Defense Shines In Second Scrimmage Of Spring Football

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bearcats offense dominated proceedings in the Bearcats first scrimmage of spring football. The defense returned the favor on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Conventional wisdom says that the defense should always be ahead of the offense at the end of spring football. If its not the offense better be a world devouring monolith of excellence or it will be a long season. So the fact that the offense was stagnant yesterday isn't as big a concern. It is more a relief that the defense has gotten ahold of Hank Hughes concepts defensively. This is the third different scheme in as many years. The base look has been a 4-3 in all three years, but the approach has varied.

As for the the quarterback derby a decision seems unlikely before summer camp. Gunner Kiel has been the top dog for all of spring, and still maintains poll position, but its closer than ideal. Kiel had a rough go of it Sunday in the scrimmage portion going 9 of 20 for 44 yards with a passer rating of 63.4. That should have opened the door a bit for Jared Evans but he couldn't capitalize going 9 of 18 for 86 yards with 1 TD and 3 costly interceptions adding up to a passer rating of 75.1. Call it a draw for the day, but Kiel is still the odds on favorite to start against Toledo.

In other news the running back rotation might have got another body for the mix in EJ Junior. Junior has bounced around for his first couple of years on campus playing full back and linebacker, but he might have a permanent home at running back. He is a bigger back at 6'0" 220 pounds but he showed impressive burst with a 10 carry 138 yard day, most of which came against the 2nd team defense. Regardless EJ sent Tion Green a message, and coach Tuberville made sure he heard it.

"I'd say Hosea and E.J. are running neck and neck for No. 1," Tuberville said. "We're not getting much out of Tion Green. Rod Moore is trying to get the defensive mentality out of him."

It was not much of a day for the receivers in the live scrimmage portion of the proceedings, but Chris Moore continues to dominate in the one on ones and 7 on 7 drills. It can't be said enough, this receiver corps could be the best in the school's history. There is so much depth and talent.

Lastly it would appear that Andrew Gantz is going to unseat Tony Miliano as the field goal kicker. At this point in his career Gantz might not have the raw power than Miliano has, but he has been more consistent this spring. Miliano could rally over the summer and take the job in camp, but he seems to be living in his head as he did for most of this season. That's no place for anyone to live.

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