It’s unclear if Zach Collaros, who was limited to crutches in the 2nd half, will be able to play next week against Rutgers. The good news is Legaux seemed much more comfortable in the starting role as the game progressed and is a much more natural fit for this offense despite his inexperience. Losing Zach isn’t good for this team but it won’t be a killer. The defense played great today against arguably the best offense in the Big East sacking Geno Smith five times and only allowing 17 offensive points. They will not face a tougher offense the rest of the season.
All very important points
Munchie made up for the gaff by hitting Kenbrell Thompkins, 67 yards, for a 34 yard strike. He hit Thopmkins with another pass to the 21. UC went uber conservative, run, short pass, all while letting the clock run. On 3rd down, they chose to play for the tie, calling a QB draw that got nothing. Jones let the clock run, then called timeout. That part is cool. What's not cool is that he then called another timeout, icing his own kicker. That gave WV time to get a block ready. UC has given up 5 or 6 blocked kicks before this. As you know, the Miliano kick was blocked. Cincinnati lost. They lost because they played for the tie.
The "UC lost because Butch Jones played it safe" angle is bullshit. Percentage wise UC's best chance for a win was to play for overtime. I have no issues with it.
Maalik Bomar was also lost to an injury earlier in the third quarter, and despite returning to the sideline in full gear, he failed to return to the game. The injury was referred to as muscle spasms, but after the game Butch Jones stated that he was still waiting on news as to the severity of the injury.
This is the injury that no one is talking about.
In so doing, the Bearcats also relinquished the inside track to a third BCS bowl in four years. They're still 3-1 in the Big East, a half-game ahead of Pitt and Louisville, which they've beaten already, and Rutgers, their opponent next Saturday. WVU is also 3-2. If UC wins its last three, it's home free.
UC still has the inside track to the Big East. It's called controlling your own destiny.
The UC players said they will not allow the loss of Collaros deter them from their pursuit of their third Big East championship in the last four years. "We’re not hanging our heads on Munchie," said running back Isaiah Pead. "We have a new quarterback. We have a new leader on the field. I have all the faith in the world in him."
And so the "how can you possibly win a game without Zach Collaros" storyline has already taken root
"I think we suffered just about every adversity that you could suffer in every single aspect of a football game," said UC coach Butch Jones, "but they kept fighting and it came down to the final play."
"As soon as I got through the wing, I knew I was going to block it," he said. "I saw (the ball) as it was coming off his foot that it was going to be a low-trajectory kick ... I was ecstatic."
Legaux had both good and bad moments against the Mountaineers. He was intercepted on his second pass and badly overthrew his receiver on several other occasions but still finished with a respectable 10 of 21 for 144 yards. He also ran for 77 yards, including a 65-yard run, and scored a touchdown on a 7-yard run.
I really hate intellectually lazy people. That's why the hackish media in this town draws my ire so often. Did Munchie Legaux have good and bad moments yes. But in the course of a game everyone has good moments. The relevant point is that almost all of Munchie bad moments came early, all the good ones came late. That's the real story that no one in Cincinnati is bringing up.
Pead once again burned West Virginia’s defense this afternoon with 113 yards on 19 carries, giving him 369 yards and four TDs in three career games against the Mountaineers. He also became the third back in Cincinnati history to surpass 3,000 yards rushing for his career.
"It's not as much about what we did or didn't do offensively," Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "It's not as much about what we did or didn't do defensively. Same thing with the special teams. It's not about that. It's about how much effort and energy we played with. It was the theme of the week."
Few weapons on the West Virginia roster are as valuable as wide receiver Tavon Austin. Austin did about everything for West Virginia, totaling 246 all-purpose yards on the afternoon. Austin and fellow wide receiver Stedman Bailey were once again favorite targets for quarterback Geno Smith, who finished with 376 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. The Mountaineers overcame two missed field goals, 13 penalties, and only 28 yards rushing to squeak out the victory. Much of the credit can be given to the West Virginia defense, which responded well when the Bearcats were forced to turn to backup quarterback Munchie Legaux.
The No. 23 Bearcats (7-2, 3-1) still control their destiny in the Big East race as the only team with one league loss. But West Virginia (7-3, 3-2) and four others are right behind with two losses each. If Collaros is out for an extended period as anticipated, there are no guarantees that the Bearcats win out to get the BCS berth.