Thunder and Lightning

George Winn and Ralph Abernathy IV provide a diverse set of skills for the Cincinnati offense.

It's been a day or two since Cincinnati's opening game win against Big East rival Pittsburgh. Many pundits have weighed in on the status of the Bearcats offense, and most of that pub has focused on quarterback Munchie Legaux, which is must deserved. However, I believe people are over-looking a very important aspect of UC's domination Thursday night, the play of running backs George Winn and Ralph Abernathy IV. Winn began the game with a 58-yard touchdown run, where he broke through the line and rumbled into the end zone untouched. It was a great play, but one that did not show Winn's greatest attribute as a back, his power. Sitting at 5-11 and 210 pounds, Winn is a big, strong back that can run over guys with one quick burst. He was able to show this on his second touchdown run of the game, a tough, hard-nosed nine-yard bull-dozing into the end zone. Winn is somebody that likes contact, and seeing guys bounce off him is something that gets the fans excited.

Then you have Ralph Abernathy IV, the lighting to Winn's thunder. Throughout the game, Abernathy would get the ball in space, make one or two guys miss and be on his way to a big gain on either a reception or a carry. On one play, Abernathy received a handoff, ran left into a defender, spun out of the tackle, ran back to the right side and gained 13 yards. It's a play that perfectly describes the skill set that he brings to this UC offense. Depth is such an important part of having a successful offense in college football. Diversity is probably a close second. Having two completely different types of running backs in an offense is such a huge advantage. It forces the defense to game plan for two different styles of rushing attacks. When Winn (thunder) is in the game, the defense needs to be prepared to get hit, and get hit hard. When UC brings in Abernathy (lightning) the defense needs to make sure they stay disciplined, because Ralph will put you on a highlight tape quickly with one juke-move. If Coach Jones continues to utilize this advantage the way he did Thursday night, expect to see a lot of highlight worthy plays coming from this Bearcat offense.


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