posted 8 years ago
CINCINNATI (AP) — Considering that they're scraping the bottom of the depth chart at quarterback, Cincinnati is quite pleased with its record heading into its Big East opener against struggling Rutgers.
Can redshirt freshman Chazz Anderson keep it going?
The Bearcats (4-1) have gone through four quarterbacks in the last four games, a development that few teams could overcome. They've done it with a veteran defense getting better each week, and an offense that has managed to do just enough.
"I think our team is happy where we're at right now," defensive end Connor Barwin said. "If you would have told me we'd be on our fourth quarterback and we'd be 4-1, I'd have said: 'I don't know, maybe not.'"
So far, their season has been all about the quarterbacks.
They weren't sure whether they'd have Ben Mauk, who led the Bearcats to a 10-win season and a No. 17 national ranking last year. The NCAA turned down his appeals for another year of eligibility, the last rejection coming after a season-opening victory over Eastern Kentucky.
A week later, senior Dustin Grutza broke his leg during a loss at Oklahoma. Two games later, junior Tony Pike broke his forearm, forcing redshirt freshman Zach Collaros to finish a 17-15 win at Akron. Coach Brian Kelly decided to start Anderson last week at Marshall, and the freshman threw for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 33-10 victory.
Anderson kept the job because he didn't play like a freshman.
"Actually, I felt really comfortable," he said. "There wasn't a sense of over-excitement. After that first series coming off to the sideline and having coach Kelly just have that look of confidence in me, that I was going win the game for him and be effective as the quarterback — that's the point that I realized that we're going to win this game and this offense can go places."
The Scarlet Knights (1-4, 0-1) have gone back to a place they never wanted to be again.