6 Biggest Questions Heading To Norman

Brian Kelly and his Bearcats are putting the final touches on their game plan for the Oklahoma Sooners. In this first meeting between the two schools there are many questions to be answered. Bearcat Insider looks at the 6 Biggest Questions heading to Norman.

1. Kicking Game – In any game the kicking game can play a vital role in a team's success. In a "big game" it's so much more important and the Bearcats have a giant question yet to be answered. Who is going to take the bull by the horns and win the kicking job? Jake Rogers has been replaced by Brandon Yingling for this game and it's up to the senior from Mason to show he deserves to be the man responsible if the game comes down to a kick and a victory. Those who follow Cincinnati area high school football know one of the most consistent kickers to come out of the area is on the roster in Danny Milligan, but kicking at the college level is a new ball game and Milligan is a future wide receiver.

2. Running Game – Against Eastern Kentucky Jacob Ramsey struggled while John Goebel showed signs he may be the one ready for prime time. But third string running back Scott Johnson out rushed all of them. Does Johnson even see the field in Norman? It's time for Jacob to step up or watch as Goebel and Johnson leave him behind. Kelly won't play games when it comes to winning a game.

3. Offensive Line Play- The Bearcats enter the game knowing C.J. Cobb is not able to go and may be without senior Khalil El-Amin for another week. That is two players out of the two-deep and means someone will have to step up. Last week Sam Griffin played against EKU and showed he's got the tools to play the position at a high level. But is the sophomore ready for a game like Oklahoma? If not then Jeff Quinn will need to be looking into the eyes of his young players and finding one ready to go.

4. Byrd & Hoppel Ready To Go – The senior All-American Byrd had to sit out last week's game due to off the field issues and he'd been seen in later camp practices nursing a slight injury. Hoppel has been working hard nursing an injury himself. The due make up one of the best inside tandems in college football when healthy. If they can't go full tilt then Ricardo Mathews and John Hughes must step up and get the job done. With the heat expected in Norman all four will have to be ready to go if the Bearcats want to have their defense as successful as it has shown it can be.

5. Quarterback Play – Dustin Grutza has been here before against teams like Penn State, Ohio State and Virginia Tech. It's a big game for the Bearcats and the senior is coming off a great start against Eastern Kentucky where he hit several receivers for 296 yards and three touchdowns. But the biggest thing Grutza did in that game was "0" interceptions. Dustin must repeat this performance and not give Oklahoma any free chances to place points on the board. While he'll be overshadowed by the bigger name Sam Bradford, the Bearcats senior quarterback will have eyes watching his performance than at any time during his career.

6. National Stage – How do the Bearcats react to being on the national stage? ABC Television will be on hand showing the game and the Bearcats have reached the "Big Time" of college football. Brian Kelly is a master motivator and this weekend he'll need to be at his best as his team will go in a major underdog against a team ranked in the Top 5 early this season. This team was built for this game as it's got a lot of senior talent taking the field. But while it's great to have that senior talent there are a few key pieces that are not as well seasoned and this is where Kelly and his staff must do their most work. With their next game 14 days later look for Kelly to leave nothing up his sleeve in this game. No one expects a win but Bearcat fans have learned you never know what is capable with Brian Kelly in charge.


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