Look Back Indiana St. - Report Card

The Bearcats got right in their 40-7 win over Indiana State. We break it down position by position in this week's report card.

QUARTERBACK

Zach Collaros had an understated game statistically only attempting 17 passes against the Sycamores, but made good on 11 of those attempts. While he didn't put up the eye-popping numbers many fans may have hoped for, the Bearcats didn't need him to as the running game did most of the heavy lifting on Saturday.

Collaros was a part of that stellar running attack running 11 times for 57 yards, but was also seen downfield setting key blocks on runs for both Darrin Williams and John Goebel. That is one of the things the Bearcats players love about Collaros is that he isn't just worried about his own passing stats but is willing to get his nose dirty also.

All in all, Collaros hasn't looked like the same player as last year but did what was necessary to get the win on Saturday, and that is what a leader is supposed to do. Grade: B

RUNNING BACKS

The Cincinnati running game didn't miss a beat without starter Isaiah Pead, racking up 302 yards on the ground. Getting his first college start Darrin Williams showed the burst, vision and toughness that he showed in the spring game when both Pead and Goebel were out with injury.

John Goebel also had a strong performance, scoring his first touchdowns in two seasons while putting up 75 yards. While most of the talk coming into the season was about the depth at wide receiver, the depth at running back could be just as good.

The Cincinnati running game will get a bigger barometer of its self on Thursday when they travel to N.C. State, where they may or may not have Pead on the field, as he will be a game-day decision. Grade: A

OFFENSIVE LINE

After struggling big time in the opener at Fresno State giving up eight sacks, the offensive line seemed to find its self against an under matched Indiana State team. While they still struggled at times to pass protect, they had little trouble with run blocking as evidenced by UC's 302 rushing yards.

Sam Griffin continues look like a player up front and the addition of Randy Martinez is looking like a smart move.

The Bearcats inserted one new starter on the line for Indiana State and are still trying to build continuity after a couple of offseason position shifts. Saturday's win should be a big step in building that continuity. Of course we will learn a lot more about the offensive line after the N.C. State game. Grade: A-

WIDE RECEIVERS

Only two wide receivers actually caught a pass on Saturday; D.J. Woods and Armon Binns. While those two had solid games, the Bearcats are going to have to get something out of Marcus Barnett and the other wide outs who rotate into the game in order to get this passing game going. Of course they didn't get much of an opportunity to catch many passes with only 17 attempts in the game. However, the talent is there now they just need to produce. Grade: C

TIGHT END

Ben Guidugli again didn't catch many passes (two) and has not been targeted in the passing game much this season. However, Guidugli's contribution is not limited to his receptions as he is a good blocker as well. So while it may not always show up on the stat sheet, Guidugli is still an important part of the offense. Grade: C+

DEFENSIVE LINE

Once again the defense was able to shine. Derek Wolf continues to excel in the 4-3 defense with five tackles. Brandon Mills has looked good the first two weeks recording 3 tackles against Indiana State, one for a loss.

The move back to the 4-3 seems to have really helped the line stop the run so far this season. Grade: B

LINEBACKERS

The move back to the 4-3 also seems to have helped the linebackers. J.K. Schaeffer continues to emerge as a top linebacker in the Big East and maybe the country. Schaeffer shows a good nose for the ball and solid wrap up tackling. He totaled nine tackles, one for a loss and one pass break up on Saturday.

Sophomore Maalik Bomar has stepped up as well in his first season as a starter. Bomar always seems to be around the play and has showed some real pop when tackling. Grade: B+

DEFENSIVE BACKS

The young defensive backfield looked better against Indiana State, part of which could be attributed to the return of Dominique Battle. While holding Washington transfer Ronnie Fouch to 161 yards on 38 attempts, where they looked the best perhaps was in run defense. Improvement is still needed but the talent is definitely there. Grade: C+

SPECIAL TEAMS

Jake Rogers made his only attempt, a 48-yarder and hit all of his extra points. As we all know, leg strength has never been his problem and it was good to see him on target on Saturday. Patrick O'Donnell had a very solid day averaging 43.2 yards on his four punts with three of those inside the 20. Grade: B


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