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Takeaways From Cincinnati's 52-7 Destruction of UCF

From their devastating loss two weeks ago to BYU, the Bearcats look like they're back in sync with quarterback Gunner Kiel leading the charge. A defense that produced stops in the red zone and a turnover allowed the Bearcats to jump out to a 35-0 halftime score and never look back. Here are three major points of emphasis to take away from the game.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After a huge win Saturday afternoon, the Cincinnati Bearcats have moved to 5-3 on the season. Gunner Kiel looked like a vintage Peyton Manning as he, with the help of his receivers and running backs, torched the defense for 52 points while the defense only gave up seven. The dominating performance stems from many areas on the field and following, we'll take a look at where and why.

Tommy Tuberville vs. Danny Barrett

Simply put, Barrett was out-coached on Saturday. He led a team that was in absolute last place in the entire country in rushing yards per game and focused his offensive attention to running the football. Though the team managed to find relative success on the ground (posting over triple their season average), UCF could not find a way to put points on the board or maintain drives. This lead to the ball being in Tuberville's high-powered offense quite often, which then lead to a complete destruction of the UCF defensive unit. Tuberville used his offensive talents in the right way to allow his team to spread the football out and make the most out of short-yardage plays.

Gunner Kiel vs. No one

Gunner Kiel played the most offensively proficient game I think anyone has had the pleasure of witnessing for Cincinnati. He was a remarkable 15/15 for 319 yards and 5 touchdowns which lead to him posting an unbelievable quarterback rating of 388.6 with not a single turnover. Given that the system is designed to be out of 100, that number is pretty good. Meanwhile, under center for the Golden Knights was Justin Holman who managed to complete just over half of his passes for a measly 101 yards with one interception. Though he doesn't have much to work with, he was a non-existent factor for UCF. The team's inability to find an offensive mixture of run and pass allowed the Bearcat defense to make quick and easy reads on every possession. It is sad for UCF fans to know that the Bearcat backup outplayed their starter.

The Rise of the Bearcat Defense

Many did not expect the Bearcat's defensive unit to come out and play as hard and as effective as they did against UCF. They gave up a decent amount of yardage on the ground but held the Golden Knights to only 7 points. So far this season, the offense has posted extremely similar games to this one in terms of efficiency, scoring, and yardage but not since the season began has the defense looked this strong and that's why they deserve to be given credit for this victory. Holding UCF to just over 300 yards with only 101 of them coming through the air, the defensive secondary looked to be the strongest piece of the unit.