Wednesday, August 15-Practice Report & More

The Bearcats worked on a number of special situations today in practice. We also have a short interview with Bearcat quarterback coach, Greg Forest.

It was a warm afternoon at Higher Ground, but after the heat at Nippert last week, the weather wasn't much of a problem. The team worked on a lot of special situations today like the 2 minute drill, on-side kicks, Hail Marys and getting the ball lined up for a last second field goal attempt.

-Here's our quote of the day, and it comes from Coach Coombs after a ball was tipped into the air during the 7-on-7 drill. Coombs wasn't happy with the effort made to get the interception. "You're not diving on hand grenades-Catch the Football!"

-Bearcat football fans will be pleased to hear that the Coach's TV Show will air again on Fox19, but it returns to a more convenient time of 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. The first installment will be Sunday, August 26 so program your DVRs. You don't want to miss it.

-The Coach Kelly radio show will again be carried by WLW from 8 to 9 p.m. The initial two weeks will be on Wednesdays since the Bearcats play on Thursday night, but after that, the show will take its usual slot on Thursdays. Jim Kelly and Mo Egger will host the show.

-C. J. Cobb moved out to tackle today. He was at RT with the #2 group.

-Kazeem Alli (TE) and Nick DeFilippo (TE) were more involved in practice today as they continue to get better after injuries. Ryan Manalac also returned to the practice field in a very limited capacity.

-The Bearcats have completed about half their summer practices, and they are amazingly healthy. I think there are a number of reasons for this. Coach Longo had everyone in great shape, Bob Mangine and his staff do a great job with rehabbing players, and the football staff really tries to limit unnecessary contact.

-Even though Brandon Underwood was an Ohio State recruit, I honestly don't believe he would beat out either of UC's projected starting cornerbacks this year (if Brandon were even eligible). That's not a slap at Brandon, but rather an endorsement of the job Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith have done.

-Coach Elston was ready to spice up the "sam" linebacker versus tight end competition today when he made the following statement to Leo Morgan just before the drill began. "Step up here, Leo, and take your medicine for the day." The drill got a bit intense at times.

-Haruki Nakamura kept his interception streak alive when he picked Dustin Grutza in the 7-on-7 in the red zone. Haruki has had an interception for three straight days.

-Marty Gilyard showed what he's capable of doing as he continues to try and get completely healthy. Gilyard made a fantastic diving catch for 13 yards from Ben Mauk in the 7-on-7, and later made a nice catch for 25 yards in the 11-on-11.

-Jon Carpenter picked off Tony Pike, but judging from Coach Kelly's reaction, the fault was probably with the receiver.

-I also have a correction. Saturday I reported that Adam Hoppel had 36 reps with the 225 pound bench press. Coach Longo informed me today that Adam actually had 38 reps. Longo has had only a handful of players ever get to 40 reps. Remember that Hoppel is only a junior, and his play this summer has been outstanding.

-The #1 O-line today from left to right were Bujnoch, Flores, Kelce, Canfield, and Linkenbach. The #2 O-line was El-Amin, Rodriguez, Jurek, Duenas, and Cobb.

-Here are the results from a live scrimmage in the red zone. Tacklers that I noticed are in parentheses.

*Pike QB. Benton dropped pass, Benton run +3 (Tolbert). Pike to Wess +9, Glatthaar run +3 (Craig, Revels), Moore -2 run (Hopple TFL).

*Mauk QB. Mauk to Ramsey +5. Ramsey run +1 (Cheatham). Goebel run +0 (Trigg). Mauk to Ramsey +5 (tipped ball).

*Grutza QB. Angelo Craig sack Grutza. Benton run +5 TD. Moore -1 (Newton TFL). Grutza scramble +3.

*Carey QB. Carey to Shoemaker drop. Ramsey run +5 TD. Glatthaar run +2 (Tolbert).

-Field goals were again somewhat questionable. Jake Rogers hit from 35 yards but missed from 40, 45, 50 and 50 yards. I'm not totally sure of the yardage because I was by the goalpost, but I am positive about the hits and misses. Brandon Yingling did somewhat better with hits from 45 and 50 yards, and two misses from about 50. Some of the misses were very ugly for both kickers. Later in a "hurry up drill" to get the field goal kickers onto the field for a last second attempt, Rogers nailed his from 47 yards and Yingling missed his from the same distance.

-There was a New York football Giant scout at practice today.

-The squad ended practice with 2 minute offense. The offense started at its own 30-yard-line. There was no tackling.

*With Pike at QB and the #1 offense versus the #1 defense, Pike got them down to the 15 before the drive ended with a sack by Leo Morgan.

*With Carey at QB and the #2 O vs. the #2 D- it was four and out.

*With Mauk at QB and the #1's vs, #1's, Mike Mickens intercepted Mauk and would have likely returned it for a TD.

*With Grutza at QB and #2's vs. #2's, Gilyard had the nice 25 yard catch mentioned earlier, and Ferguson got a sack. The offense turned the ball over on downs, but in all fairness to Dustin, he had to contend with a multiple offensive penalties.

After practice I spoke with Bearcat quarterback coach, Greg Forest, for a quick interview. Coach Forest related this season to last year at CMU. "Last year we went into the season with all three guys. We'll wait until we get the right guy. To rush it and get the wrong guy in there is a mistake. We're going to take our time, but sometimes you also have to see game situations."

About Tony Pike: "He does some good things so we're giving him his chance to find out if he can do it. He's pretty accurate, and he seems to be pretty cool under pressure. Right now he's leading the team in completion percentage. For the most part, he makes the least mistakes."

About Ben Mauk's arm: "He's not sore where he had the surgery. He's sore in his upper forearm and back of his arm. I don't think it has much to do with the shoulder as just the soreness of throwing."

About Tony Pike running the football: "Toughness sometimes isn't about size, and he's a pretty tough kid. He was a heck of a baseball player, a heck of a basketball player and football player. He's got the competitive gene in him, and he'll do whatever he has to do. He'll find a way. Regarding Pike's separated shoulder in his senior year of high school. "I think about half our quarterbacks have."

The freshmen QB's are getting fewer and fewer reps: "These guys are the understudies. They have to learn from the sideline and mental reps."


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