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Cincinnati Bearcats Football: Report Card Grades for the Louisville Game

Alex CallosCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2011

Cincinnati Bearcats Football: Report Card Grades for the Louisville Game

1 of 10

    The Cincinnati Bearcats began Big East play with a hard-fought 25-16 victory over Louisville at Paul Brown Stadium. 

    While it was not their best performance of the season, Cincinnati is off to a 5-1 start and already has more wins than they did all of last season. 

    The defense was solid once again, and while the offense did struggle, they scored when they needed to and are sitting at 1-0 in conference play heading into a road game on Saturday against a reeling South Florida team. 

    Here are the report card grades from each position for the Louisville game.

Quarterback

2 of 10

    Collaros did not have his best game of the season by any stretch of the imagination and was banged up throughout with a knee injury. 

    But, he battled through it and finished the game 18 of 26 for 152 yards, a touchdown and an interception. 

    He was constantly scrambling for his life against a solid Louisville front seven. It brought back memories of last season as Collaros carried the ball 13 times for 22 yards and a touchdown. 

    He ended the first half with a pick six, but came on strong in the second half to lead Cincinnati to victory. 

    Overall grade: C+

Running Back

3 of 10

    Isaiah Pead had perhaps the biggest run of the season when he scampered 50 yards for a touchdown with Cincinnati trailing 16-14 early in the fourth quarter. 

    Pead was bottled up by one of the top 10 run defenses in the country for the first half, but came on strong in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 151 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. 

    He also had three catches out of the backfield. 

    Overall grade: A-

Wide Receiver

4 of 10

    The Bearcats spread the ball out like they usually do, but could not accumulate many big plays with the exception of a 34-yard pass to Anthony McClung. 

    McClung finished the game with 43 yards on four catches. 

    D.J. Woods had two catches for 30 yards with one of them being a 26-yard touchdown in the second quarter. 

    Kenbrell Thompkins had five catches for 25 yards and true freshman Alex Chisum had four catches for 40 yards. 

    Cincinnati is sorely lacking the deep play threat they had in years past with Armon Binns and Mardy Gilyard. 

    Overall grade: B-

Offensive Line

5 of 10

    While the offensive line opened up a hole for the 50-yard touchdown run of Isaiah Pead, they did not do a good job of giving Zach Collaros time to throw. 

    Collaros was sacked three times and scrambling for his life on many other occasions. 

    They will need to improve vastly in the weeks to come if Cincinnati plans on putting more points on the board, which they will certainly need to do to keep up with some of their remaining opponents.

    Overall grade: B- 

Defensive Line

6 of 10

    Tackle Derek Wolfe wreaked havoc on Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater the entire day. 

    He was in the backfield all game and finished with 11 tackles, three of them for loss and one sack. He also had two quarterback hurries. 

    End Walter Stewart also recorded a sack. The line was constantly putting pressure on Bridegwater and slowing down the Louisville rushing attack. 

    Overall grade: A-

Linebackers

7 of 10

    Linebacker J.K. Schaffer was impressive as usual. He finished with 11 tackles and a sack. 

    Fellow linebacker Maalik Bomar had eight tackles. 

    The duo helped hold Louisville to only 70 yards rushing on 33 attempts and solidified the unit as one of the best at stopping the run in the country. 

    Overall grade: B+

Secondary

8 of 10

    The Cincinnati secondary gave up one big 58-yard pass, but for the most part, that was the only mistake they made. 

    They allowed 201 passing yards, but did not give up a touchdown and a key interception by cornerback Dominique Battle early in the third quarter helped Cincinnati gain momentum.

    Battle finished the game with eight tackles and safety Drew Frey broke up two passes and was all over the place as usual. 

    Overall grade: B

Special Teams

9 of 10

    Ralph Avernathy IV had a big 36-yard kickoff return to start the game and has been consistent all season. 

    Punter Pat O'Donnell was stellar at 40.8 yards per punt and pinned Louisville inside the 20 twice with only one touchback. 

    Punt returner D.J. Woods muffed a few, luckily the Bearcats recovered them. Cincinnati is in need of someone to step up in the punt return game. 

    Overall grade: B

Coaching and Intangibles

10 of 10

    Butch Jones showed great patience in staying with the run and it paid off in the end. 

    The defense had a great game plan and did not allow Louisville to score an offensive touchdown. 

    The Bearcats need to try and stretch out the field instead of throwing all short passes. This will help open up the run and create more on the offensive side of the ball. 

    Overall grade: B

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