Bearcats Host Temple, Keys To Friday Night Lights

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bearcats Return to Nippert Stadium after almost four weeks away from the friendly confines. The opponent for the night is Temple for a game that will be nationally televised.

Start Fast

UC has been dreadful in first quarters this year. It has cost them dearly on the road, although it hasn't been as big of a problem at home to date. The coaches and the players share in some of the culpability for the issue, but the Bearcats can't keep surviving these slow, turnover addled starts and expect to compete at a high level. Temple has had major issues against the pass this season, and the Bearcats are well positioned to exploit their weaknesses, but they have to finish plays against the Owls, and that hasn't been the strength of the offense to date.

Make Life Difficult For P.J. Walker

Tonight will mark the first start in the career of the young man from Elizabeth, NJ. He took over in the second quarter in the Louisville game a week ago and played well completing 10 of 19 passes for 186 yards an interception and a score, while chipping in 33 yards on the ground.

But this is his first start, and his first road start and there is a difference between being the reliever and the starter. The Bearcats defensive line has been a different group since the Illinois game, and this is a tailor made opportunity for Silverberry Mouhon and Co. operating against a struggling Temple front.

Free Tion

Tion Green has played in three games and carried the ball 25 times for 125 yards. Green picked up DNP's against Illinois and Miami. He provided a real spark to the offense when he was inserted into the contest against USF. Green has more potential than any other running back on the roster, but he hasn't been given the chance make good on that potential by Gran.

Get Shaq and McClung Together

Against South Florida went to more four wide receiver sets than they had in the previous four games. Before that they Bearcats typically threw out three receivers and a tight end in most sets. Its all about the match ups. Shaq Washington and Anthony McClung were the top two receivers in that game catching 13 passes for 138 yards between them. Putting both of those guys on the field at the same time is a tough cover for most defenses. Keep going to it.

Who Gets The Start At Center

Deyshawn Bond has played extremely well for a red shirt freshman in the most intellectually demanding position outside of quarterback. But he struggled throughout the Miami game and was replaced by Sam Longo in the third quarter after struggling again against South Florida. Bond is a really talented kid with all conference potential down the road, but for the last two games he has looked like the freshman that he is. There is no doubt that any experience Bond gets this year will be paid back in full, with interest for the next couple of years. But the Bearcats have got to get better production from the position.

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