Bearcat fans know very well who Dan Hoard is. Dan has been with Fox19 (WXIX) since November of 1995. In that time Dan has seen his responsibilities increase from sports anchor to voice of the Bearcats. Doing both UC Football and Basketball has allowed Hoard the chance to watch the Bearcats up close. That is why Bearcat Insider asked Dan to give his "KEYS" to a Bearcats victory over Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions.
GAME TWO: PENN STATE
12:00 P.M. EDT BEAVER STADIUM (107,282)
TV: WXIX 19 ESPN PLUS
RADIO: 700 WLW
TICKETS: STILL AVAILABLE WHEN PUBLISHED
WEATHER: HIGH IN THE UPPER 70'S CLEAR
2005 RECORD: BOTH TEAMS ENTER WITH 1-0 MARKS
Week Two has the Bearcats making a tough road trip to Beaver Stadium to battle the Nittany Lions of Penn State. As the dust has settled from the Eastern Michigan game, there are still some questions this Bearcats team will have to answer when they take the field on Saturday afternoon.
LISTED BELOW ARE THE KEYS TO THE BEARCATS HAVING A GREAT TRIP
DAN HOARD Fox19 WXIX
1. Avoid turnovers and blocked punts. That's obviously always important, but it's absolutely crucial against Penn State's outstanding defense. Moving the ball will be tough . . . South Florida did not pick up a first down on its first 5 possessions last week. Cincinnati has to hold on to the ball and make Penn State go on long drives to score. Unlike last week, UC will not be able to pound the ball on the ground. Coach Treadwell has to mix up his play-calling to keep Penn State guessing, because there's no weak link on the Penn State defense.
2. Stop the run. Penn State did not do much offensively last week. Two long runs in the 2nd half made their rushing numbers look good, but this is not a good offensive football team. Dare senior quarterback Michael Robinson to throw the ball. Going into this season he had started 11 games at RB or WR and only 6 at QB. He only passed for 90 yards last week and looked to run at the first sign of a pass rush. If you can get him into obvious passing situations, an interception or two is possible (he had an INT and 2 fumbles last week).
3.Don't allow WR's Derrick Williams or Justin King to make a huge play. Joe Paterno's too old to recruit right? Well, Williams was considered by some recruiting experts to be the #1 recruit in the country last year, and Athlon ranks Williams and King as the top 2 newcomers in the Big 10. Penn State threw a bomb to Williams on the first play of the game last week (there was a penalty on the play) and King had a 61 yard reverse, so both are major concerns.
1. I agree with Dan about turnovers and the punting game. After a poor performance against Eastern Michigan there is only one way to go, UP!!! Your guess is as good as mine as to who will do the punting this week. On Tuesday, Coach Dantonio stated the job was still open. As for turnovers, the Bearcats must hold onto the ball. I disagree with Dan on the running game. This is UC's strongest area of play. Will they have a big rushing day like they did against Eastern Michigan? No! But they will use the run and get around 150 yards to help keep Penn State on their toes while Dustin Grutza rolls out and hit several short passes to keep the ball moving. Key Players: Brent Celek & Mike Daniels
2. I look for Penn State to try and overload the Bearcats defensive front. While Dan looks at the Lions young wide receivers as being main threats, I look at the running game as being the main area that will need to be stopped. Tony Hunt rushed for 140 yards last week and will look to have just as big of a day. But the real threat will be quarterback Michael Robinson can also use his feet to pick up large chunks of yards. The play of the front seven will determine the winner of this game. KEY PLAYERS: Anthony Hoke & Terrill Byrd
3.Dan says watch the young receivers for Joe Pa. I say keep an eye on the Nittany Lions linebackers. This is the second game without stud backer Dan Conner. The high ranked recruit had a great freshman season and was projected as one of the countries top backers. Instead, Conner is sitting and waiting to be placed back on the team. In his place the Bearcats may find a weakness. If not you could be looking at a long day because this has the makings for a top defense. Key Players: Ryan Brown, Jeff Reinstatler and any other player who lines up at guard.
Bearcat Insider would like to thank Dan for his views on the Bearcats game against Penn State. Dan knows his football and it shows from his Keys. Keep an eye out for who will be our next guest analysis as the season progresses.