Cincinnati's punt coverage unit's play has been solid as well. Opponents have managed only about 6.8 yards average per punt return with a long return of 40 yards. The Bearcats have yet to block a punt.
The Bearcats have improved over the past few games in their punt returns. Several games ago head coach Butch Jones opted to use stellar running back Isaiah Pead to return punts and it has paid dividends. Pead has averaged over 12 yards per return after the two previous returners managed just seven yards or less average per return. Pead's longest return of six attempts went for 34 yards.
UC SPECIAL TEAMS
Pat O'Sullivan has made the majority of kickoffs for the Bearcats in 2011 but UC has used kicker Tony Miliano for about 25 percent of kickoffs. In the recent win over Connecticut, for instance, O'Sullivan kicked off four times while Miliano had one kickoff. Of the 79 Cincinnati kickoffs nine have been touchbacks. The UC kick coverage unit has allowed an average of 19.1 yards per return with a long return of 42 yards. None have gone for touchdowns.
Miliano walked on at UC in 2010 and then took over as the starting kicker for the Bearcats for the 2011 season. He's been solid, making 16 of 22 field goal attempts. Miliano was named the National Placekicker of the Week after making four field goals in the Bearcat's victory over Pittsburgh. The freshman has a long boot of 48 yards and has made 7 of 10 from the 40-49 yard range.
Despite the solid performance Miliano is not without fault. While he is solid from long distances he has connected on only 2 of 5 attempts from the 30-39 yard range. Additionally, the Bearcats have had three field goals and two extra points blocked. Miliano also missed another PAT.