This was not Eastern Michigan, Ohio University or even Marshall, this was the Oklahoma Sooners. A traditional powerhouse that has a long-standing history of putting out great teams and producing alot of NFL talent. If you want to measure where your program is and where it's going, you play against top notch opponents and this was what the Cats needed.
Sink or swim? I think that the Bearcats are swimming right now and all they need in order to get out of the water is the rescue boat to show up and it will in the form of the Miami Redhawks in two weeks.
This has been a tough opening to the 2010 season, on the road at Fresno State and NC State and at home against Oklahoma. The Bearcats had looked like a lost team during their two losses but that all changed Saturday against the Sooners.
What I saw was a more determined team that was focused in on what they needed to do in order to win the game. The offense went back to what made them great by keeping Zach Collaros in the pocket and throwing more while keeping the defense honest running Isiah Pead just enough to open up the pass and keep the rush off the QB.
The defense played stellar by not allowing Oklahoma and their offense to get into any kind of groove and forcing them into several three and outs. The special teams got great play from the punting and kicking games and the Cats grew more confident as the game went on.
The only blemish to all these great things was that the Bearcats turned the ball over three times and ended up losing the game in the end.
Even though you don't play this game for moral victories, the Bearcats can truly build on this game for the rest of the season.
When you play this close to a Top 10 team, it's easy for the coach to convince his team that if they continue to play like this and clean up the mistakes, you are right there ready for great things to happen.
Contrary to what the fans up in Columbus say, the Buckeyes learned nothing more about their team by smashing EMU 73-20.
No, I would rather have it this way!
I know that all of us would rather take the win over OU instead of the loss but I think this is exactly the spark that this team needed in order to believe in each other and get back on the right track.
The Sooners were happy to get out of town with the win but the Bearcats made them earn every bit of it.
The identity I have been waiting for is there, the passion is there, the hunger is there and some younger players that have felt their way around for the first three games are starting to learn. This is what Bearcat football is all about!
Next up is a much needed bye week and then the battle for the bell against the hated Miami Redhawks.
The only way that the Oklahoma loss is a positive is that we must see the same things from the Bearcats against the Redhawks as we saw in this game. That would translate into a huge win against Miami.
Then and only then will I feel that the Bearcats are on the right track. If the Bearcats do not channel this energy and play flat against Miami, then this is going to be a long season.
Let's just hope that the Bearcats use this bye week wisely and come out smoking on October 9th.