Cincinnati Football: Five Reasons Why The Bearcats Dominated Rutgers
For a team that has struggled as much as the Cincinnati Bearcats over the past three weeks, putting up ten touchdowns in a Big East game sort of takes the sting out (at least a little bit).
In the highest scoring game in Big East history, Cincinnati outgunned Rutgers 69-38 in front of a sparse crowd at Nippert Stadium.
Cincinnati scored a total of 17 points combined in their previous two games, but exploded for 69 points against a Scarlet Knight team that simply had no answer to their offensive assault.
With two games remaining, Cincinnati still has a chance to qualify for a bowl and salvage the season. To do so, they will need an offensive replication of last night's game.
Here are five reasons why the Bearcats dominated Rutgers last night.
5. A Healthy Zach Collaros
After suffering a knee injury four weeks ago against South Florida, quarterback Zach Collaros was forced to watch the end of the game from the sideline as his Bearcats lost a heart-breaker 38-30.
Collaros was out the following week when the Syracuse Orange handled the Bearcats. He returned last week, but his old form did not, as he struggled mightily in a 37-10 loss to West Virginia.
Last night, the old Zach Collaros was back. The Bearcats leader threw for 366 yards and 4 touchdowns, while rushing for another score.
Hopefully, the old Zach Collaros will be back and here to stay.
4. Third Down Conversions
Cincinnati struggled mightily against West Virginia last week on third downs, going 0-12.
The Bearcats got well against Rutgers converting on 10 of 16 attempts.
For a big play offense, converting on third down is crucial. The key to Cincinnati putting up big points is converting key third downs.
Against Rutgers, they did so with great ease.
3. Spreading The Wealth
The Bearcats spread the wealth against the Scarlet Knights.
Quarterback Zach Collaros completed two or more passes to six different receivers. Each of his four touchdowns were caught by a different receiver.
True freshman Anthony McClung had his biggest game as a Bearcat with four catches for 36 yards and his first collegiate touchdown.
Junior backup tight end Adrien Robinson had his first three catches of the season as well.
2. Offensive Balance
For the first time in a long while, Cincinnati finished the game with well-balanced offensive numbers.
Cincinnati totaled 661 yards of offense--- 366 through the air and 295 on the ground.
With their 86 offensive plays, the Bearcats ran the ball 46 times and threw it 40. That is the balance new head coach Butch Jones promised before the season began, but something the Bearcats have failed to deliver in most games.
The ground game allowed Cincinnati to control the time of possession and the ball for 34 minutes.
1. Isaiah Pead
Many Bearcats fans have been screaming for running back Isaiah Pead to get a few more carries. Last night Butch Jones granted fans their request and Pead certainly delivered.
The junior ran the ball 31 times for 213 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 36 yards and a touchdown.
Pead posted his second 200 yard game and now has over 900 yards on the season. He currently ranks fifth in the country in yards per carry at 7.2 and first among running backs with over 100 carries.
His big play capability is something Cincinnati has not utilized this season and when Pead gets his carries, Cincinnati puts up huge numbers.
Pead is the X-factor for the Bearcats, and when Pead goes, so does Cincinnati.