Butch Jones has UC excited for 2012 season
By Eric True
The Bearcats were back in Nippert on Tuesday for practice, and the heat returned as well to make for a very humid session.
Let’s start with the big news of the day; Head coach Butch Jones officially named Munchie Legaux the starting quarterback for the week one game against Pitt. Coach Jones said that the competition aspect of practice still needs to be there, and he still wants to see how senior Brendon Kay plays. On the other hand, he doesn’t want players worrying about their spot and looking over their shoulder after a bad game or two. Not sure how it will play out for the rest of the season, but for week one, Munchie will be leading the Cincinnati offense.
Brendon Kay looked good again today, hitting RS freshmen receiver Shaq Washington on a nice 15 yard out during one of the scrimmage drills. Kay is at his best when he has time in the pocket and knows where he’s going with the ball. It’s when things break down that he seems to struggle. Not the best with throwing on the run and can struggle a bit with accuracy when faced with pressure. However, he never seems to get discouraged and has a short memory. I expect him to continue fighting throughout the season.
Maalik Bomar played like a man today. Against the scout team he came in and laid a HUGE hit on running back Deionte Buckley. You could hear the pop in the stands. Bomar continues to be a standout on defense and always seems to be in the right position.
Senior defensive lineman Walter Stewart looked good rushing the quarterback today and had a nice sack against the scout team. Coming from the blindside, he ran around the left tackle and snuck up on RS freshmen Patrick Coyne, stripping the ball away while getting the sack.
I know I’ve been singing his praises throughout camp, but sophomore Alex Chisum has continued to impress me. During one of the drills, Munchie hit Chisum on 3 straight 10-yard comeback routes, and each time Chisum would make the catch and immediately turn up field, looking to gain a few more yards. He just looks like a wide receiver and has developed a nice connection with Legaux. Look for him to have a nice year.
Junior Pat O’Donnell was impressive punting the ball today. I know I talked earlier in camp about the punters struggling, but O’Donnell was impressive today, spiraling the ball well and getting solid distance and hang time on his punts. Encouraging to see as the season draws near.
All camp long, senior safety Drew Frey has been Mr. consistency on defense, you never hear his named being called out by Coach Jones, which is a good thing. But let me tell you, Frey can lay the wood. He made some big hits today at practice, and he ALWAYS flies to the ball. Look for him to make some highlight worthy hits throughout the season.
The defensive line rotation seems to be intact. Walter Stewart, Adam Dempsey, Silverberry Mouhon and Jonathon Burt were running with the ones, with Jordan Stepp and Camaron Beard rotating in. Look for some combination of those six guys to be along the defensive line throughout the season.
The offense has been using sophomore Ralph Abernathy IV more the last few practices. He brings a different element to the offense, being a shiftier, smaller back than George Winn and Deointe Buckley. They like running screens for Abernathy, getting him the ball in space and letting him make some guys miss.
The read option seemed to be a big emphasis of the offense today. They ran some play action out of it as well. Munchie seems to be comfortable with it, and he made some nice decisions today, pulling the ball back when the D-end collapsed and handing it off when the D-end stayed. I like the read option a lot for this offense, as it forces the defense to take Legaux’s athletic ability and speed into consideration when defending the Cincinnati offense.
It was another up-tempo practice, and these guys are jacked up to play. The intensity is always there during a Butch Jones ran practice, but the closer we get to game day, the more pumped up these guys seem to be.