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Bearcats Top 10: #2 Gunner Kiel

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Gunner Kiel had about as good of a debut as you can possibly have for a first time college starter. It was all slightly downhill from there.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

How could it not be? He threw more touchdowns than any first time starter in the history of major college football. 25 of 37, 418 yards, 11.3 yards per attempt, 6 touchdowns, zero interceptions, 215.97 QB rating. You literally could not have a better debut. But there was no possible way for Gunner Kiel to sustain that kind of performance.  He was going to come back down to earth at some point. He did that in the Memphis game, and he wasn't quite September Gunner anymore.

He bruised a rib on a massive hit from Tank Jakes. That is the kind of injury that is difficult to manage for normal people because every single thing you do affects it. Playing with that injury is difficult to say the least, but Gunner did his best to play through that. He had a spectacular game against ECU, he was less than spectacular against Temple and UConn. Gunner had one of the better single seasons for a UC quarterback ever and his numbers compare favorably nationally despite being pulled early from 4 games.

The big question is where does he go from here? What is the next step for Gunner Kiel? I have some thoughts, but that is a different topic for a different day.