It’s never easy when your team losses a game many felt you had a chance to beat against a power conference opponent.
Sunday, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville and his staff looked to put the final work in on the teams 50-28 loss to Ohio State. A loss that leaves some uncertainty about the team’s overall health on the offensive line going forward.
“A lot of feelings hurt,” Tuberville opened with. “We’ve got to assess the offensive line. We’ve got a couple of guys beat up and have got to get somebody back this week as we’re going to be playing defensive linemen at offensive line.
“So I don’t know much right now as we’ll have to wait until tomorrow and see. But it’s pretty much the walking wounded on the line. Everybody else we’ll have to wait and see as we’ve got a few guys beat up but 24-hours will tell the tale.
“We’ve got MRIs out and I think we have three or four MRIs out today. So we won’t know those until early in the morning.”
In his post game comments Tuberville talked about the possibility of playing freshman if needed. Has he given any thought on who might be looked upon to fill in?
“We’ll just have to wait and see what position as we’ll have to move people around as there are a couple of positions we’re getting a little short at,” he explained. “Again, I won’t know until tomorrow. So there is no reason to speculate that.”
While fans may be looking for changes along the defensive coaching staff, Tuberville stressed he’s not going to panic or make any hasty changes.
“There isn’t nothing we can do,” he said. “We keep playing people like we played last night, we’re going to have to start playing 15 guys cause we couldn’t stop them for sure. But nah, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and try and get better at it.”
While most are pointing fingers at the Bearcats defense the lack of a running game on offense has also been a concern.
“We had 15 passes the first half and 18 runs,” he said. “We’ve had a few work, but with the makeshift offensive line we’ve had, the passing game has been a whole lot more successful. So that’s what we do best. The only mismatch we had last night was our receivers. So you’ve got to use what you’ve got.”
Asked again about the officiating and calls that many felt hurt the Bearcats chances of making it a closer game, Tuberville knows a team controls their destiny.
“I can’t complain about them,” he said. “But two went against us we would have liked if they had gone the other way. We would have had a shot to even go ahead in the third quarter. But they didn’t and you can’t complain about those as you’ve got to make your own breaks.”
While the defense struggled overall, Tuberville felt his secondary showed some improvement despite the Buckeyes high offensive output.
“We played a little bit better in the secondary.” he said. “We didn’t tackle very well. I think we had a lot of missed tackles. We’ve had missed tackles all year long and we’ve worked on it and its just part of the game.
“There is more than lining up, you’ve got to tackle when the tackles there. They were a lot more physical than we were and a lot fresher than we were. They pushed us around pretty good. We competed but until the middle of the second quarter we didn’t get anything going on defense. So we didn’t give the quarterback any problems and they got way too many yards on first down.”
As for the reasons behind his team’s poor tackling, Tuberville also explained making the tackle is one small part of the things his defense needs to do better.
“You can work on tackling all you want,” he continued. “But that’s more about athletic ability as that’s a natural thing as all you do is lock your arms. We work on it and we work on technique. But bottom line is you’ve got to get the job done, you’ve got to wrap-up.
“But you have to get more than one person to the ball. Last night, we were trying to make tackles in the open field with one guy. You’ve got to get three or four guys at the point of attack.”
What has Tuberville seen from the Bearcats next opponent Memphis?
“I haven’t even looked at them yet,” stressed Tuberville. “We’re just finishing this one up, going to put it to bed and work on the mistakes this afternoon and work on them (Memphis) tonight.”