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Bearcats Continue To Come Into Their Own

Two horrific busts (because it's not a UC game without a horrific bust) marred an otherwise stellar performance from the defense. The Bearcats rode the emerging Mike Boone to settle the matter in the second half with Gunner Kiel knocked out in the first half.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This is the team that everyone expected to see at the beginning of the year. Solid on defense, explosive and balanced on offense. There are so many positives coming out of this game for the Bearcats. The running game was transcendent with Mike Boone breaking out in a big, big way. I mean 19 carries, 211 yards and a score for Boone, the only thing he did wrong was fumble as he was going in for his second score of the year. That was great, but I am so encouraged with the defense, even with the busts.

This defense doesn't need to be perfect with the offense playing like this, and it wasn't by any stretch. But UC can go on a big run if they can continue to play at this level. It's hard to put your finger on what the catalyst is for this change on defense. A couple of personnel changes are at the root of things, Andre Jones has been a big upgrade over Mike Tyson at one safety spot, Brad Harrah has given the Bearcats a jolt at defensive tackle. But simplifying the schemes has also had a huge, and hugely positive impact. It's allowing the Bearcats to play with a speed and aggression that they didn't show early in the year.

The Bearcats have another potential trap game coming up against Tulane next Friday night before they have their last bye of the year before the East Carolina game. Inexplicably the Bearcats are very much a threat to win the conference if they can maintain this level of play.