Obviously, there is blame to go around. Babcock told the Cincinnati Enquirer last month that the double open date to start the year was his fault. But the American Athletic Conference not only failed to come up with a league game for the Bearcats early, it failed to match up what appear to be its two best teams at all. Cincinnati and Central Florida don’t play each other, which means the conference robbed itself of its marquee game for 2014. Which says a lot about the league.
Toledo lost regular QB Phillip Ely (Alabama transfer) to a torn ACL last week, which means sophomore Logan Woodside steps in. UC especially wants to contain Toledo RB Kareem Hunt on early downs, and thus put the heat on the relatively untested Woodside on passing downs. UC DTs Brandon Mitchell and Camaron Beard and MLB Jeff Luc will be keys up front.
The Cincinnati players are "crawling up the walls" to play, according to Tuberville. With so much extra time off, the team focused on individual phases of the game on specific days. One day the Bearcats would work on the running game. Another day they’d work on third down. The next day would be gap control. The goal was to keep the players from getting bored. In a way, the schedule is a lot like the time between the regular season and a bowl game, with so much time to practice for one game.
"He paid for his own way for a year to go to school here, and he made it," UT coach Matt Campbell said. "When you talk about a guy that really wanted it — some kids get in that situation, they gotta work, they gotta pay their own way, and they can't do all those things. He did. That was one of the things that let us know we made the right decision on Alonzo."
At this rate Ralph David Abernathy will have a beard that is bigger than he is at the end of the season.