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Takeaways from Cincinnati's 49-38 Victory Saturday Night

The Bearcats looked lifeless and then they looked unstoppable, but then lifeless again. Somehow they managed to get it together and make themselves eligible for a bowl game for the fifth straight year. Here are some of the major takeaways following the roller coaster win Saturday night.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Being Bowl eligible for the fifth straight season is pretty impressive. Regardless of what conference, division, or league you play in, it is impressive to make college football's version of the Playoffs (other than the actual playoffs, but it is still the post-season). Not many teams have produced this kind of consistency, yet Cincinnati has managed to make it happen over the past few years. If only they could get the same kind of consistency out of the offense and Gunner Kiel. Here are some major takeaways from the late night victory on Saturday.

Gunner Kiel vs. Himself

Dane Evans played a wonderful game. He posted 375 yards, passing to match with two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 58.6 on the day. This being said, he was less than a stellar matchup for Gunner Kiel. Sure, statistically speaking, they were immensely similar. Evans had 30 completions to Kiel's 29, with 375 yards for Evans and 386 yards for Kiel. They both also managed to throw two touchdowns. But, for many fans watching, that matchup was less than demanding for attention. It was the battle between the many faces of Gunner Kiel that was most interesting. Depending on which version shows up, he has the ability to break or win the game for the Bearcats. As seen when the offense was driving down the field for another score and he elected to throw the ball straight up into the air to be intercepted rather than take the sack. Then, a few plays later, he dropped the ball to a crossing receiver on a pass that some NFL-caliber quarterbacks would be incapable of making. One question remains: What do the scouts think of Kiel's multiple personalities?

Mike Boone Needs to Touch the Ball More

We were all yelling at our televisions every time the coaching staff decided to remove Boone from the game in favor of another back. Why on earth when a guy is starting to get hot, averaging 7.6 yards per rush, would any coach want to take him out of the game? I ask myself this question every week, but it is about time the coaching staff committed to making sure Boone runs the rock at least 20-25 times a game. When you give him a third of what he has had all season and he fills the stat sheet with nearly 150 yards rushing and three touchdowns, that usually means a guy is due for an upgrade. Moving into next week, I would assume Boone has asserted himself as the first down back in the three-headed lineup.

Cincinnati Needs the Run Game

Let's do some math. Running back Mike Boone had 18 carries for 137 yards for an average of 7.6 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Tion Green had 12 carries for 64 yards for an average of 5.3 yards and a touchdown. Running back Hosey Williams had eight carries for 63 yards for an average of 7.9 yards per carry and a touchdown. The three-headed hydra that is the Bearcat backfield had a combined 38 carries for 264 yards averaging SEVEN yards per carry for FIVE touchdowns. Yet, when calling plays, the Bearcats elected to pass the ball more times than they ran it (having Gunner Kiel attempt 42 passes in the game). To say that the ball needs to be ran more often is a no brainer, but the harder thing to see is that Kiel plays better when he has adequate rest and a chance to set up the play action. Just ask UCF, who allowed him to throw 15-15 for 319 yards and five touchdowns. Simply put, Tuberville and his coaches need to allow the offense to find a balance and rhythm if they want the best possible performance for their players.