Bearcat Insider previews the Bearcats first opponent of the year UT Martin Skyhawks

Thursday night at Nippert Stadium, the boys from Clifton will be back on the field at 7 pm and they will be taking on UT Martin. Bearcat Insider wanted to help you know what the Bearcats will be getting into in their season opener. Check the post below.

With no current year stats I’ll do my best job to paint a picture for you guys about the UT Martin Skyhawks. The Skyhawks were picked fourth by the Ohio Valley Conference in the preseason. They went 7-4 last season and 6-2 in the OVC (Ohio Valley Conference).

Offense

The Skyhawks run the spread, something the Bearcats are used to seeing playing in the American Athletic Conference. While the Skyhawks will feature a new quarterback (Gunnar Holcombe) under center, the squad will rely heavily on the play of redshirt-junior wide receiver Caylon Weathers who tied for the team lead with 62 catches for 726 yards (11.7 yards per catch average) and eight touchdowns. The offense will also feature the three-headed ground attack of sophomore Jaimiee Bowe and seniors Ladevin Fair and Najee Ray to carry a heavy load for the Skyhawks. On the offensive line, the Skyhawks return three of five starting lineman which lead the league in sacks per dropbacks percentage (2.27 percent).

Defense

The Skyhawks play a 3-3-5, a la teams coached by Rich Rodriquez. On the defensive side of the ball, UT Martin returns All-OVC performer Damani Taylor at defensive end while redshirt-senior Keith Jones provides a powerful pass rush attack. The trio of starting linebackers Caleb Counce, Kevin Prather, Jr. and James Gilleylen return to the fold after earning preseason honors by College Sports Madness.

The Bearcats are the more talented team, but they shouldn’t take UT Martin lightly, this team has a few players that have come from bigger programs and this program has been battle tested just look at their schedule last season. With that being said I expect the Bearcats to put a beating on the Skyhawks Thursday night.


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