The UC Bearcats traveled to Houston in week 7 to take on the Cougars in what might have been their last big test for a handful of weeks. With some drama and without some of their best players the Cougars looked to be primed for a blow out by the Bearcats but that didn’t exactly happen.
Taft’s Brewpourium hosted the Bearcat Journal watch party this week (and every week there’s an away game) so I decided to venture out to watch the game. It was my wife’s birthday and yes she wanted to go to Taft’s to watch the game (and then head directly to BLINK downtown) so it all worked out. It was awesome of Taft’s to surprise her with some recognition on her day.
There was a ton of people there to watch the game. I didn’t even attempt to count the people but after every Bearcats touchdown the Brewpourium echoed with cheers. Once you add in $3 pints after each one of those TD’s you have a winning watch party.
From what I’ve seen on Twitter, Bearcats fans have mixed emotions about this one.
On one had you had a Houston team without their star QB and without one single QB because the Cougars played 3 different guys at the position. Add in some key injuries form their front line and some people, myself included was looking at this game as a walk through.
On the other hand you still had a Houston team that was expected to challenge Memphis for the AAC West division and a team that was expected to beat the Bearcats in the preseason.
What we got was a mix of both in a game that Bearcats led start to finish but was never able to pull away until late. It felt like the Bearcats never fuly had control of the game but more that Houston was unable to take advantage. Either way it’s a win and the Bearcats control their own destiny in the American.
Des Ridder had a nice game accounting for 4 touchdowns total. He passed for 3 and had another one rushing. He passed for 263 yards and completed just over half of his passes.
Mike Warren II was pretty well kept in check, only rushing for 68 yards. His biggest play of the day came on the receiving end of a pass from Ridder where Warren trucked his way through the defense and a blocking Bearcat and found the endzone for a score.
WR Rashad Medaris had himself a game with 121 yards receiving and a TD.
Offensive MVP goes to Des Ridder.
On the defensive side of the ball was a little more messy. A lot of fans were vocal about play calling and the offense’s inability to move the ball but that isn’t the offensive’s problem. Their problem is stupid penalties. The Bearcats has 12 penalties for 84 yards! It’s great to have a German Giant on the line but he can’t remember the snap count to save his life.
Out of 130 teams the Bearcats rank 128 in penalties! That’s insane and that’s the problem. The only two teams below them? Tulane at 129 and Tulsa at 130.
Back to the defense. The Black Cats looked great at certain points and awful at others. The secondary got roasted on more than a few deep balls that let the Cougars hang around when they could have put them out early. It was frustrating. Houston rushed for 190 yards, 107 of that came from RB Kyle Porter. WR Marquez Stevenson had 120 receiving yards and was on the receiving end of those bombs the secondary couldn’t break up.
The Black Cats were able to pounce on the inexperienced QBs picking off the 3 of them 4 different times.
Defensive MVP goes to Ja’von Hicks. He had 2 INTs and a fumble recovery.
Beer of the Game
The Bearcats are home on Saturday for a 3:30pm kickoff against the 2-4 (0-2) Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Tulsa is somehow worse than the Bearcats in penalties and have yet to win an AAC game with loses coming against SMU is a great game and this past weekend against Navy. Which Hurricane will show up? The one that took undefeated SMU to triple OT or the one that got swept away by the midshipmen?
After the Bearcats host Tulsa the next set of games look like this:
- at ECU
- UConn at Nippert
- at South Florida
- Temple at Nippert
Temple just beat Memphis and if both teams hang on and continue to take care of business you’d think Cincinnati would be a possible destination for College Game Day on 11/23.