Midway through the 2012 season visions of two unbeaten teams meeting for the Ultimate Bowl II championship were dancing in the minds of fans across the footprint.
Cincinnati stumbled twice and needed a late Marion victory to secure
the top seed in the North playoffs. Despite the hiccup, Monday's
Cincinnati/Florida game is the meeting that people have pined for the
most. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Germain Arena.
teams are entering the Ultimate Bowl II, sponsored by Trophy Awards,
with questions. The health of starting quarterback Tyler Sheehan is at
the top of the list for the Commandos. The honorable mention North
selection missed the North title game with an ankle injury.
is good," said Cincinnati head coach Billy Back. "His ankle getting
better, he is able to take drops. He was 85 percent last week and we
wanted to make sure he was healthy for this game."
If Florida Tarpons head coach Michael Taylor had a preference, he would prefer the less mobile Sheehan returned to action.
easier to prepare for Sheehan," said Taylor. "Its different assignments
when playing against a running quarterback. Our defense would be more
basic football 101 to make him throw to ball to beat you. (Mincy) is
someone we have to account for."
threw for 2,537 yards on 185-of-353 passing with 39 touchdowns and 18
interceptions to lead Cincinnati to an 8-2 regular season. In his only
extended action at quarterback, Mincy accounted for eight touchdowns in
leading Cincinnati to the 62-40 victory over Erie in the North
takes the snaps for the Commandos will have to account for South
Defensive Player of the Year, Terrance Jones. Jones leads the South with
11 interceptions and was second on the team with 41 tackles. Linebacker
Harriel Moore led the Tarpons with 44 tackles, 14.5 for loss and eight
the Tarpons, who have only trailed three times this season, their
biggest question mark is how they will react to being down by more than
one possession. The team ran through its competition and trailed just
once after they had possession. Two of three times they trailed, the
opposing team scored before Florida gained possession.
is the unknown because we haven't been in that position," said Taylor.
"If Cincinnati jumps up 21 points, how will the guys fight back? I would
like to think we have veteran guys and I feel pretty confident we will
handle it. That is the reason we brought in a Chris Wallace."
Wallace and forcing the signal caller into mistakes should be one of
the primary focuses for the Commandos. He has been sacked just 10 times
this season and thrown just five interceptions. The Tarpons as a team,
lead the league in turnover margin at a whopping plus-40. They have
forced 50 turnovers on the season, while committing just 10.
strength is arguably along the defensive line where North Defensive
Player of the Year James Spikes leads a quintet of monsters in the
trenches. Spikes, who finished the season with 12 sacks and 16.5 tackles
for loss, is just a part of a rotation that gave opposing offenses
fits. He is joined up front by James Frazier (10 sacks), Terrill Byrd
(six sacks), Thomas Claggett (2.5 sacks) and D'arrell Brown (one sack).
Wallace does have time to throw, the duo of Donald Fusilier and Carlos
Singleton could wreak havoc on the Commandos secondary.
is a matchup nightmare, but I feel EJ Underwood will provide a good
matchup to watch," said Back. "Donald is 6-3 with speed, runs well and
catches well. It will come down to playing the ball in the air and
making plays; our route recognition and how physical we can be."
Underwood will spend a lot of time on Singleton, safety Corry Stewart's
presence could be felt as well. His 14 picks led the UIFL and his
penchant for making key plays can't be lost.