I would like to start off by saying that I am ecstatic with this win. Cincinnati is a legitimate top 15 team and to beat them at home on a night where students had camped out to make sure they got tickets is a tremendous accomplishment for this team. Just know that the criticisms you're about to read are easily tempered by my excitement level.
We always start positive, so here's this: The best player in college football plays on our team. If you don't believe it after Saturday night then you're never going to believe it.
The defense did not play well. They made some big plays when they needed to and should be commended for that, but let's be honest, overall there really wasn't all that much improvement.
Cincinnati dropped two big passes, one of which would have been taken the distance, and they fumbled three times on drives where they were already in field goal range and appeared to be poised for more. They still averaged over four yards a carry, threw for over 300, and racked up 460 total yards.
Great win, not a great defensive performance.
The two linebacker/five defensive back defense was employed so that we'd be able to matchup with UC's three, four and five-wide sets. I'd be very surprised if we saw it at all again this season.
Woodny Turenne got the start also because of Cincinnati's offense. I'm sure Cassity thought that Turenne would be a better match against the spread than Johnny Patrick or some of our other young, physical DB's, and that makes sense.
He certainly has the speed and the athleticism, and while I know that he's worried about giving up the deep ball, you simply cannot play ten yards off your man on every down. He played well in the second half because Cincy started taking more and more shots downfield instead of taking the five or six yards we were basically giving them on every play.
It will be interesting to see if it's Woodny or Johnny getting the start against a team like Connecticut.
Welcome back Harry Douglas, you are the coolest human being in the history of the world.
Unless Brock was injured, there was no excuse for him not being in the game when it was on the line in the fourth quarter. I don't want to be too hard on Anthony Allen, but his inability to recognize and explode through the hole is really frustrating to watch. He's getting two yards when he should be getting five, six when he should be getting ten, etc. Bolen has incredible vision, and even better feet, and we really could have used him in some of those late, short-yardage situations.
Late in the fourth quarter, up four, 4th and 1 on your own 29, you punt the ball. Sure the decision took some cajones, and in the end it paid off, but that doesn't make it the right call. And if you're going to go for it on your own 29, how can you possibly not go for it on their 43? Especially when on 3rd and 3 you called an off-tackle run with no lead blocker, a choice that tells me that you're planning on using two plays to get the first down if you have to. The 4th and 1 from the goalline I understood because there's risk involved with a field goal, and even if you don't get it you make your opponent go 99 yards, but that doesn't mean it didn't make me nervous.
There are three givens in life: death, taxes, and the fact that if a screen play works well the color guy will talk about what a great call it was by the coach.
Still ridiculously impressed by UC corner Mike Mickens. His presence in our secondary alone would improve the entire defense exponentially.
I liked seeing Kragthorpe get on the refs, but it always seemed like he was doing it at times when there was nothing to argue about. Tony Pike threw an interception in the endzone on the last play of the first half, and Kragthorpe started yelling about the refs for what seemed like absolutely no reason. Keep it up, apparently it's working.
After a short respite last week, the inexcusable penalty committing was back in full force, the most egregious of which being L.D. Scott's late hit on Ben Mauk. The good news? None of the personal fouls were against Terrance Butler. He's growing people.
Hats off to Pat Carter. He certainly did a great deal to silence the critics who said he couldn't make plays over the middle. Quite the performance.
Also, Scott Long.
Just for further reference guys, if the quarterback and the center roll to the left but everyone else stays home, it's a shovel pass.
We really needed Cory Goettsche to have a solid game and he came through in a big way. Eight kicks for an average 42.5 yards, and most importantly, no shanks.
I'm still wondering why Cincinnati abandoned the run in the third quarter.
For the most part our ends were completely manhandled yet again, which makes you wonder whether or not we're going to see big Earl make the move from tackle once again after Adrian Grady is 100%. I hope so.
Big game from Willie Williams, with the exception of his maddening inability to fall on the fumble late in the fourth quarter. Still, he's been the biggest producer from the tackle position for two weeks now.
I received four text message after Art's missed field goal. I appreciated none of them.
It was awesome to see Cincinnati native Eric Wood run over and snatch the keg after the game. I really wanted a giant keg holding celebration at midfield, bit sadly it didn't come to fruition. If you haven't picked up on it by now, I'm fairly enamored with the Keg of Nails.
Thank God our next home game is against Pitt because I'm really afraid that our guys are starting to believe that they're a road team. If there's a team on our schedule that we can beat at home in spite of a self-fulfilling prophecy, it's The Wannstaches.
If Kragthorpe yells at Art again, or looks like he's yelling at Art again, I'm going to completely lose it.
Lamar Myles, again, I salute you. And I don't know if he just can't play with more than one other linebacker on the field, but Preston Smith really came alive Saturday night and made some big, big plays.
Has there ever been a U of L player in the right place at the right time more often than Jon Russell? He always seems to come up with the big overthrown interception or recover the big fumble. His forced fumble in the first quarter was also huge.
If we win five in a row, we're going back to the BCS. Still highly unlikely, but completely impossible if we don't beat Cincinnati.
Let's dream for at least another week.