NCAA

Toledo (1-1) at Cincinnati (0-0) Preview

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NCAA Football: Purdue at CincinnatiCINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Bearcats will open their season at home against the Toledo Rockets. The Rockets lost to the No. 24 Missouri Tigers 49-24 last week to fall to 1-1. The Bearcats closed out 2013 with a 39-17 loss to the North Carolina Tarheels in the Belk Bowl to finish 9-4.

The Rockets have been just that on offense averaging 537 yards and 39 points per game in a well-balanced attack. Sophomore running back Kareem Hunt has rushed for 286 yards and five touchdowns while junior passer Phillip Ely has thrown for 541 yards and four scores but will be out for the season with a knee injury. Most of the passing game has gone into the hands of junior receiver Alonzo Russell who has 12 catches for 167 yards. However, Toledo’s defense has allowed 438.5 yards and 34.5 points per game making it necessary for the offense to continue being highly productive. The defense does have 14 tackles for loss with senior linebacker Junior Sylvestre leads the team with 17 tackles, 1.5 for loss.

The Bearcats averaged 472.1 yards and 32.1 points per game in 2013 but will have to replace highly efficient quarterback Brendon Kay. The offense returns its’ top three rushers in senior Hosey Williams (655 yards, 4 TD), senior Ralph David Abernathy IV (518 yards, 5 TD) and junior Tion Green (412 yards, 7 TD). The receiving corps will still have top receiver Shaq Washington (78 catches, 783 yards, TD) as a target for whomever steps up at QB. Cincinnati’s defense allowed 315.6 yards and 21 points per game and was the strength of the team for most of the season. Senior Nick Temple returns to shore up the defense with 80 tackles, 13.5 for loss including 5 sacks an interception and a forced fumble in 2013. Junior defensive lineman Silverberry Mouhon had 9.5 sacks and seven quarterback hurries.

Keys for Toledo Win

The offense must dictate the tempo with Hunt getting lots of carries and Ely picking spots in the defense. The defense needs to get pressure in the backfield.

Keys For Cincinnati Win

Williams, Abernathy IV and Green must provide a run game to help new quarterback get acclimated. Defense must control the line of scrimmage.

Key Injuries :

Toledo – Marquise Moore (DT); Nate Jeppesen (DT); Phillip Ely (QB); Cameron Cole (CB); Cheatham Norrils (CB)

Cincinnati – Munchie Legaux (QB)

Favorite:

Latest Line, Cincinnati -10

Conclusion:

Toledo looks to build on early season success and ruin the season opener for the Bearcats.

About Mark West

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