Now that we know Munchie Legaux has officially been named the starter, things are starting to get a little clearer with the offense. Munchie was particularly sharp today, hitting Damon Julian in the back of the end zone (and the catch was incredible as well, Julian turned around and was able to pull the ball over the defender's head while remaining in bounds).
RS freshmen Shaq Washington is a really shifty runner and looks great in space. All of the receivers impressed me today. RS freshmen Chris Moore made an unbelievable tip catch in the end zone on one play. Kenbrell Thompkins and Alex Chisum looked great as well. They are really developing some depth at wide receiver and it looks like it could be a position of strength for this Cincinnati offense.
The coaches were really preaching the importance of finishing runs. Even after a halfback has been tackled, he has to get up and finish running out the play. They're really trying to instill a tough running style, and the players really seem to have responded to it. Another aspect being preached to the running backs is "chinning" the ball, or making sure you keep the ball high and secured. Fumbles are momentum killers and working on those basic fundamentals during camp can pay HUGE dividends come game time.
The defensive line continues to get pressure in the backfield, making it difficult to find holes for the running game. There's a lot of experience along the D-line and they have played with discipline all camp long. Look for them to help lead the defense.
Camerron Cheatham continues to show leadership in the secondary, not only vocally, but with his play as well. It's around this time that leaders need to step up and prepare the team for game day, and Cam has seemed to be one of those guys. He also made a nice pick during the scrimmage drills, sliding back in zone and picking off the pass intended for the tight end.
Elijah Shuler had a HUGE hit towards the end of practice. He absolutely obliterated the running back, and that got the defense pumped up. I know I've said it before, but this team really loves being around one another, and you can sense that during the practices. They get on each other teams do, but it's never in a malicious way, they want to help make one another better, and that's the mark of a great team.
In talking to some of the players this week, they are totally focused on Pitt. This is a rivalry game for them, and they want to keep it in Cincinnati. Specifically in talking to some seniors, I asked them if they have thought about the notion that this is their last first game as a Bearcat, they all said the same thing, "We're just focused on Pitt". Coach Jones is doing a great job with preparing these players, and there are truly taking it one game at a time.