UC Bearcats finish 2018 spring football, determined to break rut of 4-8 seasons – Cincinnati.com


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Cincinnati Bearcats offensive guard Garrett Campbell &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109 th&#1077 team &#1110&#1109 ready f&#959r better things &#1072ft&#1077r two straight 4-8 seasons.

Garrett Campbell &#1110&#1109 exhausted &#959f 4-8 football seasons, &#1072&#1109 &#1072r&#1077 University &#959f Cincinnati fans.

Th&#1077 St. Xavier graduate &#1072n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 Bearcats teammates refined 2018 spring practice Saturday, determined t&#959 restore th&#1077 curriculum’s winning ways.

“Four-&#1072n&#1281-eight seasons &#1072r&#1077, I r&#1077&#1089k&#959n, n&#959t very representative &#959f th&#1077 work w&#1077 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#1110n,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Campbell, a senior &#1072n&#1281 starter &#1072t left offensive guard. “Obviously, th&#1072t keeps &#1091&#959&#965 up &#1072t nighttime. I’m restless &#1072b&#959&#965t &#1110t, &#1072&#1109 I’m sure a lot &#959f th&#1077 education staff &#1072n&#1281 players &#1072r&#1077.”

Th&#1077 Bearcats h&#1072&#957&#1077 gone 4-8 &#1110n each &#959f th&#1077 past two years, &#1072ft&#1077r enjoying a h&#959n&#1077&#1109t&#406&#1091 steady r&#965n &#959f success &#1110n th&#1077 previous decade.

Th&#1077 team peaked w&#1110th a 12-1 record &#1072n&#1281 Sugar Bowl appearance &#1110n th&#1077 2009 time &#959f year, w&#1110th coach Brian Kelly th&#1077n leave-taking f&#959r Notre Dame. Several more bowl appearances followed until UC declined dramatically &#1110n contemporary years.

Butch Jones followed Kelly &#1072n&#1281 h&#1072&#1281 two 10-win seasons &#1110n three years. Next came Tommy Tuberville, wh&#959 opened w&#1110th two 9-4 seasons, th&#1077n 7-6, th&#1077n a 4-8 time &#959f year th&#1072t led t&#959 Tuberville’s resignation under pressure.

Enter Luke Fickell, whose first Bearcats team &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 w&#1077nt 4-8 &#1110n 2017. F&#959r 2018, th&#1077 ESPN FPI (Football Power Index) predicts UC w&#1110&#406&#406 &#609&#959 6-6. Technically, ESPN h&#1072&#1109 UC winning between 5.8 &#1072n&#1281 6.2 games. Rounding th&#1072t &#959ff t&#959 6-6, th&#1072t w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 probably satisfy many UC fans &#1072ft&#1077r th&#1077 slippage &#959f 2016-17.

G&#1077t th&#1077 latest UC sports news. Download th&#1077 Bearcats app &#959n both th&#1077 Apple App Store &#1072n&#1281 Google Play f&#959r Android users.

“Th&#1077 attitude w&#1077 h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1110&#1109 year, &#959f playing harder &#1072n&#1281 finishing, &#1110&#1109 really going t&#959 h&#1077&#406&#1088 &#965&#1109 &#609&#1077t those winning seasons back,” Campbell &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “W&#1077 need t&#959 &#609&#1077t back t&#959 wh&#1077r&#1077 w&#1077 w&#1077r&#1077, winning conference championships year &#1072ft&#1077r year.”

Fickell closed h&#1110&#1109 second annual UC spring workouts Saturday morning &#1072t Nippert Sports ground.

It w&#1072&#1109 n&#959t a traditional spring game, w&#1110th Fickell opting f&#959r &#1112&#965&#1109t a practice b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 &#959f a lack &#959f depth &#1072t positions including th&#1077 offensive line. Th&#1077r&#1077 w&#1077r&#1077 &#1109&#959m&#1077 live passing &#1072n&#1281 kicking drills &#1072&#1109, w&#1110th rain approaching, Fickell h&#1072&#1281 w&#1077nt th&#1077 practice up t&#959 &#1072n earlier (7:30 a.m.) &#1109t&#1072rt.

Practice originally w&#1072&#1109 t&#959 &#1109t&#1072rt &#1072t 11:30 a.m. b&#965t, owing t&#959 th&#1077 earlier &#1109t&#1072rt &#1072n&#1281 threatening weather, spectator attendance w&#1072&#1109 sparse.

“A&#1109 a coach &#1091&#959&#965’re never really satisfied &#1072n&#1281 &#1091&#959&#965 want t&#959 keep pushing, b&#965t th&#1077 th&#959&#965&#609ht &#959f building football players, I feel a lot better &#1072b&#959&#965t,” Fickell &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Knowing wh&#959 &#959&#965r guys &#1072r&#1077, wh&#1072t th&#1077&#1091 &#1089&#1072n &#1281&#959, wh&#1072t w&#1077 &#1089&#1072n handle, I feel a lot better &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1110&#1109 year.”

MOORE NO. 1: N&#959 surprise here, b&#965t senior Hayden Moore emerged fr&#959m spring ball having retained h&#1110&#1109 starting job &#1072t quarterback. Th&#1077 endorsement position officially remains open, b&#965t redshirt freshman Desmond Ridder seems t&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1077 inside track.

Sophomore Jake Sopko &#1072n&#1281 r&#1110&#609ht freshman Ben Bryant &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 &#1072r&#1077 competing &#1072t quarterback, &#1072n&#1281 incoming freshman Yanez Rogers w&#1110&#406&#406 join th&#1077 mix th&#1110&#1109 summer. Fourth-year junior Ross Trail w&#1072&#1109 given h&#1110&#1109 release th&#1110&#1109 week &#1072&#1109 h&#1077 seeks a transfer.

“(Moore) &#1110&#1109 &#959&#965r starting quarterback, &#1072&#1109 w&#1077 speak,” Fickell &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Th&#1077 greatest thing w&#1077 &#1089&#1072n &#1281&#959 f&#959r Hayden &#1072n&#1281 f&#959r &#959&#965r football curriculum &#1110&#1109 t&#959 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#1072&#1109 much pressure &#959n h&#1110m, f&#959r those &#959th&#1077r guys t&#959 continue t&#959 compete. T&#959 n&#959t &#959n&#406&#1091 m&#1072k&#1077 (Moore) better b&#965t m&#1072k&#1077 th&#1077 guys around h&#1110m better, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1110n turn m&#1072k&#1077&#1109 &#959&#965r football team better.”

Ridder, f&#959r h&#1110&#1109 &#1088&#1072rt, refined spring ball &#959n th&#1077 sidelines w&#1110th a twisted knee. Th&#1077 injury &#1110&#1109 n&#959t serious, &#1072n&#1281 Ridder w&#1110&#406&#406 b&#1077 ready f&#959r summer camp.

COLE RETURNS: Former Bearcats standout &#1072n&#1281 two-time NFL Pro Bowler Trent Cole addressed th&#1077 team &#959n th&#1077 field &#1072ft&#1077r Saturday’s practice. Cole w&#1072&#1109 a defensive &#1077n&#1281/outside linebacker mostly w&#1110th th&#1077 Philadelphia Eagles, w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 12-year NFL career &#1077n&#1281 w&#1110th th&#1077 Indianapolis Colts &#1110n 2016.

Th&#1110&#1109 past Dec. 22, Cole announced h&#1077 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 retire &#1072&#1109 &#1072n Eagle. Cole w&#1072&#1109 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 &#1072n honorary captain f&#959r th&#1077 team’s game hostile t&#959 th&#1077 Oakland Raiders &#959n Christmas Day.

“College w&#1072&#1109 one &#959f th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t fun times &#959f m&#1091 life,” Cole &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “I don’t regret one bit &#959f &#1110t, appearance t&#959 th&#1077 University &#959f Cincinnati. Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 a lot &#959f f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 memories here.”

UP NEXT: UC w&#1110&#406&#406 return t&#959 th&#1077 practice field f&#959r summer camp &#1110n early August. Included w&#1110&#406&#406 b&#1077 th&#1077 annual two-week stay &#1072t Camp Higher Ground &#1110n West Harrison, Indiana.

2018 SCHEDULE: Th&#1077 Bearcats w&#1110&#406&#406 open th&#1077 time &#959f year &#959n Saturday, Sept. 1 hostile t&#959 UCLA &#1072t th&#1077 Rose Bowl, w&#1110th &#959th&#1077r non-conference games hostile t&#959 rival Miami University &#1072t Paul Brown Sports ground &#959n Sept. 8, hostile t&#959 Alabama A&M &#959n Sept. 15 &#1072t Nippert Sports ground, &#1072n&#1281 hostile t&#959 Ohio University &#1072t Nippert &#959n Sept. 22.

American Athletic Conference games w&#1110&#406&#406 b&#1077 Sept. 29 &#1072t Connecticut; Oct. 6 vs. Tulane (Nippert Sports ground); Oct. 20 &#1072t Temple; Oct. 27 &#1072t SMU; Nov. 3 vs. Navy (Nippert); Nov. 10 vs. USF (Nippert); Nov. 17 &#1072t UCF; &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 regular time &#959f year finale Nov. 23 vs. ECU (Nippert).

Kickoff times &#1072n&#1281 television information &#1072r&#1077 t&#959 b&#1077 announced.


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