Recently in Football Category

Shaq Washington: Transition Complete

| No TrackBacks

After catching just three passes in each of the previous two seasons, junior Shaq Washington has taken off this season with a team-high 58 grabs.

The Maple Heights product has been an integral part of the offense under Brendon Kay by catching numerous short passes and extending them into long gains with his running talent.

At Maple Heights, he was a quarterback that led his team to the Division II title game twice, losing to Winton Woods in 2009 and defeating Trotwood Madison in 2010.

He is one of several Bearcats who have made the transition from high school quarterback to another position successfully.
  Of the current roster, tight end Tyler Cogswell was once a quarterback and Jordan Luallen and Munchie Legaux played other positions before transitioning back.

From last year's team, Travis Kelce came as a quarterback and eventually made it as a NFL tight end.
  From years gone by, Chad Plummer and Brent Petrus were both quarterbacks that finished their careers as receivers.

Here's the latest, No. 19 Mr. Washington:

UC Hall of Fame Ceremony

| No TrackBacks

By: Scott Springer

The Kingsgate Marriott was the host to Bearcat royalty Oct. 28 as the Legion of Excellence had their gathering and inductees into the James P. Kelly Athletic Hall of Fame were announced.

Among those going in were former Naismith Player of the Year Kenyon Martin and former UC quarterback Gino Guidugli.
  I was fortunate to cover the entire careers of both.

As for Martin, I first saw him in an AAU game at UC when he was a "man among boys" swatting shots down.
  He grew from a player that was somewhat shy around the media to a well-spoken senior by the time he left.

Sadly, I was in Memphis the afternoon he broke his leg and stood next to his locker after UC's conference tournament loss afterward when he knew his season was over.
  For a lesson in heart and soul, search for the UC/DePaul game in Chicago in 2000 and watch the final 10 minutes.  I watched him live while covering Reds spring training in Sarasota and it still stands as one of the more improbable finishes ever.

As for Gino Guidugli, he easily is my favorite Bearcat from doing 14 years of football radio.
  From entering the game against Army in the second quarter in 2001 and pulling it out in his first college action, to walking off the field with him in Fort Worth in 2004 with his MVP trophy, he provided Bearcat fans with several memorable games.

Gino Guidugli's accomplishments were the building blocks for where the program stands now. Given a supporting cast, I would bet the ranch on him anytime in the final minutes of a game.
  Had he had access to some of the offenses that came after his career, it's hard to say what kind of numbers he would've posted.

Gino Guidugli in Brian Kelly's UC offense would probably have knocked out several lights in the scoreboard.
  I also was able to cover Ben Guidugli who continued the tradition of his brother in being a pleasurable interview.

It was a thrill and a half for me again be around guys that I covered in the peak of my career and it was fun seeing again so many folks that I don't get to see as much any more.

Three Minutes with Silverberry Mouhon

| No TrackBacks

He may not quite have the following of "Hingle McCringleberry" or "Fudge" of Key and Peele East/West College Bowl fame, but UC's Silverberry Mouhon does have many appreciative fans.

The sophomore from Norcross, Georgia is the Bearcats' sack leader and leads the defensive line in tackles.
  No. 92 is a constant presence at 6-foot-4 and 248 pounds from his defensive end position and hopes to spend considerable time in the SMU backfield this Saturday.

Mouhon was the Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year in his redshirt year of 2011 and will join all of the defensive ends returning next year as none of them are seniors. (UC will lose defensive tackles Mitch Meador, Adam Dempsey, Jordan Stepp and Marques Aiken.)

Here is the man with the best name in college football as we spoke just outside of the Bob Goin Team Room in the Lindner Center.

Bearcats Insured by Lloyd

| No TrackBacks

By: Scott Springer

When veteran Pat O'Donnell left spring practice, there was some alarm in the air under the bubble at the Sheakley Athletics Center.

The highly-awarded punter had his degree, so under NCAA rules he could transfer and play immediately elsewhere.
  Initially, there was speculation he might follow Butch Jones to Tennessee, then O'Donnell eventually went to the Miami Hurricanes, closer to his home.

After the initial surprise of O'Donnell leaving, the question was who would step in?

The answer came in John Lloyd who had two years on the squad and won the battle to boot the ball for the Bearcats over some walk-ons and current freshman Sam Geraci of Moeller.

Lloyd has responded with a 44.8 average through six games with a long of 60 yards and three kicks inside the 20.
  In certain situations, he's shared the punting duties with Brendon Kay who's averaging 37.6 with four inside the 20 and a long of 58.

Geraci is currently injured, so Lloyd is your go-to punter and also the holder for kicker Tony Miliano.

He's a little thicker than your average punter/holder at 6-foot-2 and 237 pounds.
  At CHCA, he played some quarterback, tight end, and offensive line in addition to punting,holding and kicking off.

He averaged 44 yards per boot as a senior and 42.6 as a junior to lead the state.

He also has the possibility of being a trick play candidate with his high school offensive skills, plus the fact he was a baseball pitcher at CHCA (four years varsity, two-time all-State) and for a while at UC.

Temple on Temple

| No TrackBacks

By: Scott Springer

University of Cincinnati junior linebacker Nick Temple was hovering around the Tuesday barbecue in the Bob Goin Team Room, so I pulled No. 43 aside for a few questions.

Besides, how often can you interview someone with the same last name as your opponent?
  It's not like we have a Charlie Rutgers on the squad or even a Matt Houston (I believe that was a TV series in the 80s).

Most Bearcat fans remember Nick most for his defensive touchdown in the Belk Bowl that sealed the game.
  As I said to him in this video, if Nick Temple scores, UC wins.

Here's the fine product from Indianapolis Warren Central who's such a good interview, he even helps me out when I briefly lose my train of thought at the end. (Hey, I have my brief derailments every now and then.)

Here's to a good showing from "Nick at Nite":

Helton Leads Talented Tights to Tampa

| No TrackBacks

First-year tight ends coach Tyson Helton leads a talented group of players that will be looking to find the endzone at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Saturday night.

Senior Blake Annen leads the group, followed by freshman DJ Dowdy.
  In the future, Travis Johnson (who is from Tampa's Jesuit High School) and Tyler Cogswell will be looking for passes along with junior Josh Russ.

I tracked down Coach Helton in the football office at the Lindner Center and spoke to him about his players, the USF game and his brother, Clay.

For those that don't know, Clay Helton is Southern Cal's offensive coordinator and will call plays now with the dismissal of Lane Kiffin. Clay and Tyson's father, Kim Helton is a coaching veteran who actually coached in the Tampa Bay area years go with the Buccaneers.

UC fans may remember him more from his days as head coach of the University of Houston from the old Conference USA/Rick Minter days.

Here's Tyson who will likely make a fine head coach someday himself:

Booj on 'The Bell'

| No TrackBacks

Written by Scott Springer

Austen Jack Bujnoch has a five-year history with the Victory Bell and even more when you factor his brother Digger's tenure as a UC Bearcat.

After Digger had played his last snap here in 2007, Austen was the top lineman in the Greater Catholic League-South for Elder in 2008.
  The Panthers were the Division I Ohio runners-up that year.

He came to UC in 2009 under Brian Kelly and redshirted, so his time on the field didn't actually start until after the Bearcats played Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl.

However, for our purposes, we count 2009 as the "Austen era" which makes him 4-0 in Victory Bell games against Miami going into Saturday's trip to Oxford.

With Austen Bujnoch wearing a C-Paw logo, the Bearcats have outscored Miami 161-30.

Yeah, it's not near as competitive as it was.

I can recall (as I mentioned to Coach Tuberville) the Ben Roethlisberger years where Gino Guidugli, as good as he was, couldn't lead UC over Big Ben.

As the stats show, UC has won the last seven.
  For a better appreciation of that, you probably need to know that in 16 games from 1990-2005, Miami won 10 and tied one with UC winning only five.

As a matter of fact, Austen Bujnoch (as he describes in the video) witnessed the last Miami win in this series in 2005 when Digger was on an extremely young squad that Mark Dantonio had recruited.
  Many of those players had great careers and some are pros, but they took it on the chin that night, 44-16.

(For your extra trivial nugget, the TV sideline reporter that night was Heather Mitts. I remember such things.)

Austen was one of several Bearcats slated to speak to the team on the history and importance of the rivalry.
  Before he addressed the team, I caught up to him outside of the fabled Bob Goin team room.

Moore Receptions?

Written by Scott Springer

Like every University of Cincinnati Bearcat, Chris Moore was affected by the injury to quarterback Munchie Legaux in the road game at Illinois.

We'll never know what might have been had Legaux's third quarter touchdown been allowed to stand.
  At 21-17, it clearly would've been a momentum changer. Instead, the game went from a four-point deficit to 18 points as the Illini were able to march down 99 yards to further their lead.

Then, there was the injury and we all know what happened from there.

For any of you that were in Memphis for the Conference USA basketball tournament when Kenyon Martin broke his leg (I was and remember it like it was yesterday) the Legaux injury had a similar effect.
  Though the Bearcats were the better team, they couldn't regroup quick enough to stop the opposition.

There's no bright side to what happened.
  However, there are some things to learn from and some points to consider.

Now at quarterback is Brendon Kay.

A year ago, Kay was the No. 2, which meant he took practice reps with the No. 2 receivers.
  One of those was Chris Moore.

The camaraderie and chemistry that came out of that, resulted in a 65-yard touchdown against Temple last year.
  In the opener against Purdue, Kay and Moore also went long for 51 yards, the longest reception of the season.

Chris Moore runs the best deep route on the team and has a connection to Kay that can't always be explained other than you don't mess with what works.

It's kind of like the pitcher that is lights out with a certain catcher and so-so with anyone else.
  Kay to Moore is special and you shouldn't be shocked to see more of that sometime soon.

As always, after the Coach Tuberville luncheon (featuring City BBQ and including a delightful peach cobber ordered by newly reinstated Ryan Koslen) I hung out in the hall to snare an interview.

The product of my lurking this week is Mr. Moore, the pride of Jefferson High in Tampa.
  As it turns out, one of his high school teammates is a Northwestern State Demon.

Here's No. 15: