Aug. 23, 2014
Venue: Paul Brown Stadium
Gear: Full Pads
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati football team ended training camp Saturday with a 135-play scrimmage at Paul Brown Stadium.
The team departed the Higher Ground Conference & Retreat Center in West Harrison, Ind. to make the trip downtown and returned to campus following the scrimmage.
"What a day," Head Coach Tommy Tuberville said. "Nice day and nice weather. This is what we have been looking for. A perfect ending to a real good camp. The guys did a good job and competed. We got better in every phase of the game, especially the kicking game. I was really proud of our kickers and punters of the last 7-10 days; they have really done a great job. We've added a lot of hangtime and distance to our punts and both of our field goal guys have been spot on. We won't make a decision on those starting roles until the week of our first game because they will keep competing."
The offense moved the ball well on Saturday, but was held to a handful of scores by the defense.
"Offensively, we made big plays," Tuberville said. "I thought we ran the ball a little bit better today. Our offensive line got a little bit tired, but we pushed them to the limit. Our number ones got about 40 plays, to three fourths of a game. Our quarterbacks threw the ball well. Our receivers caught the ball well. I tell you, our receivers continue to impress me. It was fun watching the offense today."
When asked about the margin between the first- and second team wide receivers, Tuberville responded by saying: it's really tight.
"We could put any of our eight out there and not take a step back," Tuberville said. "Mentally we have to get better with the second group. I like where the guys are at though. The guys are standing pretty strong, competing and making a lot of plays."
The quarterback battle has been a hot topic of conversation since the spring and the battle will continue for at least another week with Tuberville and staff projecting possibly naming a starter by the end of next week.
"It's pretty close," Tuberville said. "A lot closer than what people think. I think all of them threw the ball well today. We will probably name a starter towards the end of next week. Not just a starter, but the second team QB as well. We want to be able to work both of those guys with who is going to be in the game. I have been really impressed with Jarred Evans and his improvement since we got to two-a-days. He's definitely in the mix. We will see how things shake out. We have a lot of reps to do in the next two weeks before we get to game week."
On the other side of the ball, the 18-year veteran head coach said some changes may be in order after evaluating Saturday's film.
"Defensively, we still have a lot of work to do in our zone coverages," Tuberville said. "We didn't play much man today. We'll start adding to our playbook on defense after working on all this technique. We will evaluate the film and potentially make some changes on Monday."
With the season opener against Toledo less than three weeks away, the Bearcats will start working more in the traditional first and second team units with scout teams after running four teams during training camp.
“We will go to two teams starting Tuesday with a little bit of three work," Tuberville said. "It's time we get to work for the first game. See what we can come up with. We will run them hard next week. Still work on conditioning. We will probably have one more scrimmage. It would be sometime next week; a situational scrimmage and it will be live. We still want to put pressure on the quarterbacks in different situations. I don't want to go three weeks until we have contact again, it's still a long time before we play."
For his closing thoughts, Tuberville again praised his Bearcats for their work over the past two weeks at Higher Ground.
"Good day overall," Tuberville said. "Good camp and proud of the guys for how they persevered, especially this second week. First week was a little cool. This week was a little hot."
Quote of the Day: "It got a little hot, but we needed to put them in a situation where the bear got on their back and they had to think when they were tired and hot.” – Tuberville on the offensive line in today’s conditions.
News & Notes: Shai Alonzo (Duquesne, Pa./Woodland Hills) was injured on a collision while running a crossing route. He was taken off the field and transported to UC Medical Center for precautionary reasons … Alonzo was awake and alert and released from UCMC later in the afternoon … UC has moved its Dave & Buster’s Preseason Kickoff Event to Sunday, Aug. 24 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Next Up: The Bearcats start fall classes at UC on Monday, Aug. 25. and return to the practice field on Tuesday, Aug. 26.