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Previewing Cincinnati - The Bearcat Offense

I don't think that by anyone's standards the Cincinnati Bearcats have lived up to expectations. I'm also pretty sure that you won't find anyone who ever thought they'd see Cincy struggle on offense the way that they have. Currently the Bearcats have the nation's 96th rushing offense (117.67 YPG), 60th passing offense (219.67 YPG), 84th overall offense (337.33 YPG) and 80th scoring offense (24.33 PPG). While there are several factors that we can point to for the cause of Cincinnati's offensive woes everything pretty much just boils down to one factor.


Marcus Barnett

5 rec/ 61 yards/ 1 TD


Armon Binns

16 rec/209 yards/ 2TDs



Sam Griffin


Evan Davis


Jason Kelce


Alex Hoffman


C.J. Cobb


Adrien Robinson



D.J. Woods

17 rec/264 yards/ 3 TDs


Zach Collaros

54-89/659 yards/6 TDs/15 sacks



Isaiah Pead

10 carries/36 yards


Its hard for a quarterback to get things accomplished when he's lying on his back. Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros has spent a lot of time picking himself up off the ground over the first three weeks of the season after being sacked 15 times during that span. However, when he's upright he's effective. Collaros has completed nearly 61% of his passes this season with 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. You want your quarterback to have good down field vision and make smart decisions and that seems to describe Collaros who is averaging over 12 yards per completion. Among his favorite targets is receiver D.J. Woods who is averaging 15.5 yards per reception and has caught three touchdowns. Collaros also has the ability to run as well and had it not been for the sacks he would have much more impressive numbers. He has run for two touchdowns on the season so far.

Isaiah Pead returns to the starting lineup this week after nursing his way back from an injury. In his stead Darrin Williams has been filling in and had been more than solid. He's rushed for 144 yards on 20 attempts (7.2 YPC) while sharing time in the backfield. He'll make an appearance on Saturday but if Pead is completely healthy then he'll get the bulk of the carries.

It goes without saying that Oklahoma's defense is better suited for facing this type of conventional offense than the triple option attacks they've seen through the first four weeks of the season. Sooner fans should expect a performance more along the lines of what we witnessed against Florida State than what we saw against Utah State and Air Force. With the struggles Cincinnati has had upfront I would expect the Sooners to live in the backfield all day. Of course they'll also need to be aware of the potential for screens that may be used to keep the Sooners from being ultra aggressive.