CINCINNATI, OHIO - The 2005 version of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team saw many new faces take the field in the team's season opener. In a mid-week contest, the Bearcats played host to the Eastern Michigan Eagles in front of a Thursday night crowd of 26,386.
With the holiday weekend just a day away, the Bearcats defeat the Eagles 31-20 and gave Bearcat fans hope of another bowl season in 2005. By scoring 31 points, the Bearcats offense was the talk of the game as fans left Nippert Stadium to celebrate the team's victory.
Leading the Bearcats was quarterback Dustin Grutza. Grutza shook off a shaky start and found his grove in leading the Bearcats to victory.
While Grutza had a good night, it was the Bearcats running attack that proved too much for the Eagles on this night. Running backs Bradley Glatthaar and Delbert Ferguson both carried the ball fourteen times and showed why the Bearcats offense will look to the run in 2005.
Glatthaar gained 126 yards and scored one touchdown, while Ferguson scored twice and rushed for 185 yards. This was Ferguson's first college game after missing 2004 recovering from an injury sustained during his senior year of high school. With his output, Bearcat fans saw first hand why Delbert Ferguson was considered one of the nations top running back recruits.
While Glatthaar and Ferguson had most of the carries, Mike Daniels made the most of his 5 carries and picked up 47 yards on the ground and added another 27 yards receiving. For the night the Bearcats rushed for 359 total yards.
The Bearcats didn't rely on the ground game for all of their scoring. Grutza hit tight end Brent Celek for a 17 yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter. For the game Grutza would complete 12 passes on 18 attempts for 171 yards. With his performance Grutza put to rest the concerns of Bearcat fans after replacing Bearcat passing leader Gino Guidugli.
While the Bearcats offense had a great night, the Bearcats defense took a bend but not break approach to the game. With many new faces playing in their first game, Coach Narduzzi's defense gave up many yards but played tough when it mattered most.
While the two veterans led the way, newcomers Andre Revels, Leo Morgan, Patrick Mimms and Thomas Claggett all had good nights. But the talk of the game was Terrill Byrd who made his first career start in his first game as a Bearcat. Byrd didn't let down the hometown fans as he caused havoc and recorded his first career sack to go with 3 tackles.
Other true freshmen who played included Brad Jones, Mike Mickens, Connor Barwin, Cedric Tolbert and Kazeem Alli. While most of their play was on special teams, their athletic ability showed during the course of the game.
For the Eagles, quarterback Matt Bohnet had a very good night in passing for 317 yards while going 24-39. His main target was Eric Deslauriers who pulled down 9 catches for 128 yards on the night. Running back Anthony Sherrell rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries. While the Eagles posted some big offensive numbers, they couldn't get the ball in the end zone and had to settle for two field goals by Andrew Wellock.
The Bearcats travel to College Park to face Penn State on Saturday September 10th. The game will be televised by ESPN 2.
PASSING - UC - GRUTZA 12-18-171-1-0 SPITZER 1-2-5-0-0
RUSHING - UC - FERGUSON 14-185-2 GLATTHAAR 14-126-1 DANIELS 5-47-0 JONES 2-7-0 GRUTZA 2- -6-0
RECEIVING - UC - GIDDENS 3-46 DANIELS 2-27 CELEK 3-39-1 DAVIS 1-8 JACKSON 2-34 GLATTHAAR 1-7 POLAND 1-15
This article is for entertainment purposes only. Bearcat Insider accepts no responsibility for actual game results during our "Crystal Ball" series. These stories are for the enjoyment of Bearcat football fans during this time without football.