A look at the Cincinnati Bearcats personnel

On Saturday night, November 18th, the undefeated and #7 ranked Scarlet Knights (9-0) travel to Ohio to face the up-and-coming Cincinnati Bearcats (5-5). The Bearcats are a young team that Head Coach Mark Dantonio has playing solid, fundemental football.

The Cincinnati Bearcats (5-5) are this week's opponent for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. They are a young, scrappy football team that has given opponents its share of difficulties this year. They have had convincing victories over Big-East foes Syracuse and South Florida, while having a chance to win games in the 4th quarter vs. Virginia Tech and Louisville. With a victory, the Bearcats will be Bowl eligible. Furthermore, the Bearcats will have something to prove and will attempt to play spoiler against the undefeated Scarlet Knights. After a disappointing performance on the road last week vs. West Virginia, expect this team to come out fired-up tomorrow evening.

Offensively, the Bearcats have strived for balance. They have some impressive young athletes at the skill positions. The offensive line has a blend of senior leadership and youth. As a whole, the offense is averaging 133 yards/game with the run and 190 yards/game with the pass.

QB- So. Dustin Grutza is in his 2nd year as the starting QB. He is an accurate passer with decent pocket presence and mobility. He can make most throws, but has fair arm strength. On the year, Grutza has thrown for 1566 yards and 9TDs, while completing 60.7% of his passes. He has also run for 199 yards. On occasion, he has been spelled by Sr. JC transfer Nick Davila. Davila has thrown for 334 yards and 3TDs.

RB- The RB position has been shared by three players: Greg Moore (556 yards), Butler Benton (362 yards), and Bradley Glatthaar (227 yards). All are big, powerful backs in the 220 pound range. Expect Cincinnati to try to grind it out and establish the run with these three players.

WR/TE- Brent Celek leads all Big-East TE in receptions (28 catches for 349 yards). He is a formidable target, runs solid routes and has nice hands. Dominic Goodman (27 catches, 274 yards) and Derrick Stewart (21 catches, 437 yards, 4 TDs) have shown excellent athleticism and have been the most productive players in the WR corps. 6'3" 215lb Ernest Jackson (17 catches, 233yards) is physically the most talented in this unit.

OL- While the offensive line is led by Sr. C Jeff Reinstatler and Sr. OG Frank Straub, as a unit the group is relatively young. Fr. LT Jeffrey Linkenback and So. OG Trevor Canfield are first year starters. Rounding out the starters is Jr RT Digger Bujnoch.

Defensively, the Bearcats hallmark is they rank 30th in the nation against the run. Only three players have rushed for over 100 yards against them this season. Expect the Bearcats to load the box and force Mike Teel to beat them through the air. This has seemed to be the strategy for most of the Scarlet Knight opponents over the last several weeks.

DE-The DEs are amongst the top performers on this defense. 6'1 245 lb. Jr Anthony Hoke (4.5 sacks, 28 tackles, 7.5 TFL) and 6'2" 258 lb. So Trevor Anderson (4.0 sacks, 37 tackles, 7.5 TFL) are capable athletes that generate penetration. 6'1" 285 lb. So DT Terrill Byrd (24 tackles, 7.0 TFL) is a very active player on the interior. 6'2 238 lb. So Curtis Young (3.5 sacks) is undersized, but has played with great speed and leverage.

LB- Captain MLB Kevin McCollough (51 tackles) is the emotional and leading tackler of this defense. Salem, NJ product, OLB Corey Smith (43 tackles, 7.0 TFL) was a good looking prospect as a prep and has now evolved into a playmaker for the Bearcats. He will look to have a big game vs. his home-state Scarlet Knights. Leo Morgan (46 tackles, 5.0 TFL) has been productive and starts at the other OLB spot.

CB/S- The top cover CB is Mike Mickens (46 tackles and 10 pass break-ups). Sr John Bowie (31 tackles) has been serviceable on the other CB spot. This team has two very good-looking safeties. Dominic Ross (4 INTS and 46 tackles) is one of the more dangerous secondary players in the Big-East. Huraki Nakimura is the ball-hawk in the secondary and is in his 3rd year as a starter.

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