The first home UC football game of the season went as it should have. They had Alabama A&M scheduled, which is a school that is Division 1-AA, so the final score was about on target. The really fun part was the success of the Bearcats bench.
Head coach Luke Fickell was able to dip into his recruits who normally sit and watch pretty early, last Saturday. Desmond Ridder, Thomas Geddis, and the first string had the Bearcats up 28-zip after 15 minutes of play, so Fickell swapped out the starters, and put in the backups, reaching as far down into the bag as the fourth string (Jake Sopko got some snaps in the fourth) and the results were encouraging.
Two freshmen running backs, Charles McClelland and Tavion Thomas, impressed me. McClelland got a number of carries in the second and third quarters and showed a quick first step and an ability to adeptly cut and juke defenders with ease. Thomas, on the other hand, is a mountain. He’s listed at 6’ 2”, 226 lbs, but he looks like he’s closer to 240 lbs of solid muscle. A&M defenders cowered as he shot up the middle, between the tackles, and down the field. The visual of the game, for me, came when Sopko was in and Thomas was standing next to him. He towered over UC’s fourth-string QB. Looking forward to both McClelland and Thomas developing at UC.
The game, itself, got boring quickly, but in a good way. The good news was, A&M brought their band, and UC had them do a shortened halftime show for the fans at Nippert Stadium. If you’ve not witnessed the prowess of a band from an HBCU, you’re missing out. It’s kind of like the movie Drumline but that’s just a taste. A&M’s drum line was on point, sure, but their sousaphones were blasting and their choreography was awesome, too. The purple and gold band of Alabama A&M showed their quality, last Saturday, and I was thoroughly entertained.
One thing I am looking forward to, the rest of the season, is getting walking tacos. Nippert has this new concession stand, over by the loading docks of Fifth Third Arena, that is a cart that will make walking tacos out of Doritos, Fritos, or Tostitos (your choice). They have ground beef, or pulled pork, and lots of other toppings to go with it. Eight bucks gets you a good looking game day snack that beats a hot dog nine times out of 10.
I’ll be getting my writing back up and running on this site, been a few months since I kept up with it (got busy, but more on that later). Check out more of my work on lockedonReds.com and lockedonBengals.com. Also, follow me on Twitter @jefffcarr.
I have season tickets with my father-in-law and plan on being at just about every game, so I’ll try and recap what went on, from a point of view of section 116.