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Cincinnati Bearcats Quick Hits


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Oklahoma’s first challenge of the 2008 college football season will come this Saturday afternoon when the Sooners host the Cincinnati Bearcats. After last Saturday evening’s walkthrough against Tennessee Chattanooga the Bearcats will provide a real test of Oklahoma’s revamped offense as well as a new secondary.

 

How good is Cincinnati? Well, we really don’t know. They breezed past their opening opponent, Eastern Kentucky, 40-7 last Thursday with an offense that produced 557 net yards. We’ll jump into offensive and defensive position breakdowns as the week progresses but to help us get started with previewing the Bearcats I’d like to introduce Bill Koch of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Mr. Koch was kind enough to provide some quick answers to a few questions about Oklahoma’s week two opponent.

 

We have to start with the quarterback position. Dustin Grutza was the story for the Bearcats offense, completing 21 of 28 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Were you surprised by his performance against Eastern Kentucky?

 

No, I was not surprised by Grutza's performance vs. EKU. He started for two years before Ben Mauk arrived last year and he was Big East offensive player of the week last year when he started for Mauk against Miami (Ohio).

 

In order for a quarterback to put up those type of numbers he has to have some pretty good players at the skill positions. How good are receivers Marshwan Gilyard and Dominick Goodman?

 

UC has plenty of good receivers. The best two are Goodman and Marcus Barnett, who set a school record for touchdown receptions last year.

 

It appears that the Bearcats use two running backs much like the Sooners do. What can you tell us about Scott Johnson and John Goebel?

 

Scott Johnson is a reserve who doesn't play very often. He put up those numbers last week based on a long run near the end of the game. The starter is Jacob Ramsey, who started the last three games last year. Goebel shares the position. He was redshirted last year. It's hard to tell how good they are because they haven't played enough yet.

 

Defensive tackle Terrill Byrd was suspended for the Eastern Kentucky game. What is his status for this game?

 

Terrill Byrd will play vs. Oklahoma.

 

Oklahoma scored seven touchdowns in their first seven possessions while debuting the new, fast paced no-huddle offense. If you’re Brian Kelly, how do you prepare to slow down the Sooners?

 

I have no idea how to slow down the Oklahoma offense. That's Brian Kelly and defensive coordinator Joe Tresey's job. You'd have to ask them.

 

Bearcats Head Coach, Brian Kelly, equated playing Oklahoma in football is like playing Duke or North Carolina in basketball. How is Cincinnati preparing to deal with the distractions that come with playing in front of 85,000 fans?

 

Cincinnati has played at Ohio State and West Virginia. I doubt if playing at Oklahoma will overwhelm them.

 

Thoughts?