3 Bearcats looking to dash my hopes of a 4-0 Indiana Hoosiers team

Alright Hoosier Nation,

We got a big one this week folks!!! Look for the Cincinnati Bearcats to come out harder than any of the teams we have played prior. Each week I look into the Hoosiers’ opponent and see which playmakers the Hoosiers will have highlighted come Saturday. This week’s opponent is packing some serious heat.

The Cincinatti Bearcats are entering Saturday looking to make a statement. Normally, I don’t think knocking down Indiana would be a program statement by more successful programs (no offense to my own squad, I will follow to the end) but the Bearcats are going to be unranked Saturday. Unranked, after being ranked to start the season. Then handling business against their lesser opponents and only having dropped a game by a single score to the now #10 Razorbacks in Arkansas. Look for the Bearcats to come out wanting to make us an example for the rest of the sports media world to look at. We can not allow that to happen if we want to retain our undefeated status.

Weapons. Weapons. Weapons. Cincinnati’s got them in droves. But let’s first look into, of course, the quarterback position. Ben Bryant threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns in Cincinnati’s 38-17 victory over the Miami RedHawks. Ben Bryant was with Cincinnati for 3 years backing up Desmond Ridder. He transferred and starred on Eastern Michigan. Then transferred back to take the job this season. Luke Fickell wanted the young man back for a reason. That reason being a stellar arm.

At 6’ 3” and 220 lbs, Ben Bryant gives Cincinnati a far more pocket-based game than fans have been accustomed to in the Ridder era, but they have been happy with what they’ve seen. He has the ability to make big time throws if given the time, and that’s just what we cannot allow him. The key to limiting Ben Bryant, as is the key with limiting most any quarterback is pressure. I believe Cincinnati will be much easier to scheme against this year, but I think they may run the plays they do with more precision than seen in previous seasons. Bryant racked up over 3,000 yards at Eastern Michigan last season. He’s comfortable airing it out. Time for our defensive front to make him uncomfortable.

Playing into the threat of Ben Bryant is his favorite target, Tyler Scott. Tyler Scott has amassed a nice little stat line over the course of 3 games, 15 catches for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 5’ 11”, 185 lb. receiver is Cincinnati’s largest deep threat. Last year, after having played every game for the Bearcats he averaged 17.33 yards a catch. Pretty deep action he was getting from Ridder. With 15.86 yards a catch this year, he seems to be picking up right where he left off.

While pressure will be key to stopping this one, our secondary is also going to be challenged far more than they have yet. While our secondary has been such a nice surprise for me, playing decent enough and even well at times. I’m looking for the Hoosiers to make a statement of their own in this one. Here’s hoping that they continue showing that they are so much more than we had thought they were after last season.

On the defensive side, I have my eye on linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. The kid has got a nose for the football. He is consistently the man making plays for the bearcats. Pace Jr. has tallied a total of 31 tackles (9 TFLs). That is 15 more than the next bearcat. The man looks to have total freedom on the defense and the trust of Fickle. He will be looking to disrupt Bazelak by providing the largest bulk of Cincinnati’s pressure, while also dropping back into coverage periodically. While he is a problem, I have full confidence that we will be able to plan for him and have our blocking scheming make up for any damage he could potentially do.

I will reiterate: the Bearcats will have more weapons than we have yet faced. They are a powerful program right now in college football. Going into this one as 15 point underdogs, the Hoosiers have an opportunity to draw the gaze of the nation here. With a win over Cincinnati to make Indiana Football 4-0, we would absolutely begin to get a few eyes looking our way, and that’s what it’s all about. Eyes on the program means attention from recruits. Attention from recruits means better players for the Hoosiers. Simple really.

Again, I just like to take each week to throw out a line on the Indiana Football opponent of the week. Thank you all for taking the time to read this. Just a fanboy who loves football, loves the Hoosiers, and loves being undefeated. Let’s go 4-0!

The Hoosiers are looking to topple the Bearcats, named after one of their past players and not the animal. I just wanted to show you what a real bearcat looks like (dumb and sneaky).

Down with the Bearcats!

LUX ET VERITAS!

-Burke

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