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Behind Enemy Lines: Cincinnati Bearcats

Q&A with Matt from Down the Drive about the Green Wave's opponent on Friday, the Cincinnati Bearcats

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, the Tulane Green Wave welcome the Cincinnati Bearcats to Yulman Stadium in what should be an amazing atmosphere in Uptown New Orleans.

Recently, I sat down and talked with Matt over at Down the Drive about the Bearcats as well as discuss the excitement over the new Nippert Stadium that's slated to open next year.

Tulane and Cincinnati has a long history of some great games, most notably in basketball. What's the overall reaction to the Bearcats being in the same league again with Tulane?

I suspect that I am better with this than most Bearcat fans are. Most UC fans don't like being in the same conference in the green wave because it reminds them of being in Conference USA and having Rick Minter at the helm. Neither is likely to bring up positive memories from the UC faithful. Personally I have made peace with the conference situation. It would be nice if the University of Cincinnati could be picked up by the Big 12 or the ACC, but that is not going to happen for a while, if it happens at all. In the mean time I don't have an issue with a trip to New Orleans every once in a while and access to recruiting in Louisiana.

On Gunner Kiel's status:

Gunner Kiel will start. Dude is tough as nails and it would take a major injury to keep him from starting a game at this point. He has played with the rib injury for almost a month now. No reason to think that he won't continue to play with it for the rest of the year.

Tommy Tuberville and what he brings to the table in Cincinnati:

Precisely that, a brand name that is respected throughout the country and, crucially for recruiting, throughout the south. There is a vocal subset of the fanbase who is convinced that Tuberville is just coaching to make a bit more money and fund his mild golf addiction. Those people are crazy. Tubs wants to win, and win as big as he can at Cincinnati. But after so many years of coaches who were so passionate and nakedly climbing the ladder Tubs laid back approach has convinced them that he doesn't care. But like I said those people are crazy.

On Cincinnati's "porous" defense:

They have already done the work. The defense that the Bearcats are running now is drastically simpler than what they were doing throughout September. That has allowed them to play much faster. UC was a multiple defense throughout September. They had every front in the book in the playbook, they tried to dabble in every kind of coverage scheme, and they didn't do any one thing well. Since the Miami game they have scaled it down to two or three fronts with two or three coverages behind it. It has been the key to the rejuvenation of the defense. The question is whether they will be able to maintain the higher levels of performance against better offenses than USF's and SMU's.

On renovated Nippert Stadium and what it means for Cincinnati:

It changes everything. It's not just that it will be a striking addition to an already glittering array of on campus architecture, though it will be that. But it will also change the way that the athletic department funds itself. They are adding 5,000 or so seats, all of which require an annual donation and the purchase of a seating license. That is a brand new revenue stream that the Bearcats have not had access to before. We are talking about millions of dollars each and every year that didn't exist a year ago. That puts all sorts of new projects, like renovating the 25 year old Fifth Third Arena, into play. It changes everything about the way the Athletic Department funds itself.