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Cincinnati Bearcats Host UConn: Keys To The Game

For what feels like the 6th time in a 6 game the Bearcats have a chance to make a statement and dispatch an over matched opponent in a timely fashion. They are oh for their previous five attempts. Here are the keys to breaking that streak.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line Must Turn Up

For most of the Temple game the defensive line was a non factor. The Temple offense kept the Bearcats defensive line at bay by throwing a ton of looks at them. The effect was similar to the Illinois game, and the UC front had little impact for most the game before finally turning up in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

The UConn front terrible. They have gone back to the drawing board up front simplifying schemes and cutting some of the volume out of the play book. It worked for a while in the first half and Lyle McCombs put up 135 first half yards, against USF. But the offensive line allowed the Bulls to double their sack total and play up to their talent level for the first time all year.

UConn is going to throw the ball, a lot, which is going to give the Bearcats lots of opportunities to make an impact, they have to make it.

Keep The Four Receiver Sets

For the last two games the Bearcats have been having more and more success running the ball out of four receiver sets. Tion Green broke his big touchdown a week ago running a zone scheme in with Ace personnel. The Bearcats simply aren't getting enough production from their two back sets to keep them in the rotation, at least to the degree that they were utilized in the first four games of the year.

Receiver Consistency

UConn boasts what is, by some measure, the best secondary the Bearcats have gone against in 2013. The only opponents defense to rank in the top 50 in pass efficiency defense is South Florida at 44. Almost every other team is in triple digits. The Huskies are ranked 26th in that metric. UConn's secodnary isn't elite, but it is playing at a high level.

There aren't going to be a massive amount of chances for the Bearcats receivers to make big plays. When the chances arise, the receivers have to make those chances count. Mekale McKay has been on the verge of breaking out in a big way. This could be a chance for McKay to make that leap because there is no one on UConn's team capible of handling him in coverage, be it man or zone.

All Tion All The Time

UC gashed Temple time and again by giving Tion Green the ball in Ace and pounding ahead. But Green was shelved at the midpoint of the third quarter. Every running game that they have faced save Buffalo has exceeded their season long average against the Huskies.

The trend line for the Huskies is pointing in the right direction, but it is still an average run defense at best. Run Tion Green at them until they can prove they can stop him. I don't think they can.

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