Favored to win the American Athletic Conference East Division, Cincinnati will get an early test with in-conference foe Temple coming to Nippert Stadium.
But what do Tommy Tuberville and the Bearcats need to worry about?
After all the Bearcats did put up 636 yards of total offense and kept Alabama A&M out of the end zone after the 1st quarter.
Lightning delayed the game Saturday night and perhaps gave the Bearcats jitters as this was their first real live game action in eight months.
Maybe that’s why they got off to a slow start allowing Alabama A&M to stick around in the first quarter before blowing the game open in the 2nd quarter.
Overall it was a good night for Bearcat Nation right?
Not much to complain about as the Bearcats head into American Athletic Conference play vs Temple.
Tuberville pointed out a few miscues his team needs to improve upon before the big matchup Saturday during his weekly meeting with the media as he felt the
biggest disappointment he saw was the play of the special teams unit.
Bearcats special teams gave up a punt block and had 4 penalties.Tuberville pointed to those issues as inexcusable and in practice this week the coaching staff has placed an even bigger emphasis on the special teams unit.
Tuberville knows Temple will put pressure on the Bearcats special team unit and try to create turnovers.The most unappreciated faze in football is more often than not special teams and games can be won or lost based on how well the special teams unit plays for a particular football team.The impact of special teams can’t be underestimated so it’s important for the Bearcats to improve on special teams this week.
This week the Bearcats can’t make as many mistakes as they did against Alabama A&M. The Bearcats are getting into the heat of their schedule early this season so consider this matchup with the Owls “a must win”.
Temple is coming off a huge win over Penn State and will be ready for the Bearcats.
Tuberville spoke about last seasons matchup with the Owls this week, a game in which the Bearcats won 14-6.
He also spoke directly about Temple and the direction their football program is headed.
“It’s obvious they are the darling team of the country and they should be,” said Tuberville. “They got experience and depth on defense. It starts with their defense.”
Tuberville is completely right about how the Owls success is predicated around their ability to rush the QB. They tallied up 10 sacks against Penn State in last weeks upset win over Penn State and will look to pressure Gunner Kiel in the same manner.
One of biggest ways to eliminate a team with a great pass rush is by running the football. The Bearcats rushed for 309 yards against Alabama A&M. The running back by committee seems to be working for Tuberville and the Bearcats.
Fresh legs will be needed to run the football in order to take some pressure off Kiel. So Tion Green, Hosey Williams and Michael Boone will be counted on more than ever against Temple on Saturday night in Nippert Stadium.
Stay with Bearcat Insider for more coverage leading up to the game and following it.