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Cincinnati Bearcats Betting – Cincinnati Bearcats 2011 College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/22/2011 7:02:33 PM
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Sports betting experts who follow college football know that the Cincinnati Bearcats did not fail in 2010 as a result of their offense. Quarterback Zach Collaros threw for just under 3,000 yards and had 26 touchdowns; tailback Isaiah Pead topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark; and the Bearcats cracked the top third of the nation in total offense at 417 yards per game. The problem for Cincinnati was that most of the big numbers were put up in situations that made UC’s offensive numbers less than fully valuable. The Bearcats tallied lots of yards when trailing in games; when they needed to perform, they did not.

With that said, the Bearcats return a formidable group of skill people: Collaros, Pead, receivers Kembrell Thompkins, D.J. Woods, and Anthony McClung, plus tight ends Adrien Robinson and Travis Kelce. Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones also struck gold in the offseason by successfully recruiting running back Jameel Poteat. With such an array of weapons, the Bearcats should once again field one of the most potent offenses in the Big East.

The task before Jones in 2011 is on the offensive line, which – if handled well – will enable UC to cut down its turnover count. After juggling the offensive line for much of 2010, Jones settled on a line that returns virtually intact and has seniors at three of the five spots. The biggest fear for Jones is that there is little, if any, experienced depth behind the current starting five. If the injury bug strikes, the offensive line could be an Achilles heel. If Collaros is constantly pressured and the Bearcats can’t run the ball consistently, UC will very likely turn the ball over; Collaros tossed 14 interceptions last season. An improved offensive line is the key to addressing this problem.

The biggest project for Jones in 2011 is to find ways to improve a defense that, while returning all 11 starters, didn’t excel at much of anything in 2010. In particular, the Bearcats struggled against the pass, finishing 88th in passing defense by allowing 234 yards per game through the air. Even MLB baseball betting pundits with no feel for college football betting could tell you that’s bad. In an effort to bulk up the pass defense, Jones reached out to the junior college ranks to bring in a few players that could make an immediate impact for the defense. JUCO Cornerback Malcolm Murray is a big, physical cover man who will likely find his way onto the field very quickly. Jones will also look to JUCO linebacker Greg Blair to beef up the front seven that was so often pushed around in 2010.

The biggest change for the Bearcats’ defense must come along the defensive line. The Bearcats finished with just over two sacks per game in 2010, but that’s a number that will not work in the Big East where over half of the league’s teams now run some version of a pass-first, spread-oriented offense. The Bearcats must get more of a pass rush from its pair of junior defensive ends Brandon Mills and Dan Giordano. The two combined for 10.5 sacks last season, but need to be closer to that number individually for the defense to stand up against some of the Big East’s best offenses.

The schedule is difficult for a team intent on creating a bounce-back season. The Bearcats travel to rebuilding Tennessee in week two and host N.C. State in week four. A 2-2 start would be a rough opening to the season heading into conference play. The Bearcats host Louisville and West Virginia at Paul Brown Stadium instead of Nippert Stadium ,effectively relinquishing some of their home field advantage. A smart sports bet should not expect UC to deliver a winning season. Road trips to Pitt, South Florida, and Syracuse figure to make anything more than a 6-6 season a challenge for Cincinnati.



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