BCI Fearless Predictions Southeast Missouri

The BCI team decided we should do a prediction story for each game, prior to the season. Dave Berk and I drew the short straws so we get to go one on one to make a "brave and fearless" prediction of each game. From now until the season begins we will break down an opponent and see how they stack up against the Bearcats.

Every Monday and Friday our predictions and breakdowns will be published and we invite you to post your opinions as well on our Free Message Board.


Game 1: August 30 vs. Southeast Missouri State - Nippert Stadium


Southeast Missouri State is a Division 1AA (now NCAA Football Championship Subdivision) school out of the Ohio Valley Conference. This will be the initial meeting between UC and SEMO in football. They enter the season coming off a 4-7 record in 2006, but this team started off fast winning 3 of their first 4 games before hitting the skids and going 1 – 6 to close out the year. SEMO showed they can put up points, sometimes, by scoring over 38 in two games both of which were wins. But they also were shut out twice. The only D1 team SEMO played in 2006 was Arkansas on the road, the Razorbacks dominated with a 63-7 victory.


This year UC will be the only shot SEMO gets against a D1 opponent, so along with opening night this will also be an opportunity to put them on Sports Center. With only 10 starters returning (5 offense, 5 defense) don't look for an early season rebound from and off season last year.


Before I make my prediction I want to remind all UC fans about Troy State when they were 1AA and came into Nippert, they left with a win. Also, the Bearcats saw a way too close of a call a few seasons later against Rhode Island. Both of those games were two head coaches ago and this is a very different UC program today, but they happened so let's not get cocky.


UC will enter the season with a few question marks of their own, namely who will play QB and center. What we know about the Bearcats is that most of last years defense returns and should be strong again this season. The kicking game looked solid in the spring so we should be in good hands on special teams.


Why UC will win this game?  


Doug Goodwin: UC has too much talent and depth for SEMO and will win handily. With the Bearcat's defense this one could be put away early.


Dave Berk: Doug, Doug, Doug…  The Bearcats do enter the season opener with more talent and depth as compared to their counterpart Redhawks.  But there are still many questions to be answer.  Who will be behind center?  Who will be the center?  Who will be catching the quick passes in the full version of the Brian Kelly's offense?


I agree the Bearcats have talent and depth and should be able to post 21-45 points on the scoreboard while holding Tony Samuel's squad to under 10.  Look for a slow first couple of possessions followed by two or three scores before halftime.  The Redhawks last season had their issues in the third quarter and look for the same on opening night.


If the defense gives up more than 10 points they didn't come prepared.  But the Redhawks have a good head coach who understands big-time football.


Samuel understands the spread offense as he was a defensive coach at Purdue during the 2005 season.  He's seen other stops at New Mexico State University (Head Coach 1997-2004), Stanford (d-line 1984-1985) and Western Michigan (d-line 1982-1983). 


Samuel is a former player who played for legendary Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne going to four bowl games during his career.  After his playing days he joined Osborne's coaching staff having great success coaching six first team All-Americans and twelve further NFL players.


But the past is the past and Samuel will see his team struggle against the Bearcats once things get rolling on the offensive side of the ball.  The Bearcats will enter with a goal to post a shutout.  I don't expect the Bearcats to post a shutout but they shouldn't give up more than 10 points.


What does SEMO have to do to win?


Doug Goodwin: Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Hope that UC has take them lightly coughs up the ball many times.


Dave Berk: SEMO notches a loss as they get off the bus from the hotel on this night without looking back.  While turnovers can cost the Bearcats games I don't expect even a two turnover night to be an issue in this one.


Doug's Prediction: I see a UC win 38 – 13.

Dave's Prediction: I see a UC win 41-10.


Bonus for Game 1:


Doug Goodwin: Why Bearcat fans should spend the rest of the summer loathing SEMO. Their nickname is the RedHawks and their AD Don Kaverman is a 1975 graduate of Michigan State. I despise SEMO already!


Dave Berk: Will Bearcat fans take advantage of seeing the first game with Brian Kelly's offense in full throttle?  In the past a crowd of 21,000 would have many saying there was a good crowd.  With all the football talk I'd expect to see a lot more tails in the seats of Nippert on this night.

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