Sunday, April 25, 2004

Bearcats are waiting for receivers to step up


UC notebook

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Spring practice is nearly over and University of Cincinnati coach Mark Dantonio is still waiting for several receivers to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday's spring game featured a few outstanding catches, but there were also several dropped passes, a disturbing reminder of one of the offense's biggest problems from last year.

"We've got about six guys playing in there," Dantonio said. "Somebody has to become an impact guy out there for us."

Ten different players caught passes, led by wide receiver Cedric Dawley, with five catches for 42 yards.

The two touchdowns were the result of a Gino Guidugli 2-yard run in the second quarter and a Terry Arnold 37-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Arnold was the leading rusher, with 86 yards on 20 carries.

GUIDUGLI SHARP: Although the defenses on both teams dominated, Guidugli played well, completing 19 of 31 passes for 222 yards and two interceptions.

One of the interceptions was a deflection off the hands of Hannibal Thomas and the other was at the end of the game.

"I thought Guidugli put the ball on the money, " Dantonio said. "The ball was either dropped or completed the majority of the time."

DRILLS CONTINUE: The Bearcats have two more practice sessions this week before wrapping things up.

"There will be game-plan type of practices for Miami of Ohio and Ohio State," Guidugli said, "so it'll be more interesting than a regular spring practice."

UC opens its regular season on Sept. 4 at Ohio State and hosts Miami at Nippert Stadium on Sept. 11.

SPECIAL TEAMS WOES: UC appears to have a long way to go on special teams. Punter Chet Ervin had a decent day, averaging 39.4 yards per punt and placing two inside the 10-yard line.

But three different kickers missed field goal attempts from 44 yards (Ervin), 41 yards (Chris Manfredini) and 27 yards (Vincent Del Greco).

NOTES: Former UC offensive lineman John Arena was the honorary captain for the White team. Former St. Xavier coach and UC defensive back Steve Rasso was the honorary coach for the Red team . . . The winning Red team was to be treated to steaks Saturday night cooked to their liking by the losing White players.

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E-mail: bkoch@enquirer.com




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