Scouting Report: Cincinnati Offense

In the first segment of our three-part series looking at Cincinnati, we breakdown a Bearcat offense that ranks 28th scoring nationally. The big question coming into the game will no doubt be quarterback Zach Collaros' status; will he be ready to go after breaking his ankle against West Virginia?

Regardless of who the Bearcat QB is, Big East Offensive Player of the Year Isaiah Pead will definitely have a major role in the Cincy game plan.

  • Zach Collaros completes 63% of his passes.
  • Backup QB Munchie Legaux 47% completion rate.
  • TB Isaiah Pead has 1,110 yards rushing.
  • WR Anthony McClung 48 catches.
  • UC averages 393 yards total offense per game.
  • UC rushes 56% and passes 44%.
The injury of Collaros in the 24-21 loss to West Virginia not only resulted in the loss of their quarterback for the next three games, the same play resulted in a fumble recovered for a touchdown for the Mountaineers. That unfortunate point swing may have directly resulted in the Bearcats chance at a BCS bowl. Collaros returned to practice for the first time since his injury this Friday. The big question is, will he be ready in time for the Vanderbilt game? Knowing the 'Dores luck with opposing QB's coming off injuries; as evidenced at Florida and Tennessee this year, we'd be surprised if he wasn't playing.

If Collaros isn't deemed ready on game day sophomore Munchie Legaux looks to get the nod. Legaux towers at 6-foot-5 and while his completion percentage was just 47 percent to Collaros' 63 percent, his height advantage gives him the ability to stand tall in the pocket and make throws that Collaros could not over the line. Although he missed the final three games of the season, Collaros still earned second-team Big East honors with 1860 Yards and 14 TDs. Collaros possesses an ability to will his team to victory and leadership qualities that are currently unmatched by Legaux. The Bearcats have rallied around the sophomore signal caller and clinched their share of the Big East championship in the last two games of the season.

With the second and third leading rushers for the Bearcats being quarterbacks Collaros and Munchie Legaux, senior running back Pead is unquestionably an every-down back. His impressive numbers include 1,110 yards, 11 TD's and a 5.31 yard per carry average. Pead is just the first Cincy back in 25 years to have back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and the coaches have shown they'll do anything to get the ball in his hands. In the last two games of the season the coaches had Pead return punts where he averages 12.5 yards per return and 75 yards in six returns, topping the team.

Limiting Pead will surely be a main goal of the Vandy defense. In the Bearcats loss to Rutgers, Pead was contained and limited to just 28 total yards. In their regular season finale against Connecticut he was held to just 68 yards on 23 carries. Vandy coaches have certainly been scouring over those game tapes to get tips on stopping the offensive MVP. He ripped apart the Syracuse defense with 192 yards from scrimmage, 112 yards of which came from nine receptions against the Orange. Through 12 games Pead has 1,489 all-purpose yards, averaging 124.1 yards per game. Whether he's running between the tackles, catching short passes or returning punts the Cincy coaches will doubtlessly try to get the ball into Pead's hands in whatever way they can.

Sophomore receiver Anthony McClung leads the team with 48 catches for 675 yards and five touchdowns. Last week against UConn McClung earned Big East Offensive player of the week for his impressive eight-catch, 142 yard and two touchdown showing. He was also recently honored as Cincinnati's most valuable receiver.

Kenbrell Thompkins, whose game high was his six reception, 114 yard game against South Florida, is second on the team with 44 catches and 536 yards. Senior receiver D.J. Woods was expected to breakout this year after consistently producing throughout his entire Bearcat career. Woods 450 yards and two touchdowns were not quite what were expected and his only 100 yard game was at Tennessee. Tight ends Travis Kelce and Adrien Robinson get more of the action at tight end though both have been virtually nonexistent in the final three games of the year since Legaux took the reins.

The Cincinnati offensive line did an amazing job paving the way for Pead‘s stellar rushing season. Seniors Randy Martinez and Alex Hoffman shared Cincinnati's Outstanding Lineman Award. Offensive guard Martinez was named First-Team All-Big East while Hoffman made second-team Big-East at tackle. The Bearcats are 44th nationally in sacks allowed, giving up just 1.58 sacks per game.

To stop the Bearcat offense you must first stop Isaiah Pead. The Bearcats pose a significant threat through the air as well with or without Collaros. The coaches have stuck with the horse that got them this far in Pead. The Commodores must stop him often and early to put the pressure on a young Legaux or the just back after injury, Collaros. Top Stories