Cincinnati Bearcats 35 Connecticut Huskies 27 | Box Scorin

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The Bearcats clinched a share of their third Big East Championship in four years today. That is a remarkable feat, one that I certainly never saw coming in August. I wouldn't classify the UConn game as a vintage performance, because this entire year hasn't been about playing Football that pleases the eye. The Bearcats just win, and today was a just win kind of day, and the Bearcats won the game by hitching their wagon to to defensive line and letting them dominate.

Defense

  • Walter Stewart made one of the more incredible plays you will ever see on a Football field and was generally excellent all day long. His stat line wasn't great, 3 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a sack, but he obviously deserves recognition for that moment of singular brilliance.
  • Derek Wolfe was quiet during the month of November, but he was very, very loud in December. Get a load of this stat line. 10 total tackles, 5 TFL, and 2.5 sacks. His 9.5 sacks and 19.5 TFL are single season records for a Defensive Tackle
  • J.K. Schaffer topped the century mark for tackles with 11 on the day including 1 for loss plus a forced fumble and recovery.
  • John Hughes was a man possessed today with 9 tackles, 4 TFL and a sack.
  • Deven Drane played a good game at corner. It's going to be nice having him around for two more years. He has a chance to be special.
  • I suppose I should say something nice about Drew Frey and his pick six. It was nice. Moving on.
  • The stat of the game for the defense was the third down defense. UConn converted just three of 16 third downs. That kind of play wins ball games

Offense

  • The running game was a bit off today. Just 102 yards on the day and 2.5 yards per carry. That's not an indictment of the playcalling, which some have tried to make, but more a reflection of a simple fact, UConn is damn good against the run.
  • The player that made the difference today was Munchie Legaux. He was excellent in the first half, but suffered, along with the entire offense, from sloppy execution in the second half. I don't think that Munchie is ever going to be a guy who completes 65 or 70 per cent of his passes for a season. But he does enough good things in the course of a game to win.
  • Anthony McClung managed to have a career day while still making two or three crucial errors. It was weird. Still, it's going to be nice having him Kenbrell Thompkins and the excellent Alex Chisum back next year.

Special Teams

It was a rough day for the Bearcats special teams. Coverage was pretty good against Nick Williams, the most dangerous returner in the Big East. Ralph Abernathy IV had a couple of really nice returns. Tony Miliano was steady with his PATs but Pat O'Donnell had his worst game of the year with a 35 yard average and a couple of shanks, though he did down three inside the 20.

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