The University of Cincinnati Bearcats won their 11th consecutive game against Miami Redhawks for the Battle of the Victory Bell series. What should’ve been a blowout, turned to be another close win against the Redhawks, 27 to 20. This rivalry game, ever since Tommy Tuberville arrived in Cincinnati, has always been a close game. Previous coaches Butch Jones and Brian Kelly had no problem outscoring the RedHawks during their time at UC. Kelly and Jones averaged 43 and 41 points of scoring respectively against the Redhawks in 3 years. Tuberville, on the other hand, has averaged 27 points of scoring…in 4 years. Now, admittedly I give credit to Miami. They do bring their A game and fight to win the bell for Oxford. But, I’m not sure why it’s a struggle for UC to win against Miami. Anyways, a win is a win and I’m happy that the Bell gets to stay in Clifton for another year.
To me, it seems the team took 3 steps back after their game against Houston last week. A part of it could be freshman QB, Ross Trail, who had his first collegiate start with UC. Trail did ok, he threw for over 250 yards but still committed a fumble and 2 INT. Mistakes will happen for a first year, on his first collegiate start. But, what frustrated me was Tuberville not letting Kiel on the action too. He released a statement saying Kiel will have playing time against Miami-OH. I didn’t see him on the field once. Personally, I’m starting to see that there’s some sort of vendetta Tuberville has against Kiel. Trail will be a good QB with more practice and experience. But, why would a coach take away Kiel’s senior year who’s had so much experience and has practiced his butt off the past 2 years. It doesn’t make sense. The defense took a few steps back compared to what they did against Houston. They allowed Miami to make big plays and allowed 2 TD’s in the air. They did step up in the 2nd half and forced 2 turnovers and overall, only allowed 65 rushing yards in the entire game. The stats show in favor of the Bearcats but I just wished that it reflected off the scoreboard too. A win is a win, though.
Next week, UC is back at Nippert Stadium for another home game against conference foe South Florida Bulls. The bulls are the favorite to win the East Division in the American conference. They started out 3-0 but lost last week to the 12th ranked Florida State Seminoles. USF is a high rolling offensive team led by dual-threat junior QB, Quinton Flowers. He can run and he can throw. In the past 4 games, he passed for 8 touchdowns and rushed for 2 touchdowns. The bearcat defense will need to shut Flowers down and their running game. This will be THE most important game for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Houston isn’t as important because they belong to the west division of the conference. The winner of this match-up will pretty much control their destiny in the East division of the conference. Not to mention, this will be a good pay back/revenge game from last year when USF beat the bearcats in an ugly 65-27 beat down in Tampa, FL. This year, USF will be coming to our house in front of a packed, white-out Nippert Stadium. The players know what’s at stake and they better bring their A-game. It was such an embarrassing loss for us last year, now it’s time to repay the favor and deliver a sweet revenge game that I can only hope for. Go Bearcats!