Thursday, October 14, 2010

Friday Night Lights!!

Phase 3 starts Friday night. Before the season started, Coach Charlie Strong broke the season down into 3 Phases: Phase 1 was Kentucky, Phase 2 was the non-conference part, and Phase 3 is conference play.
Phase 3 starts Friday night, as an old but familiar foe comes to town: the Cincinnati Bearcats. Cincinnati is the two time defending Big East Champion, but sit at just 2-3 this season. It's no secret that some of that Championship luster headed north to South Bend with Brian Kelly, but the cupboard is far from bare for new coach Butch Jones. QB Zach Collaros filled in admirably for Tony Pike last season, and is currently leading the Big East in both Passing Yards and Passing Efficiency this season.
Collaros's top target is Wide Receiver DJ Woods, who leads the Conference in Receptions and Receiving Yards per game. He's also scored 5 TD's on the season, 4 in the air and 1 on the ground. Jr Isaiah Pead is the leading rusher, averaging just over 80 yards per game.
For the Cardinals, their attack starts on the ground with RB Bilal Powell. Powell is averaging over 7.8 yards per carry, and leads the conference with 8 touchdowns on the season. He also eclipsed the 200 yard mark last week against Memphis, and has only been held under 100 yards twice this season.
Powell's emergence as a top runner has helped open up the passing game for QB Adam Froman. In Froman's first full year of running the offense, the Cardinals lead the Big East in passing with over 240 ypg, and a total offense of over 460 ypg.
With Doug Beaumont sidelined with a knee injury, JC transfer Josh Bellamy has stepped up and become a big target for Froman. Bellamy is starting to show the ability we heard about during summer workouts, and leads the Cards with 265 yards receiving and 4 TD's.
Defensively the Cards are paced by DE Rodney Gnat, who leads the Conference with 6.5 sacks.
Phase 3 starts Friday night. Cincinnati has held the Keg of Nails for the last two years, which broke U of L's string of 5 straight years with possession of it. Friday night's game will be on National TV, so it's time for the first major statement of the Charlie Strong era. Let's bring that Keg back home, and GO CARDS!!!

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