Coach Tresey Reflects Back and Looks Ahead

Bearcat defensive coordinator, Joe Tresey, takes a look back at Thursday's game with SEMO and looks ahead at this week's big game with Oregon State.

Bearcat Insider spoke with Cincinnati defensive coordinator, Joe Tresey, after the Bearcats went through some light running at Nippert Stadium on Saturday morning.  A smile on Coach Tresey's face is not at all unusual, but after his defense recorded six turnovers two nights earlier against Southeast Missouri State, that smile may have had extra meaning.  The Bearcats recorded twenty-three turnovers in fourteen games last season, fewer than two turnovers a game so Thursday was a windfall.  Coach Tresey spoke about the fortuitous night.  "Six turnovers?  Absolutely.  You don't come across that many too often.  It was a stellar day for that."


Although it was a stellar night for turnovers, it was not as great a night for tackling according to Coach Kelly in his post game press conference, but the Bearcats do very little live tackling in practice for fear of injury so Coach Tresey was asked about the dilemma.  "It's a little bit of a trade off with that, but we have to keep working.  It was a first game, and you're going to have those kinds of issues.  The kids hadn't played anybody, and they get out of control.  They don't come to balance like you want them too, and it's just because they're excited, and they just want to hit somebody new.  Hopefully, we'll work those kinks out.  We're going to work it every week in individual like we continue to do, and we'll get some good looks from the scout team.  It'll get better."


Mick Mickens picked off two passes which was his average for each of the previous two seasons while surehanded DeAngelo Smith dropped a ball.  Coach Tresey laughed about the unusual occurrences.  "Yeah, but I was just surprised we got six turnovers.  How many times do you see six turnovers in a game?  DeLo was disappointed the ball went through his hands.  Mick broke on the one very nice and scored the touchdown.  When you see it on tape, he saw it come out of the quarterbacks hands and broke on it.  The other one his hands were kind of so-so, but he made the play."


Coaches don't have much time to reflect on victories.  Their attention must always be on the next opponent, and Cincinnati's next opponent could keep a defensive coordinator awake at night, especially with a running back like Yvenson Bernard.  "Their tailback #26 really drives them, Bernard.  He's about 5' 8" and 200 pounds and going to be a four year starter for them.  I think he had 1,300 yards each of the last couple of years.  He had approximately 175 the other night.  He's a guy we have to contain.  They're working two quarterbacks right now, and they just didn't get in sync against Utah.  They dropped some balls too, and I'm sure they're going to clean that up, but we have to stop Bernard in the running game."


Another player that stood out on tape was true freshman James Rodgers.  "He's really fast, isn't he?  He can't be more than 5' 5" or 5' 6", but he is very similar to Mike Daniels.  They ran the jet sweep with him, and he can move.  He's going to be a concern."


The Beavers lost 6' 2"/324 pound offensive guard Jeremy Perry for several weeks after an injury in the Utah game on Thursday night.  Perry was a 1-st team All-Pac 10 honoree last year and is considered one of the best offensive linemen to ever play in Corvallis.  With Perry, the Beavers averaged 313 pounds across the offensive front, but his replacement will likely be Adam Speer weighing in at a mere 286 pounds.  Even with a revised 306 pound average, Oregon State's offensive line will still outweight the Bearcat defensive line by 33 pounds a man.  Coach Tresey says that will be the norm this season.  "Everybody we're going to play is going to be pretty much that big.  Heck, even in the MAC, they're that big.  That's just the nature of offensive lines these days.  We have to play fast and keep them off balance.  Keep them guessing and give our guys a chance to make plays.  They're (Oregon State) very good making plays.  If you watch them play together, they do a great job of picking up fire zones and picking up pressure.  Their communication level looks outstanding, but I wouldn't say they have great players up front.  But they play extremely well as a group which I think is a bigger issue than having one or two great guys."


Coach Tresey believes the extremely hot August in Cincinnati could help the Bearcats if that uncomfortable weather returns for Thursday's game.  "I'd love to see about 90% humidity and about 85 degrees at kickoff.  That's what we're used to practicing in, and I'm sure they're not.  I think it would be to our advantage, but who knows."


Fans look at this game as a big one, and Coach Tresey agrees.  "Every game is big, but when you bring a Pac 10 school here to play us on ESPN, it adds a little extra lather."


Tickets are still available for this 7:30 p.m. Thursday night kickoff, and Bearcats fans need to make themselves seen and heard in this rare game against a PAC 10 opponent. 

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