Week 4: Cincinnati

The Bearcats feature an explosive offense led by quarterback Zach Collaros and an experienced defense that features standout linebacker J.K. Schaffer.

Cincinnati Depth Chart

CINCINNATI 2011 TWO-DEEP DEPTH CHART

Cincinnati Game Notes

UC-NC STATE TIES

  • Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien is a Cincinnati native who graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1976.
  • Former UC letterwinner and current NC State offensive coordinator Dana Bible was a starting cornerback for UC from 1972-75.
  • Bible underwent treatment for leukemia at the UNC Cancer Center in the spring of 2010, but is back coaching. The Cincinnati native began his coaching career with the Bearcats as a graduate assistant (1976-77). He had two stints coaching QBs for UC, from 1978-80 and in 1994. He earned a BA from UC in 1976 and an MBA in 1982.
  • Bible, who also coached QBs for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1990-92, played and coached as a GA at UC alongside radio analyst Jim Kelly Jr.
  • Defensive line coach Keith Willis was UC's DL coach from 1999-2000.
  • Tight ends coach Don Horton was born in Cincinnati.

    FIGHTING THE TURNOVER STIGMA

  • Through three games in 2011, the Bearcats sit at +12 (4.0 tpg) in turnover margin, which ties for the NCAA FBS lead with BIG EAST Conference foe Rutgers.
  • UC leads the nation in turnovers gained with 13.
  • In 2010, UC did not have its 13th takeaway until the season finale against Pittsburgh on Dec. 4, 2010 and only had 14 takeaways the entire season.
  • UC's turnover struggles of a year ago have been well documented with 14 fumbles lost and 15 interceptions thrown.
  • UC's interceptions (8) and sacks (27) from 2010 were its lowest totals since 2005 (7 interceptions, 24 sacks).
  • Those stats are not indicative of a Butch Jones coached team.
  • Looking at Jones' four-year head coaching record, his teams have finished with a positive turnover margin in three of four years with 2010's fumbles and interceptions gained being all-time lows and the fumbles lost and interceptions thrown being all-time highs in the Jones era.
  • Against Akron, UC forced six turnovers (two fumbles, four interceptions) and tallied three defensive touchdowns.
  • In the 2011 opener, UC racked up five forced turnovers (three fumbles recovered and two interceptions gained).

    GIVE HIM THE BALL

  • Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead is averaging 9.5 yards per carry in 2011.
  • That mark leads all BIG EAST running backs.
  • Pead has carried 27 times for 257 yards and four touchdowns in 2011, an average of 85.7 yards per game.

    FIRST TIME'S THE CHARM

  • Isaiah Pead has scored on his first carry in two of UC's first three games. Pead had a 40-yard touchdown run in the season-opener against Austin Peay and broke free for a 65-yard touchdown against Tennessee.
  • He added a 1-yard TD scamper on UC's first drive against Akron, giving him three scores in three games on the ground on the Bearcats' opening drives.

    THE ZACH ATTACK BREAKING DOWN THE RECORD

  • QB Zach Collaros has been solid in three starts, going 43-of-69 for 521 yards and seven touchdowns.
  • He has completed 62.3 percent of his passes and has completed passes to 10 different receivers.
  • For his career, the senior is 362-of-580 for 4,859 yards.
  • He sits with 43 passing TDs for his career, moving him into third-place all-time in the record books.
  • He needs 141 yards passing, 138 completions, and seven touchdowns to become only the second QB in UC history, along with Gino Guidugli, to pass for 50 touchdowns, complete 500 passes, and throw for over 5,000 yards.
  • He would become only the fifth UC QB to throw for 5,000 or more yards, joining Guidugli (11,453), Danny McCoin (6,801), Deontey Kenner (6,278) and Tony Pike (5,018).
  • Versus Akron, Collaros moved into sixth place on UC's career passing yards list with 4,859, surpassing Lance Harp (1991- 93) who threw for 4,803 yards.
  • Collaros also moved past former Bearcat Danny Barrett (1980-82) into seventh place all-time with 362 pass career pass completions.

    LEARNING THE TRADE

  • Freshman placekicker Tony Miliano connected on a career-long, 47-yard field goal at 6:17 in the third quarter against Akron to give UC a 52-0 lead.
  • He has a made field goal in each of UC's three games this season and has made 16-straight extra point attempts.

    KEEP AN EYE ON THIS ONE

  • RB Jameel Poteat earned his first career rushing touchdown, a seven-yard run, at 14:26 in the fourth quarter to give UC a 59-0 lead.
  • Poteat recorded 10 rushes for 55 yards - both career highs - including his first collegiate touchdown, a seven-yard run, at 14:26 in the fourth quarter.

    FRESHMAN MAKING HIS MARK

  • LB Clemente Casseus led the Bearcats defense against Akron with a career-best five tackles, including one tackle for loss.
  • The true freshman walk on joined UC in early August and earned his spot during training camp.

    Butch Jones Quotables

    Opening Statement:
    Good afternoon. I'll start with a recap of the Akron game then onto this Thursday night with N.C. State.

    Obviously, we saw a team that was very opportunistic, especially on the defensive side of the football with three touchdowns. What we're seeing and finding out is takeaways are a byproduct of playing with a hard edge and physicality. I thought we did that. Another thing we did a great job on with defense was that we were able to win our one-on-one matchups. That's the biggest thing in pass protections and run schemes – at some point in time, someone's going to be matched up in a one-on-one situation and this past week we were able to win those matchups. That showed on both the interception returns for touchdowns – we were able to disrupt the quarterback. That's part of playing great pass coverage, disrupting the quarterback.

    It was another opportunity to play a number of players which proved to be very beneficial for us down the road as we continue to increase with our competition as the season goes on. Our number one goal stills continue to improve day-by-day as a football team. I said it in August and I'll say it again now – it's just continuing to get better and focus on the task at hand.

    Obviously, we need to take some great strides in playing an N.C. State football team. We have a lot of things that we have to get cleaned up. Even though we turned the ball over one time late in the game, I still thought that at times we were careless with the football.

    When you play a team as physical as N.C. State, if you don't get those things corrected, it will come back and hurt you. The other thing is that we have to take a vast improvement in special teams. As we all know, we went down there last year to play and they completely dominated the special teams game and played at a whole different speed level than we did. It's maintaining blocks and space, it's tackling, it's having the right reads and getting off blocks, so special teams is going to be a big key on Thursday night.

    For this football team, it's focusing on the task at hand, week-by-week. It may sound like ‘coach-speak' but I don't know what else you want me to tell you. I'm telling you the truth. We still have a number of young football players playing even though we have a lot of individuals back on defense, we're still relatively young. The big thing for us is game-speed decisions. You can practice and do it perfect in practice, but now it's taking your practice to the field and making quick snap decisions.

    When you're driving down the road and you forget to make a left turn, there's not 100,000 people sitting in your car telling you you made the wrong turn. When you play football, there are 100,000 offensive and defensive coordinators knowing that you made a mistake. For us, it's taking the game speed to the field.

    N.C. State, let's start with (wide receiver TJ) Graham. We talked about special teams. I believe he's the fifth all-time leading returner in the history of the ACC. He's extremely dynamic with the ball in his hands either in the return game or in the receiver position. He has the ability to flip field position in a hurry. (Mike) Glennon, the quarterback, is very reminiscent of (Tennessee quarterback) Tyler Bray – 6-6, NFL pedigree with his brother, very strong arm and quick release. He's really doing a good job of managing the offense and making all the throws in their system. He's going to challenge us.

    Defensively, (linebacker) Audie Cole, I'm very familiar with him from our days at Central Michigan. He's done a great job and I know they've asked a lot of him. We're facing a very physical football team who's well covered, they do what they do and they excel in all three phases. When you watch a team, the first thing I look at is special teams. They usually dominate that. It's about everyone understanding their role Thursday night and executing and doing their job.

    On comparing N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon with former quarterback Russell Wilson:
    I think they're two completely different styles. Russell Wilson is more of a get-out-of-the-pocket, scramble and make some plays with his legs, whereas Glennon is a drop-back passer. He's extremely smooth. He's athletic now, he can scramble and make some plays, but you're looking at a 6-6 kid who can seal, rush and is very poised in the pocket and he throws with great rhythm. He has a great sense of the rhythm and timing of their throw game.

    On the impact of a battered N.C. State defense:
    I don't think that'll have much of an impact because they do so many things that challenge you in preparing for them and then with a short week of preparation – all their fires and movement and different blitz schemes and coverages, they're skilled in the back end. (Dwayne) Maddox, the linebacker, has played a lot of football for them. He'll be stepping up Thursday night. Even though they have suffered through some injuries, they have quality backups. They're at the position in their program where they have great depth. I think that's why they do so well on special teams, because of the amount of depth that they have.

    On where the offense is in terms of its identity:
    We're still in the phase of developing our identity. We've played one full game then we've played a couple quarters. So much on offense is continuity and getting into a rhythm. Our players have great confidence in what we're doing. One thing is very evident and that's (senior running back) Isaiah Pead is a very good player. He's one of our weapons. DJ Woods continues to get better and better the more reps that (junior wide receiver) Kembrall Thompkins gains. It has been a fine line. So much is repetition. We're going to be challenged with the speed of the game and all the movement up front and different looks. They try to come in with their defense and dictate the tempo of the game. We have to be assignment sound and everyone has to execute game. This will be an execution game on offense.


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