The Bearcats practice this afternoon and have the final player media availability before Saturday's game against Oklahoma.
Then the next time we will see them is at 6 p.m. at Paul Brown Stadium.
Hopefully, you all will be there as well.
--- Yesterday, I posted a few different items. There was a Bearcats in the NFL roundup from Week 2 as well as a reaction to yesterday's media availability.
Most of my post was about the message of Butch Jones and emphatic nature with which he defended himself and the program. To be expected, for sure, but definitely worth noting.
I know people are frustrated and angry and without doubt the Bearcats players and coaches are as well, but all this anger and disdain toward Jones needs to stop. The guy is working tirelessly to turn this thing around. Judging him is fine and expected, but you can't judge now. View the entire year's body of work before jumping to conclusions.
--- This program is having to get used to losing for the first time in a long time. The last time it lost 2 of 3 was Oct. 2007. Bill Koch talked about how the team is dealing with emotions and fixing the problems.
Judging by what I saw of at the end of Wednesday's practice, there is no lack of fire, that's for sure.
--- Sam Weinberg at the News Record says the season is not in shambles yet.
--- Jones said Ben Guidugli will not play against Oklahoma with his sprained ankle. Guidugli has struggled to get into the flow of the offense this season. The Bearcats haven't been able to get him in space or open in the middle of the field. Plus, his services were much more important blocking on the line.
Adrien Robinson will take a more prominent role as the starting tight end. With Robinson's bigger body type it will be less of a loss than you would think. Since Guidugli wasn't being used as much as a receiving tight end, having a bigger body inside to help block would be playing more to Robinson's strength anyway.
--- Regardless of what the Bearcats have done, it should still be a pretty festive atmosphere down at PBS on Saturday. UC athletics released all the gameday information so you know where to do go and what to do.
--- Did you know Derek Wolfe played 80 snaps on Thursday? Dan Giordano said he was up around 70-75. I don't care how great of shape you are in, that is a lot of snaps.
That makes the offense sustaining drives all the more important considering the lack of depth behind them on the d-line.
Butch Jones said this about the situation:
"Do we want Derek Wolfe to play over 80 snaps? No, but you know what, that is what it is. That's where our depth is, there is noting we can do about it. That is a tribute to him. He walked in and was like, coach, I am a believer. I played more snaps than I ever have and I was ready to go.
"The problem of playing 80 snaps is not getting off the field on third downs. We have to play better third down defense. When you are playing an upetmpo offense the whole key to the game is third down."
--- Tim Adams at BearcatLair makes a good point as he noticed Zach Collaros hung around after practice and talked to as many as five reporters. He was the last one to leave. I am pretty sure I was the last one to talk to him and he hung around and happily went through all the same tough questions I am sure everyone before me asked.
Collaros is a stand-up guy. He's accountable. He's open about his successes and failures. He has been since Day 1 when I stood in a damp hallway at South Florida and talked about his breakout game.
For the first time I can remember, he got caught on camera showing his frustration at a dropped pass against NC State. As he said to Adams, "I regret doing that...I obviously have to control myself better."
Nobody will hate on Collaros for being human, it's hard to do anything but respect him for owning up to it.
--- Mardy Gilyard hasn't been able to get on the field in the passing game for St. Louis. Writer Bernie Miklasz had this to say, questioning the decision of coach Steve Spagnuolo.
"I've said it before and I'll mention it again: I'm not sure why GM Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo seem to think they're on a 5-year, 7-year, rebuilding plan. It doesn't work like that in the modern NFL. So why is rookie WR Mardy Gilyard a spectator in the passing game? Gilyard isn't a burner; he won't win track meets. But Gilyard has the ability to elude defenders and make them miss. He has the potential to take a short pass and juke it for a longer gain. He could be a playmaker if given an opportunity. So why is the kid being given a redshirt season, at least so far? Same with the rookie tight end, Fendi Unobun. He may have to play some now, simply because the Rams are so banged up at the position. And sure, Unobun is raw. But he's also a 6-6, 250-pound target with real athletic ability and above-average speed and agility for a big man. So if nothing else, why can't Unobun be deployed on passing downs in an attempt to create a mismatch? The Rams cannot surpress talent. They have to turn it loose, even if it means living with rookie errors."
--- Brian Bennett takes stock of the Big East. He mentions the quality game D.J. Woods had against N.C. State and takes notice of UC's struggles in the return game. As he points out, the Bearcats have only one return over 30 yards this year.
--- Big East bashing is as popular as Glee. And equally difficult to take in. (I don't get it, I will never get it, don't try to explain to me why it's a great show. It's not.)
--- A big day for UC and Big East volleyball yesterday. But bigger day for Stephanie Niemer as she was named National Player of the Week.
She has 30+ kills in two of the last three matches. It was the first time a player from UC or the Big East received the award.
--- For today's randomness, Gnomeo and Juliet. It's Romeo and Juliet, but with gnomes. I'm not sure if this is awesome or creepy. Anytime I think of creepy little people, however, I can't help but replay Dance Magic Dance from Labyrinth. David Bowie at his best and worst all at the same time.