Since the hiring of Tommy Tuberville in December, most of the attention surrounding the Cincinnati Bearcats has been about the offense. After all, Tuberville’s teams when he was head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders were known for their offensive prowess. Last season, Texas Tech had one of the nation’s top passing offenses, which is what Cincinnati fans hope that Tuberville can bring to the Queen City.
However, defense was an issue for Cincinnati last season. The 2012 Bearcats ranked 54th nationally in total defense, giving up 388 yards per game. However, Cincinnati employed the bend but don’t break philosophy last season, as the Bearcats ranked 14th nationally in scoring defense.
Tuberville brought his defensive coordinator from Texas Tech, Art Kaufman, with him to Cincinnati. Kaufman has 11 years under his belt as a defensive coordinator at the FBS level. He was able to take a defense that ranked 114th in the nation in 2011 and make them the 39th-best defense in the country last season. Kaufman’s defense led the Big 12 Conference in pass defense, allowing only 195.8 passing yards per game.
Kaufman has been the defensive coordinator of the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Ole Miss Rebels, where he worked under Tuberville. His task in 2013 will be to get the ball back to what could be a potent offense with quarterbacks Munchie Lagaux and Brendon Kay returning to lead the way.
Cincinnati’s success in 2013 will depend on how the defense is able to handle the opposition. The Bearcats will find out where they stand immediately in 2013 as they face the Purdue Boilermakers and the Illinois Fighting Illini to start the season.