News, Notes & More - Sept. 21 Miami Week

Practice may have been closed to the media, but Bearcat Insider was on hand for some of the action and has these news and notes along with a short interview with Bearcats Head Coach Mark Dantonio.

-All practices are closed this week, but BCI was present for some of Wednesday's practice.

-With the Miami night game exactly one week away, the Bearcats practiced from 6:30 to 8:30 Wednesday night.

-Since classes began today at UC, the freshmen are now officially student/athletes.

-The Victory Bell was placed on the steps leading down to practice, and players rang the bell as they entered the field and again as they left Nippert.

-The kickers always warm up about 30 minutes before practice. Chet Ervin was consistently hitting 40 yard punts with good height. He was booting the ball much better than either Kevin Huber or Brian Steele. I think losing the job to Huber for the first game was the best thing that could have happened to Ervin.

-Remember that Pat Narduzzi was the defensive coordinator at Miami when Coach Montgomery was the offensive coordinator in 2003. They are very familiar with each other.

-BCI spoke with Coach Narduzzi and will have that interview later in the week. We also spoke with Coach Treadwell and Coach Staten.

-Jeff Reinstatler returned to the #1 O-line at right guard.

-Chet Ervin worked as the #2 placekicker tonight.

-Due to the 25 scholarship limit per year, Kevin McCullough has not yet received one despite earning a starting spot on defense. He's hoping and expecting to be rewarded with a scholarship for winter quarter.

-We were permitted to speak with Coach Dantonio after practice. His final words to the team were, "Everyone be sure to go to classes tomorrow." This staff emphasizes academics. In fact, Todd Spitzer missed practice due to a class.

Coach Dantonio

Although the Bearcats have played a lot of people at most positions, the offensive line has seen four consistent starters, we asked Coach Dantonio about that situation. "The four guys that are mainstays at those positions are the guys with experience. Eastlake and Digger and the other seniors have experience, and the other spot has been up for grabs."

That other "spot" is right guard. Coach Dantonio explained the situation. "We're looking for the right mix of people, and we're giving some people an opportunity as we work through the process. Some guys have a little better week of practice, and we may move that guy in, or maybe someone doesn't play as well that week so we move him out. We're an inexperienced offensive line in some areas so there are some ups and downs. We deal with them and then move forward."

The offensive line has given up eight sacks in three games, but Coach Dantonio did not blame all on the line. "Some of those sacks are coverage sacks where we can‘t get anyone open. Some are a breakdown with the offensive line, but some are a breakdown due to a back so it's not just the offensive line. Our quarterback has to throw on rhythm, the backs have to protect, and there's also coverage down field so there's not just one thing."

Finally, we asked Coach about the four headed tailback and if he was looking for a featured back to emerge from the pack. "No, whoever has the hot hand will get the ball. If Bradley's playing well, he'll get the ball, but if Greg Moore does well, he'll see the ball more."

BCI appreciates Coach Dantonio taking the time to talk with us during Miami week.


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