College Football Preview: The 2015 Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati Bearcats Preview
2014 Record: 9-4 (Second Place in AAC) Lost Military Bowl to Virginia Tech 33-17
Odds to Win National Championship: +80000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: Tommy Tuberville led the Cincinnati Bearcats to their fourth straight bowl game with a 9-4 record. Cincinnati has become a consistent contender in the Big East/AAC and now looks to push for double-digit wins for the first time since 2012. Bearcats’ fans have to feel pleased the direction their program is heading and should expect another solid season.
Offense: Cincinnati’s offense is going to go as far as Gunner Kiel leads it, as he’s a top-10 quarterback in the country after throwing for 31 touchdowns his first season on campus. Kiel gives the Bearcats a punchers chance against anybody on any given Saturday. Cincinnati is also in good hands with receivers Shaq Washington, Mekale McKay and Chris Moore returning, a trio that produced more than 2,000 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. Mike Boone returns at running back after a strong freshman season and Hosey Williams returns from injury. The Bearcats offensive line returns three starters. Simply put, the Cincinnati Bearcats offense has the ability to be the best in the AAC and one of the best in the country with so much talent and experience returning.
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Defense: The Bearcats defense needs to improve drastically in order to take that next step, and it has the ability to do so with Zach Edwards, Leviticus Payne and Grant Coleman returning. Cincinnati will also get a boost from leader Adrian Witty returning from injury. The Bearcats gave up a lot of points and yards, but they showed their potential by racking up 35 sacks and producing 24 turnovers. However, the Bearcats must find enough players to replace the production of Terrell Hartsfield and Jeff Luc, a duo that combined for 15.5 sacks last season. With yet another new defensive coordinator, defense is once again a question mark for Cinci.
Special Teams: Andrew Gantz returns at kicker after making 80 percent of his field goals on 20 attempts. Sam Geraci returns at punter after averaging nearly 40 yards per attempt on 51 kicks.
Overall: Even with a questionable defense, this should be the year the Cincinnati Bearcats really put their stamp on college football. The entire offense is in place and led by a quarterback who could start for just about any program in the country. The Bearcats can not blow this opportunity and should push for a season like 2009 when they finished with a 12-1 record. Yes, the potential for Cincinnati this season is quite high.