Freshman defensive back Mike Mickens has seen his share of rivalry games in high school. Playing at Huber Heights Wayne, Mickens each year played in his high schools biggest battle Centerville knowing each year that game could mean a conference championship and even a playoff berth. But high school is long gone and college football is a game of the best vs. the best. Wednesday night Mickens learned about the Bearcats biggest rival first hand.
Posting 6 solo and 5 assisted tackles against the RedHawks, Mickens survived the constant challenges brought against him in the game. For that he's driven to do more as the years continue. Bearcat Insider spoke with Mike after the Bearcats hard defeat and has his comments for you.
BCI: Mike this was your first Miami game, talk about your experience tonight.
Mickens: This game was played with a lot of intensity and meant a lot going out there and playing against them. This game is big not only to us, but also our fans and school. We're now determined to get better and win this game the next three years.
BCI: As a freshman did you really understand coming into the game what it was about?
Mickens: Yes, through out the week the coaches stressed this wasn't a normal game. I like rivalry games so I get up for them too. They are our rival and we need to get up for them every time we play.
BCI: As a young player I'm sure this is a set back, but this team is so young I'm sure you're ready to rally and come back strong against Pittsburgh.
Mickens: Yes, we need to put this game behind us and fix our mistakes and get back up and keep playing hard. We will not let this game take us away from our goals and the coaches will prepare us for Pitt.
Junior co-captain Brent Celek also spoke with Bearcat Insider after the game Wednesday night.
BCI: This was a tough game tonight?
Brent: Yea, things didn't go our way. We were in it till around the third quarter before things started slipping away.
BCI: As a leader and captain what do you say to the younger players after a game like this?
Brent: We still have seven games left and we need to tell these guys that this one is over with and not dwell on what happened here tonight. If we dwell on this were going to keep losing. So we've got to get over this and get ready for Pittsburgh.
BCI: Do you see this game being like Army last season? Kind of a disappointing game, but the team rallied and came back and finished strong.
Brent: Not so much like Army, this was a bad game and we didn't play well. If we would have played well it would've been a different story, but we didn't play well at all. We've got to improve big time. Both offensively and defensively.
Bearcats coach Mark Dantoino had the following to say after the game.
Coach Dantonio: We couldn't take 15 or 2 out of the game. We couldn't get pressure on the quarterback, it's frustrating and we've got to go back and regroup. We didn't stop the run consistently, we didn't pressure the quarterback and we didn't take the widouts out of the game. They beat us individually and offensively we couldn't get anything going with any consistency. We need to regroup, figure out what were going to do because we've got 10 days before we play Pitt and enter the Big East. We can hang our head, or were going to get better and move on. We're going to regroup and get better.