One nugget I didn't get in my earlier Cincinnati story from Wednesday: Defensive tackle Derek Wolfe told me the defense has nicknamed itself the "Blackcats." Co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks has handed out dog tags to all the defensive players that say Blackcats on them.
"We have a creed, a brotherhood," Wolfe said. "It's about being aggressive, fighting and being consistent."
The dog tags are handed out but not just given away.
"You have to earn your dog tags every day," Wolfe said. "As a senior, if I see somebody not earning his dog tag, I will take it from them."
A cynic might say that last year's defense was better suited for toe tags after Cincinnati allowed more points than any other Big East team. But with all 11 starters back and some real adversity weathered, at least this defense seems like a motivated, cohesive group this spring. That's a start.