The expectations on the Cincinnati Bearcats are going to be high in 2013. That means that they need certain players to step up in a big way.
The player who should top that list is running back Ralph Abernathy. The 5-foot-7 junior rushed for 366 yards last season on 69 carries and added 28 catches for 341 yards. He is likely going to find himself as the starting running back this season as well with the graduation of George Winn.
This leaves Abernathy in a situation where he must assume most of the rushing attempts and has to hope to hold up. That is a major worry with his size. There are a lot of players who have gotten away with being small and fast to make it through many college seasons without issues. The Bearcats must have a healthy Abernathy if they want to have a chance at a perfect season.
He was obviously a big part of the pass game last season as well and I would like to see him catch another 30-40 passes along with his 200-250 carries. He had a game-high of 10 carries last season so his workload is definitely going up. The new American Athletic Conference has a bunch of new teams and changes galore so it is really anyone’s guess on who wins the whole thing.
Cincinnati should be able to get to their final three games undefeated. If the Bearcats want that to happen though, it is going to be up to Abernathy to have a breakout season.