This offense goes as Munchie Legaux goes. If he's on and playing like he did against Pitt and Virginia Tech, the offense is nearly unstoppable with their pass/run balance. If he's off, and committing turnovers like he did against Delaware State, it's a whole different story. With the strides made against the Hokies, I believe Munchie has turned a corner as a quarterback. He look poised in the pocket, made some tough throws and led his team to a come from behind win, essentially on the road, against one of the more talented defenses in the country. The question is whether he can continue to build on that against the Redhawks.
Question 2: What about the rushing attack?
Coming into the Virginia Tech game, the Cincinnati offense was averaging over 250 yards rushing per game, good for top 30 in the country. However, against the Hokies, they put up less than half of that, with George Winn, Munchie Legaux and Ralph Abernathy IV putting up only 117 yards combined. The numbers were low, but they still ran hard, especially Winn, who continues to be one of the breakout stars of this Cincinnati offense early in the season. Against a weaker Miami defense, running the ball shouldn't be nearly as difficult.
Question 3:Will the receivers continue to play up to their potential?
The breakout star of the Virginia Tech game easily belonged to Kenbrell Thompkins. The senior wideout finished the game with seven catches for 134 yards and one touchdown, giving Munchie the go-to receiver he has so desperately needed. The question going forward is, can it continue? This group is not short on talent or experience, with both spread evenly across the board. The hope is that UC can develop another guy to go along with Thompkins, somebody like an Anthony McClung, or if they can continue to get production from senior Damon Julian. If they can, look for the offense to be even more explosive.
Question 4: Will the defense continue to produce turnovers?
One of the saving graces of this Cincinnati football team has been their defenses ability to force turnovers at opportune times. Against the Hokies, UC's defense was able to thwart a Hokie drive by forcing an interception in the red zone, one play after a touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty. This strategy is usually not planned, most coaches were prefer to NOT have to play defense in the red zone, but it is an effective one. It shifts momentum back in Cincinnati's favor and helps keep points off the board. We'll see if this can continue against their rivals from the MAC.
Question 5: Can UC's bend but don't break defense continue to be effective?
Before I start this, let me say that I think UC's defense has played phenomenal this year. They lost a TON of talent from last year's team and have continued to play great of the defensive side of the ball. However, they have given up more yards per game then I'm sure the UC coaches would have liked on D. It hasn't been a problem because Cincinnati's red zone defense has been terrific, holding opponents to field goals and forcing turnovers at an incredible rate. One would believe that this is a tough style to continue throughout the season, and one that can blow up against a better offense. This Miami team is a passing team through and through, so this UC secondary will be tested early and often. The yards might pile up again, let's just see if the Bearcats can help hold those drives to field goals and limit the touchdowns.