A Chat with Mike Elston

Bearcat Insider spoke with Mike Elston, a coach who wears many hats for Brian Kelly's staff including being special teams' coach, tight ends' coach and recruiting coordinator.

As the Bearcats prepare for the Marshall game this Saturday, Bearcat Insider spoke with Mike Elston, Cincinnati's special team coordinator and tight ends' coach about a number of topics.


The first topic was another blocked punt by Marty Gilyard early in the Miami of Ohio game.  Elston commented, "Yeah.  We had a great scheme, and the guys executed it well.  You see a lot of guys get through on a great scheme, but they don't make the play.  Marty Gilyard has a knack for making the play and blocked the ball for the second week in a row."


Marty Gilyard Blocks Miami Punt


The one negative was the fact that UC again missed multiple kicks.  Coach Elston spoke to that concern.  "The inconsistency of Jake Rogers as a redshirt freshman is a concern, but we have a lot of redshirt freshman that are inconsistent.  His mistakes are just more glaring because he's out there trying to put a ball through the uprights, but he'll be improved.  We've got to get him more consistent."


Although the placekicking is a concern, Elston is pleased with the kickoffs.  "Absolutely.  We're 31-st in the country in kickoff coverage defense so I'm very happy.  From where we were the first week until now, the kickoffs are outstanding."


Last week when we spoke with Coach Elston, who also serves as Brian Kelly's recruiting coordinator, he indicated that the Bearcats had only four more scholarships to award for the 2008 class.  Yesterday he left himself a little more wiggle room.  "We have four or five left."


In Saturday's game against Miami, tight end Connor Barwin had probably his best game as a Bearcat with six catches for 109 yards.  Elston spoke about Connor, who flashed his All-BIG EAST potential.  "We've got two great athletes at that position right now trying to get Connor and Earnest Jackson on the field.  They play 50/50 and either one could have made the plays.  It just happened to be Connor's turn on Saturday.  He did a great job of securing the ball and getting vertical."


Even though Marshall is winless after three games, Coach Elston says the Herd can't be overlooked.  "Absolutely not.  They have great talent, and they competed in all their games.  We're just happy we have another chance to line-up on Saturday with another great challenge."


Kickoff Saturday is 7:30 and a big crowd of 30,000 or more is anticipated.

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