The first full contact scrimmage of any camp is the football equivalent of moving day at a golf tournament. It is the first big chance to make an impression on the coaching staff, and really the only change to state a case. If any of the freshman want to contribute to this team they have to show that they are ready today. At this point in camp everything is still simple, for the most part the offense and defense are still installing and working on the base packages. That's why today is so important for the young guys like Kevin Mouhon, Linden Stephens and Carter Jacobs* have to show mastery of the basics, or at the very least an understanding of where they need to be. Doing that gives them a solid foundation for the more complex concepts that will be installed as the Toledo game gets closer.
* It would seem very unlikely for any of the true freshmen on offense to take a run at a rotation spot on offense. Too much experience and too much depth at the skill spots.
Today will be just as important in finding some semblance of a rotation at defensive tackle. That position group is still a massive question mark for this team because it is hard to know what you have there without contact. The Bearcats have been live for two days now, but today is going to be the first day at game speed.
With the defensive tackles there is a larger question about whether they can match the production of the four guys who were the rotation a year ago. Wrapped in that there are questions about every guy. Has the light finally came on for Brandon Mitchell? Can Cam Beard shake off last year's demotion and come back with a strong senior season? Is Alex Pace ready for a spot in the rotation as a redshirt sophomore? What exactly does UC have in Hakeem Allonce and Sione Tongamoa? In an ideal world the Hank Hughes and his staff will use today's scrimmage to find out which five or six guys they can trust. From there they can figure out the rotation.
Then there is Gunner Kiel* who has a chance to effectively end this quarterback competition with a good day. By most accounts Kiel has pretty comfortably been the best quarterback on the roster through camp so far. At the same time he hasn't shown the kind of sharpness in practice this fall that he showed in the spring. The big question is can he get back to that level when the Bearcats go live today?
*It only took me 366 words to mention Gunner, I think that qualifies as good restraint
Today is moving day, so the depth chart coming out of this game won't be anything like it was going in. Good luck to all and Go Bearcats.