Last week I read a great blog on here about Cam Cheatham. You should, too, if you haven't. Here's the link to Dan Hoard's blog.
For me, whenever I think of Cam Cheatham, I always think about Louisville 2010. That year, he swatted down the fourth-down pass in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 12 to save a victory against the Cardinals. Then only a sophomore, it placed Cheatham on the map among the top corners in the program. He's never left since.
Now, for most that will be remembered as "The Armon Binns Game," and deservedly so. Binns caught eight passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns that night, including a leaping TD down the sideline for the game-clinching TD. Here's your refresher:
For whatever reason, I've always remembered it as "The Cam Cheatham Game," because of the big play he made at the conclusion and his emergence ever since.
I know I'm far in the minority on remembering it this way. Even Cheatham acknowledged that.
"That was the first big play of my career," he said. "But I do have to disagree with you, though, that's the Armon Binns Game. I have to give it to him. I am just a small fry there, Armon, he carried us there."
OK, OK, Armon earned that designation. But don't expect Cheatham to have any issue recalling how he helped seal the victory.
"I'll never forget that," Cheatham said. "I remember Reuben Johnson saying, 'They are coming your way,' when we broke the huddle. That's what I remember. I just had to be ready."
For a young kid coming up, there's nothing quite as special or memorable as the first big play made to help a win, much less secure it on fourth down in the end zone.
"When you start a game, after that first hit you get a little bit comfortable," he said. "After you make your first big play it's like, OK, I know how it feels to make this play now maybe I can get used to doing stuff like that."
As UC returns to the sight of his emergence its fitting they'll need a few more to slow Teddy Bridgewater and the Cardinals potent passing attack. Bridgewater leads the conference, completing 73.4 percent of his passes. That's good for third in the country, less than one percentage point behind national leader Geno Smith.
He's one of only two QBs in the conference to average greater than eight yards per pass -- he's stationed at 9.0. Without question, he's the biggest reason the Cardinals enter Friday night undefeated.
Last week, the Bearcats held Toledo QB Terrance Owens to his lowest passing total (126 yards) and completion percentage (54.2) since becoming the full-time QB following their Week 1.
Against Miami, UC held Zac Dysert to his lowest completion percentage (51.0) of the season and picked him off three times, including a Cheatham Pick-6.
UC limited Logan Thomas of VT to 56.4 percent completions -- though during his terrible season that hasn't been his worst, they still limited his effectiveness while picking him off twice.
Only Fordham and Pittsburgh saw their QBs exceed 57 percent in completions. Keeping Bridgewater out of his rhythm will go a long way to stealing a victory at Papa's place.
The flip in personality of the Bearcats from last trip to Louisville brings an interesting change of pace for somebody like Cheatham who was around during the days when UC won in spite of their defense instead of because of it.
"It used to be a lot different," Cheatham said. "I was here in the days when we were the laughingstock. It feels good to be needed more, which means we need to step up more."
Friday, they will need to win because of it. Being involved in a shootout with Bridgewater in Louisville is no way to leave with a win. Of course, Cheatham owns experience making plays in their house. Likely, if the game stands on the line again, picking on Cheatham won't be their first option.
"I don't know, they might," he said. "Hopefully if they do I can make the same play."
Let's eat ...
--- Butch Jones press conference yesterday, in case you missed any of it here's the video/transcript link.
--- Also, announced the game will be on ESPN on Friday night, switched from ESPN2. Not sure any home in America that has ESPN that doesn't have ESPN2, but adjust accordingly anyway.
--- A congratulations goes out to Santa Ono who was officially named the 28th president of the University of Cincinnati. He's a huge supporter of sports and the student-athlete and I haven't met a soul at UC who doesn't think this was a fantastic hire. #HottestCollegeInAmerica
--- The AP with a pretty in-depth preview of the game.
--- Not sure what's going on at CBS, but they offer little respect to the Bearcats for the second time this week. This time they pick Louisville to beat UC 35-17 on Friday. You know they have won each of their last five games by 10 points or less and all but one against teams with losing records, right? But The Lou by 18? OK.
For the completely recreational use record --- most have Louisville as a 3.5-point favorite.
--- Say what you will about Bridgewater, read this story about him and his strong-willed mother by Andrea Adelson. Great piece.
--- Her partner in fodder, Matt Fortuna, looks at UC rebounding from the loss to Toledo.
--- Randomness ...
--- Texas opened a stretch of highway today with an 85 mph speed limit. You know how desolate and barren land must be to allow 85 mph?
--- From the land of most depressing thought of the morning: Every hour of TV you watch after the age of 25 decreases life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. I always thought those episodes of Jersey Shore were killing me, little did I know how truthful that concept really was.
--- Time named the 25 Best Blogs of 2012. I know you'll find this hard to believe, but I did not make the list.
--- In honor of Connor Barwin's big game Sunday against Baltimore, here's Bulls on Parade.
Have a great day everybody.