Cincinnati Bearcats 23 Delaware State Hornets 7 | 10 Thoughts

Sept 15, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats cheerleaders line up during the national anthem before the game against the Delaware State Hornets at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-US PRESSWIRE

--The old adage is that a teams greatest improvement is between week one and week two. Clearly not the case for the Bearcats tonight. I firmly believe that the outcome of tonight's game had little to do with the skill or ability level of this team. This is a case of a bad week of practice coming to bear on a Saturday night.

-- What means for the ability level of this team is anyone's guess. The ceiling is obviously somewhere near last Thursdays performance. And I can't fathom a basement much lower than the one the Bearcats hit tonight. In the second half it seemed like this team was actively invested in creating the worst possible outcomes. They went out of their way to do stupid shit over and over again.

--The unraveling started when Anthony McClung let up going into the end zone. He finishes the play like he is supposed to and the game is effectively over. Instead he lets up, costs himself, and Munchie a TD and DSU gains a measure of confidence.

-- In the first half the Bearcats rolled up 327 yards and three touchdowns averaging 8.8 yard per play. In the second half UC gained 160 yards and averaged 4.2 yards per play. No idea what the hell happened in between.

--76 offensive snaps for the Bearcats is closer to what the Bearcats need going forward from a tempo standpoint. The offense, Munchie in particular, gets worse when the pace slows down. Part of the problem with the red zone offense tonight is that when UC got into those situations the pace dropped off. I understand the impulse to slow down and make sure that the play call is perfect. But the effect has been a negative so far this season.

--What is also clear is that the Bearcats need to run Munchie more. He had 8 carries tonight, only five of them were designed, two were sacks, one was a scramble. Its simple, he is arguably the best athlete the Bearcats have, he is far more effective when he has the running game going. UC has to make teams defend him in the running game. They did against Pitt, did not against Delaware State tonight.

--This offense has some issues, but I still think the Bearcats can ride this defense to a lot of wins. This group played badly, looked disinterested and didn't really feel like playing. And yet they completely dominated at the point of attack, limited a pretty good passing attack to 4.2 yards per play. I would be shocked to see this group play that badly again.

--Anthony McClung is becoming a very silent weapon as a punt returner. Through two games he has 8 returns for 131 yards, an average of 16 per pop. The new kickoff rules have somewhat blunted the impact that Ralph Abernathy IV can have. McClung is stepping up.

--Like the rest of the the team the offensive line played well and terribly at the same time. 272 pre sack rushing yards and a robust 5.3 per attempt. At the same time the cohesion wasn't there and the blitz pick ups were really extra spotty

-- For what its worth the Bearcats did rest several key contributors tonight. Drew Frey sat down, as did Adrian Witty. Also absent, Alex Chisum. Damon Julian started in his stead and put in 4 catches for 62 yards and grown man touchdown.

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