Bearcats Outlook: Offense


Isaiah Pead last year vs UConn
The Bearcats boast the best backfield in the conference with preseason player of the year candidates Zach Collaros and Isaiah Pead. Collaros will look to improve on a very disappointing season last year. After going 4-0 in 2009 and having stats through the roof Collaros struggled last season. A struggling line in front of Collaros caused many problems and having to force the ball to try and get the Bearcats back in the game caused even more. Collaros' frustration was shown mightily when he threw 10 picks in the last four games.Heshould improve in 2011 with more mental preparation. Collaros will likely be backed up by junior Branden Kay after Chazz Anderson left school. Sophomore Munchie Legauex, who played receiver last season, should be the third string quarterback.
Rating: 8

Isaiah Pead comes into the year after rushing for over 1,000 yards in only ten starts. Pead had limited rushing attempts many times last season with the Bearcats having to air out the ball when the 3rd quarter came around as they tried to play catch up so many times. When they did hand Pead the ball he was very successful, averaging 6.6 yards a carry. The senior running back also rushed for 145+ yards four times last season and had a 200 yard, four touchdown performance vs Rutgers. Darrin Williams was Pead's back up going into the season last year but had injuries all season long so George Winn moved his way up the depth chart. Look for those two to battle for backup while freshman Jameel Poteat and Akise Teague will also be thrown into the mix.
Rating: 8

Receiving Core

Anthony McClug looks to be a major target
for Collaros in the upcoming season
Receivers Armon Binns and Marcus "Bones" Barnett have graduated so the #1 spot falls into the hands of senior D.J Woods. Woods had an outstanding season statistically but his fumble trouble cost the Bearcats big time. Woods fumbled twice in the Bearcats loss to Oklahoma and a win could have totally changed the season. Woods looks to be back with determination and he will be joined by junior College transfer and four star recruit Kenbrell Thompkins. Thompkins is a very athletic receiver who draws similarities to a Vidal Hazelton type player and he could also take over as the #1 receiver. The two will be likely be joined by Anthony McClug. The sophomore had 22 receptions for over 200 yards last season as a freshman and looks to be the third receiver in Cincy's offense. Freshman Shaq Washington and Dyjuan Lewis look like they are poised to play right away while senior Orion (OJ) Woodard looks to receive some playing time.
Rating: 7

Ben Guidugli has graduated and 6'5 TE Adrien Robinson looks to be the guy to take over his place. Robinson has improved his blocking abilities and he is a huge target for Collaros in the receiving game. Robinson had a better 2009 campaign then he did last year but still managed to score a diving touchdown vs Oklahoma. Robinson looks to be backed up by either Junior Travis Kelce or Sophomore Blake Annen. Kelce ran the wildcat offense for the Bearcats in 2009 but was suspended last season and looks to make a comeback while Black Annen is also a very viable option. Both are around huge targets at 6'6 250 and  have improved their blocking skills dramatically throughout the offseason.
Rating: 6

The Line

Captain Alex Hoffman looks to lead the line
The Cats ranked 97th in sacks allowed last season and lost their star and leader upfront in Jason Kelce. Senior Tackle Alex Hoffman looks to lead the Cats to an improved season and it starts with his unit upfront. Hoffman was an All Big East guard two season ago but has since moved to tackle to fill the need. He will be joined by 6'9, 300 pound tackle Sean Hooey on the other side. Hooey started a couple games last season and has bulked up and improved his footwork. Center Evan Davis looks to bounce back after being booted from the line up after an unimpressive opening game vs Fresno St and failed to start again all season long. Randy Martinez started the final eleven games of the season last year at guard and looks to provide leadership on the interior of the line. The other guard guard position has been a battle between sophomores Austen Bujoch and Andre Cureton and it may not be determined until the offense steps on the field at Nippert come September 3rd. The line struggled very mightily last season so many players got some experience as they tried to find the right overall group for the job. That experience should help this years team as they try and cut down the 33 sacks they gave up last season.

Grade: 5.5

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