We highlighted the Cougars offense and defense earlier in the week now we are here to put a spotlight on the head coach and special teams.
The Cougars are led by Bronco Mendenhall, he has been at the helm going on 11 years and has a record of 94-41 including a current record of 4-2. Mendenhall has led the Cougars to 10 straight bowl games and seems on track to make it 11 how this year is going so far. The Cougars have had five 10 plus win seasons with Mendenhall and have won 6-4 bowl games they have been in under the coach. Mendenhall has navigated the Cougars smoothly out of Mountain West Conference play to life as an Independent. He is a very good coach and Coach Tuberville will have to be on his a game to match wits with the Cougars head guy.
Special Teams is led by Kelly Poppinga who also doubles as outside linebackers coach. The Cougars sport a solid kicking game as placekicker Trevor Samson is 9/11 this season on field goal attempts. His longest made is from 45 yards out. He hasn’t missed an extra point attempt this season and one of his two misses is because it was blocked. Punter Jonny Linehan is solid also with an average of 43.7 yards per punt, 9 punts inside the 20 and 6 punts over 50 yards. On kick returns and punt returns the Cougars haven’t shown much explosion at all. The longest punt return was 11 yards by Micah Hannemann who is the man return guy. The main kick returner is Devon Blackmon and his season long is 29 yards. The Bearcats should be able to keep their kick game in check and the Cougars have allowed a punt return for a touchdown this season.
This should bode well for the Bearcats being that the Cougars aren’t explosive in the kick game.
|K||Trevor Samson||Austin Brasher|
|P||Jonny Linehan||Rhett Almond|
|KR||Micah Hannemann||Eric Takenaka|
|PR||Devon Blackmon||Eric Takenaka|