Sunday, August 8, 2004

Coaches, players ready for camps to get going

College football

Enquirer staff reports

The Mark Dantonio era begins this week when the University of Cincinnati Bearcats start practicing for the 2004 season, which opens Sept. 4 in Columbus against Ohio State. Dantonio was the defensive coordinator of the Buckeyes the past three years.

Sixteen starters and 51 lettermen will be among the players reporting Tuesday. UC's first practice is Wednesday.

"I think there is an air of excitement around our football program," Dantonio said.

Quarterback Gino Guidugli, one of 42 candidates for the 2004 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, returns for his senior season. The Fort Thomas native holds a number of UC passing records, including yardage (8,822) and touchdowns (53).

The Miami RedHawks are preparing for life after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, now a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He threw for a Mid-American Conference-record 4,486 yards during the team's 13-1 season, which ended with a GMAC Bowl title. Junior Josh Betts will run the offense.

The RedHawks put their 13-game winning streak on the line Aug. 28 against Indiana State at home, then travel to Michigan to face the Wolverines on Sept. 4. Coach Terry Hoeppner's squad reported for camp last week.

Miami isn't the only squad losing a quarterback: Ohio State and Kentucky are without the services of Craig Krenzel and Jared Lorenzen, respectively.

Ohio State's Justin Zwick and Troy Smith, who are expected to split time at quarterback during the early part of the season, have big shoes to fill. As a two-year starter, Krenzel went 24-3 and led the Buckeyes to the national championship two years ago. Coach Jim Tressel's team opens camp Wednesday.

The Kentucky Wildcats report for camp Monday and begin practicing Tuesday. Senior Shane Boyd takes over for Lorenzen, who threw for 2,221 yards last season and 16 touchdowns.

Season openers

UC: Sept. 4 at Ohio State

Miami: Aug. 28 vs. Indiana State

Ohio State: Sept. 4 vs. UC

Kentucky: Sept. 5 vs. Louisville

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