very hard to gauge how good you are against an inferior opponent but if the Bearcats can play the type of game they played in the second half Saturday, then good things will happen.

I still have to say that I can't really draw a bead on this UC team just yet. They do some things good and some things bad and they really haven't put a complete game together yet.

Not turning the ball over and scoring points will be key to the game on Thursday. I hope that this team can turn the corner because the next two weeks are going to be a rough one.

**Bob Duckens Jr. is a former University of Cincinnati football player who earned four letters from 1990-1993. Bob has been part of since the 2007 season.  Bob brings an honest approach to the game of football and what he feels are the strengths and weakness of the team.**

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