Everything that could go wrong during the Bearcats battle against Louisville almost did. First, ESPN used its power and made a change in the game time. This cost Cincinnati the chance to have their largest crowd of the season as many claim the move didn't allow them to attend. While I can understand this I won't take this excuse. Get use to this because this team is now a BCS team and TV will want to put more of their games on. This means more 12:00 starts in the future I can guarantee you.
Second the weathermen called for a cold, wet and windy day in Southwest Ohio. Instead we got sunshine, no rain and wind. Again, no excuse for fans not coming out and cheering for the Bearcats against another rival and Big East team.
Third the Bearcats missed on several opportunities that would have made the outcome different from what the final score shows.
Instead of giving you a game recap, I felt it better to give you the "Insiders" look from the field. While our competition will run the game summary from the AP and notes from the University of Cincinnati SID's office, Bearcat Insider will give you what we saw in person.
It's easy to tell true Bearcat fans. One, they show up at 9:00 and enjoy the day leading up to the game. Those who I saw on Saturday "Great Job" I know the team would like to tell you thank you.
After forcing the Cards into a mistake, the Bearcats hurt themselves with a personal foul and were forced to punt the football away instead of putting points on the board. While Louisville saw the yellow flags fly more often, the timing and yardage hurt the Bearcats more than the Cards.
HOT HAND COLD DAY
It's the practice of the Bearcats coaching staff to use the hot hand at running back. With the score 12 - 7 Louisville, the Bearcats used a fake punt on 4th & 9 as Chet Ervin passed to Brent Celek who refused to go down until he reached the first down markers.
After two more plays that saw Louisville commit a penalty, Greg Moore became the hot hand for the Bearcats rushing attack. On the next seven plays the Trotwood Madison product rushed for 48 yards and moved the Bearcats to 1st and goal with a chance to take the lead.
Instead, the Bearcats removed the hot hand and went to reliable running back Bradley Glatthaar for the score. The problem was the Bearcats would lose 7 yards on the next two plays and see quarterback Dustin Grutza try and force a pass into Brent Celek at the goal line that was picked off by the Cards.
After the game I spoke with Moore about any disappointment he may have. "Bradley is money in that position and I understand why the coaches made the call. It just didn't workout this time."
HOT HAND TWO
While fans remember the running of Greg Moore, let's not forget Butler Benton averaged 5.2 yards a carry during the game. The problem is he only got 8 carries.
MESSAGE BOARD QUESTION
Should the Bearcats coaching staff stayed with Moore?
Was it the right move having Bradley Glatthaar come in for the score?
You tell us on the football message board.
The Bearcats offensive line saw their best performance last week. This week they gave up 5 sacks and saw quarterbacks hurried 6 times. Add in the number of runs Dustin Grutza had to make out of his ten carries to save his life and you have at least 15 plays with the Cards raising havoc.
No I'm not talking about any of the cheerleaders or dance team members on hand today. It's the number of yards per play the Cardinals offense averaged during the game. Louisville ran 59 total offensive plays and recorded 547 total yards to average 9.3 yards per play.
While there were a couple of times the Bearcats came close to giving Brian Brohm some pressure. The Louisville quarterback had enough time to complete almost 81% of his passes (26-21-303) and wasn't sacked once during the game. The difference wasn't lack of effort, but the fact Louisville is a veteran team with great size against the Bearcats freshmen defense. I will go out on a limb and say the Bearcats win this game next season.
DEFENSIVE BACKS MAKE TACKLES
While Corey Smith led the team in total tackles, it was the Bearcats defensive backs that had the most with 25 total tackles on the day. Mike Mickens, Antoine Horton, Dominic Ross and Haruki Nakamura were the next four in line with seven each for the first four and Ross with 4.
Let the talk start now on a quarterback battle brewing again with Dustin Grutza and Nick Davila. Grutza hit for only 37% of his passes against a tough Louisville defense while Davila in mop-up work hit for 60%. At some point the coaching staff will be forced to put Davila in a position to earn the job or stay in his current role. This also brings up the question of who will be the Bearcats quarterback of the future. While many felt Grutza could be a four year starter during his career, it now looks like he may be shelled shocked by the time another season comes around. And keep in mind freshmen Craig Carey is in the wings learning each week and will have a great chance to earn the job. This also opens up the chance of the Bearcats taking a quarterback in this recruiting class. Nate Davis, Aaron Opelt are you listening?
TWO BACK SETS
While I've always been a Bradley Glatthaar fan, and nothing has changed, I'm starting to feel the Bearcats need to look at having Bradley and either Butler Benton or Greg Moore in the backfield at the same time. In the goal line series the Bearcats used Doug Jones as a fullback. Again, he got no push and seemed slow coming out of his stance and hitting the hole. I would rather see Bradley in there along with one of the other backs and feel it would keep defenses honest instead of keying on Bradley.
This season it seem Jones is not getting to the point and making a hole for the back to run through. As talked on the message boards I feel Jones needs to be a tight end or offensive guard in the future.
One of the many freshmen who've play this season I've been impressed with didn't play on Saturday. Marshwan Gilyard was starting to make a name for himself when Mike Daniels was out with an injury. While not confirmed, Gilyard may have missed this week with an injury and I feel that hurt the kickoff return game for the Bearcats. Gilyard and Goodman were doing a great job in getting the Bearcats in position to start their drives.
ANOTHER FRESHMAN DEFENDER
Heading into preseason camp Thomas Claggett and Patrick Mimms were both being looked upon to play key roles along the defensive line. While Claggett made his mark, Mimms struggled and was moved to offensive line. That changed last week and this week Mimms spent time getting reps with the defense. This is just another player who will be looked upon the next three seasons to power the Bearcats defense.
Key stat of the game, rushing average. The Bearcats as a team averaged 3.0 yards a carry as 6 players had carries. Louisville on the other hand averaged 7.6 yards per carry as only two backs ran the ball. Michael Bush who next season will be in the NFL averaged 7.5 yards on his way to 134 total yards on 17 carries. George Stripling carried 15 times for 118 yards and 7.8 yards per carry average.
RECRUITS ON HAND
The Bearcats saw many high school prospects take in the game. Look for our photos of those we saw at the game.
Syracuse is up next for the Bearcats. While this will be called a toss-up game, the Bearcats need to take advantage of the Cuse being down this year. Playing in the doom is not easy, but a win is very possible.