On Thursday night, I asked Butch Jones to describe the 8th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in one word.
"Explosive," Jones said. "They are an extremely explosive football team and very deserving of their Top 10 ranking. Every Monday I watch about seven different games to see what teams are doing and they're the best team I've seen on film. They have weapons everywhere."
And few coaches use their weapons as well as
"The big thing that stood out was their tempo on offense," Jones said. "They're going to test you. They played an Air Force team that controlled the ball last week and they still managed to run 80 plays on offense. That's a lot of plays. The other big thing is the way they distribute the ball to their playmakers."
"The lead scout for the St. Louis Rams was in my office two days ago and he said he had never seen a quarterback that had as much poise, arm strength, and ability as Sam Bradford," Jones said. "Then they bring in Landry Jones and they don't miss a beat."
The Bearcats, on the other hand, have skipped a beat on offense this year - largely due to their inability to protect Zach Collaros who has been sacked 15 times.
"The problems on the offensive line are very fixable," Jones told me. "We have to have some individuals step up. Football is a game of winning your one-on-one matchups and we've done some different things schematically to try to help them. They're a very prideful group and they made strides against NC State. I expect them to make great strides again this week. They've come every day with a workmanlike mentality and our team has really supported them. Our inconsistency on offense is not because of the line - it's a combination of a lot of little things."
"We have to do a great job of getting Isaiah the ball in space," Jones said. "He's a very explosive player and does a great job of making the first tackler miss. He's had a good week of practice and I'm excited to watch him play on Saturday night."
As I mentioned in my last column, when Butch Jones replaced Brian Kelly at
"I like our players, I like their work ethic, and it's our job to keep demanding what we expect on a daily basis," Jones said. "We are not wavering in what we believe in, and we're not panicking, we're just going to keep doing what we're doing and getting better. We've been through this before and proved that we can do it."
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Here are a couple of nuggets from Thursday's practice at Paul Brown Stadium.
Look for true freshman Roney Lozano to make his debut on the defensive line against
And while it might not happen this week, don't be surprised to see freshman quarterback Munchie Legaux line up at wide receiver in the near future. The Bearcats are thin at the position due to the season-ending injury to Vidal Hazelton and the ineligibility of Kenbrell Thompkins and Dyjuan Lewis, so Legaux volunteered to switch positions. He could give the Bearcats another big target at 6'5".
This week's game captains are Dan Giordano, Alex Hoffman, and Tom De Temple.
The endzones will still say "Bengals" on Saturday, but Paul Brown Stadium will have a UC look this week.
It should look great on TV.
Finally, due to a conflict with the Reds game on Saturday, our radio broadcast will be heard locally on 102.7 FM WEBN. It can also be heard on Sirius 126 and XM 203.
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Enjoy this week's photo of the handsome lad.