The Team Worrying Everyone In The MAC

Close victories over Miami University and Louisville have put the University of Cincinnati at 2-0 in the MAC South; the success has everyone else worrying about a tough Bearcats team.

Cincinnati's 28-22 victory over Louisville puts them in a good position in the MAC South, but head coach Nick Lauterbach is not counting his division-champion chickens just yet.

"The MAC South is really, really competitive," said Lauterbach. "Every team is good, and even if you're 2-0 you can't assume you're going to make the playoffs. We could easily lose our next two games, or it could come down to bonus points."

Still, no losses is a good thing. Cincinnati graduated a number of high-quality players from last season, but the youngsters have filled in nicely.

"We have been improving," said Lauterbach. "We had some turnover but we had a tough preseason and playing teams like Kentucky and Ohio State show the freshmen and sophomores what the speed of the game is like. It's good for them and got us prepared for league play."

Sophomore Austin Baker is coming back from injury but has played well at flyhalf. Ryan Pearce is a freshman who has shown well at center, wing, and fullback, and may have found a home at fullback.

"He has really accepted the challenge of playing fullback," said Lauterbach.

Another freshman, Riley Mullen, moved form flanker to hooker and adjusted superbly.

UC is known for a straight-ahead, smashmouth style, but has been able to open it up when needed.

"We have a basic approach and work off that," said Lauterbach. "Things are going well, but we're not looking past anything other than our league games."

Still, someone is watching.

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