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What To Expect: Cincinnati Offense vs Miami Defense

The Cincinnati Bearcats offense found very little resistance from the Toledo Rockets in their first game of the season. The Miami RedHawks will offer considerably more. They aren't flashy or loaded with athletes up front, but they are a really sound and physical defense.

Andy Lyons

They align in a 4-3, primarily in an under front against obvious running personnel groupings involving six or seven blockers. They will not face many such situations from the Bearcats who will look the air it out. But that general sense of aggression does carry through to the backfield. Miami isn't a team that really believes in the blitz to get pressure, they prefer to get their with their defensive line. But the coaches are smart enough to realize that they aren't going to be able to do that this year with this personnel.

Last week against Michigan the RedHawks really challenged the Wolverines to run the ball on an 8 man front. That is something that Michigan did with success, because they have better talent upfront and in the backfield. That kind of posture was something this group showed flashes of during last years dismal season.

Against Marshall who is similar to the Bearcats in terms of their style and composition of offense the RedHawks played way off with cover 2 and cover 4 shells. I would expect them to do the same things against the Bearcats spread looks. I would expect more cover 2 than for from the RedHawks today to create help over the top to combat the Bearcats vertical passing game. And because they don't want any one on one matchups against the Bearcats receivers down the field, especially with Mekale McKay and Chris Moore. In cover 4 that is exactly what the Bearcats vertical routes result in.

The flip side of that is the Miami has to be able to get to Gunner Kiel. They do have a better front than Bearcats have gotten used to watching in recent years. They have more sacks through three games this year than they did last year through eight, and as mentioned above part of that is the realization that they must blitz more regularly to have an impact on opposing passing games.

This game is going to come down to one thing for the Bearcats, keeping Gunner upright. That is going to be a tougher challenge this week with starters Deyshawn Bond and Cory Keebler expected to miss starts, and potentially not play at all. The Bearcats do have a little more depth this year, but they are unquestionably better with Bond in the game. I do expect a tight affair as these things usually are, but the Bearcats depth and superior skill position players will eventually come to bear.