Saturday was not a fun day if you’re a fan of the University of Cincinnati men’s athletics. In a rare double feature of Men’s basketball and football Bearcats fan’s got a double dose of a sobering reality in not one but two epic losses. Lets see if we can make some sense of it all.
AAC Championship Game
In a rematch with the Memphis Tigers the UC Bearcats fell short once again. This time to the tune of 29 – 24. Although the 5 point loss is better than the 10 point loss a week earlier the game left you saying “what if…”
… the Bearcats weren’t the most penalized team in college football?
… the Bearcats could have just cut the penalties by a half? a third?
… the Bearcats the Bearcats could have beaten Memphis the first time?
… the Bearcats could catch the ball when they’re wide open?
… the Bearcats had James Hudson this season?
… Ridder hadn’t fumbled and lost the ball?
That’s enough of that.
The Bearcats had plenty of opportunities to win that game on Saturday and the truth is they beat themselves. Two turnovers, 11 penalties for 70 yards, and by my count 8 dropped passes. For just the second time in 5 weeks the Bearcats actually outgained their opponent, 454 to 447 yards this time. Ridder threw for 233 yards and was the top rusher with 113 yards. Warren added in 99 yards on the ground on 23 carries. Alec Pierce caught 5 passes for 87 yards after struggling early.
On the defensive side of the ball Darrick Forest, Bryan Wright, Perry Young, and Jarell White were the leading tacklers with 9, 9, 8, and 7, respectively.
The Bearcats had a chance to win in the end and came up short once again. The loss left the Bearcats with the fact that Fickell has still yet to beat Memphis. Something that will almost definitely change next year with Memphis’ coach leaving for Florida State and the Tigers travel to Nippert.
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
So after back to back losses and finishing this season 10-3 the UC Bearcats will take on Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl on Jan. 2nd at 3pm. Boston College finished the season 6-6. Their six wins came against Virginia Tech, Richmond, Rutgers, NC State, Syracuse, and Pitt. Their six loses came against Kansas (what?!?!?), Wake Forest, Louisville, Florida State, Clemson, and Notre Dame.
What does this mean? It probably means that Boston College is a better football team than UC fans will give them credit for but they should also be an underdog against the Bearcats in this one.
The Crosstown Shootout
More like the Crosstown please shoot my eye out. The Bearcats continued Mick Cronin’s streak of losing in Cintas with a 73 – 66 L to rival Xavier and haven’t won back to back games against Xavier since 1994-1995! The home team has won nine of the last 11 in the series.
Naji Marshall lit up the Bearcats for a career high 31 points while Bearcats stand out Jarron Cumberland had his worst Shootout outing of his career with just 11 points. Jr. The Bearcats actually had 5 players in double figures with Keith Williams leading the Bearcats with 15 points. Javen had 14, Micah Adams-Woods 10, and Vogt with 10.
Xavier had 2 players in double figures, Marshall and Tyrique Jones with 10.
The Bearcats woes in the turnover department continue to build. They had 17 in this one to just 11 for Xavier. The Bearcats also lost in the assist department 17-9. The Bearcats outrebounded the Musketeers 41-36 and shot 4 more free throws but looked completely out of sorts late in the first half.
Here’s my thought on the basketball Bearcats…
They’ve now lost to Ohio State, Bowling Green, and Xavier. How do they rank in just Ohio alone? The 4th or 5th best team?
Also, how many more chances do they get to accumulate qualities wins Their best win so far was against a depleted Vermont team then maybe UNLV. They also have a bad loss to Bowling Green. The Bearcats have Colgate, #21 Tennessee, and Iowa before conference play starts.
How many tournament teams are there in the American this year? Memphis.. and ? Is anyone else guaranteed to make the dance? Would beating everyone we’re supposed to in conference play be enough? Lanardi has Memphis as the only teas from the American projected to make the field, as of the December 2nd.
The UC Bearcats hosts Colgate next Saturday. I hope to see you there.
The only bright spot of the weekend was the volleyball team.
Jordan Thompson extended her impressive career by beating #6 Pitt in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats take on #11 Penn State in the Sweet 16 Friday the 13th at 8pm on ESPN3.