Cincinnati a mystery
Of all the teams on OU’s schedule, Cincinnati is perhaps the biggest mystery.
The Sooners didn’t fare well away from Norman. The Bearcats are OU’s first road test.
But Cincinnati is hard to figure. The Bearcats went 12-0 during the regular season but were hammered by Florida in the Sugar Bowl which exposed UC for playing a relatively soft schedule, highlighted by several close wins. The Bearcats aren’t even listed in some preseason top 25 polls despite coming off a 12-1 season.
Still, UC returns 14 starters. The mystery revolves around a coaching change. Brian Kelly left for Notre Dame, replaced by Central Michigan’s Butch Jones. Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty wrote it might be a blessing in disguise.
Daugherty said Jones is humble and hungry, an attention-to-detail coach who keeps a voice recorder by his bed at nights.
“Kelly was as good at dealing with the public as he was designing plays on cocktail napkins,” Daugherty wrote. “He could sell sand to the Saudis. But BK was in it for BK. Players privately resented Kelly’s credit-taking… Jones is different. He’s as family centered as Ward Cleaver. It’s a big family.”
Cincinnati’s defense was suspect but the offense was potent. Quarterback Tony Pike left for the NFL but Zach Collaros has some experience. UC finished fourth nationally in scoring (38.6) and ranked 11th in total offense (447.5).
ALLEN PLAYING WELL
Amid buzz surrounding incoming freshman Blake Bell, redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Allen has had a good fall camp in the competition for the backup job behind Landry Jones.
“I know the offense better and know what the defense is doing a lot better,” Allen said. “That helps me be more confident where I’m going with the ball and not second guess myself. I’m more confident in my reads which makes it more like a second-nature thing. It’s a lot more fun, a lot less stressful.”
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