2009 Cincinnati Bearcats Football Preview
2009 Cincinnati Bearcats season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official Cincinnati Bearcats football preview as well as the 2009 Cincinnati Bearcats Football Schedule. After reading this article check out our college football predictions against the current point spread.
Coach: Brian Kelly (3rd year at Cincinnati)
Team Name: Bearcats
2008 Overall Record: 11-3
Returning Starters: 9
Over the last five years, the Cincinnati Bearcats (11- 3 overall, 6- 1 Big East) have had their ups and downs. In 2005, they won just four games and couldn’t buy a bowl bid, while last year they took the conference crown and went to the Orange Bowl where they lost to Virginia Tech 7- 20. This season could be up, down or somewhere in the middle.
In 2008, then junior QB Tony Pike (324 ATT, 199 COMP, 2,407 YDs, 11 INTs, 19 TDs) had a massive season. He’s back as a senior and should have total command of the Bearcat offense. Wideout Mardy Gilyard (81 REC, 1.276 YDs, 11 TDs) is the top pass catcher on a deep receiving squad. Two fine running backs also return. Junior John Goebel (133 ATT, 607 YDs, 7 TDS) and senior Jacob Ramsey (152 ATT, 664 YDs, 2 TDs) are a tough one-two punch. The last part of the offense puzzle, the line, is experienced, skilled and deep. Look for Cincinnati to up its average total of 25.9 points per game from last season.
The defense was tough in 2008, holding opponents to 20.2 PPG. They were especially good versus the run, as opponents rushed for an average of just 115.0 YPG, ranking them 19th nationally. The only returning starter on “D” is free safety Aaron Webster (60 TKLS, 1 INT). That means that the frontline and linebacking units are both all new. Defensive end Curtis Young notched 25 tackles, 4 sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss in limited action last season. Look for him to improve those numbers. There are some solid sophomores on each unit with Derek Wolfe at defensive tackle, J.K. Shaffer at wide linebacker and Drew Frey at strong safety. Coordinator Bob Diaco has been hired to reshape the defense and gets to start with what is basically a clean slate.
All-American punter Kevin Huber is gone and will be tough to replace. Freshman Patrick O’Donnell will get the job. Placekicker Jake Rogers is back but has proven to be inconsistent in his first two seasons. The return game includes Gilyard, who averaged 27.6 YPR and scored two TDs, and Goebel, who was good for 21.8 YPR. The punt return game is also solid as D.J. Woods (9.4 YPR) comes back.
Head coach Brian Kelly (22- 6 in two years at Cincinnati) has a long way to go to make up for the loses on defense. Some believe that the Cats have ability this season to put more points on the board than they did last, compensating for a weaker defense. But will that work against non-conference clubs such as Oregon State and Illinois or versus top conference teams such as Rutgers, Pittsburgh and West Virginia? The last three games with West Virginia (November 13), Illinois (November 27) and Pittsburgh (December 5) will determine where this club ends up. A midland finish with a middle tier bowl invite look most likely.
Cincinnati Bearcats Football Schedule
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For more info on the 2009 Cincinnati Bearcats football program, view the Bearcats football site or you can read about other Big East teams below.