Don’t look now but the Cincinnati Bearcats finally scored a touchdown. That’s right, after 13-straight quarters without finding the end zone, the Bearcats put six points on the board in one fell swoop against Memphis on Friday.
However, that was the only real positive offensive development in a blowout loss that eliminated UC from bowl contention. Here’s how things broke down individually.
The good: On senior night sophomore Hayden Moore played every snap at quarterback and he completed 23-of-34 pass attempts and posted a quarterback efficiency rating above 100 for the first time in his last three games. Moore also helped on that drought-ending touchdown, throwing a 10-yard scoring strike to Devin Gray.
The bad: Moore’s 101.16 rating was far from a strong showing, especially considering he only compiled 144 yards and was intercepted twice.
Final grade: D-
The good: Deionte Buckley showed some efficient running chops, picking up 49 yards on only seven carries.
The bad: Although Buckley averaged seven yards per carry, the rest of UC’s rushing attack was hamstrung. Leading rusher Tion Green ran for 41 yards on 12 carries for a disappointing average of 3.4 yards per carry. It was the second time in the last four games he has been held below the 50-yard mark. In addition, UC averaged only 2.9 yards per carry despite running the ball 35 times.
Final grade: D+
The good: Nate Cole was worked back into the rotation more frequently and collected a game-high six receptions. It was the most catches he has had in a single game since he had seven against USF. Gray also has the honor of scoring the last two touchdowns for the Bearcats, as his 10-yard scoring reception against Temple was the last touchdown for UC until he grabbed another 10-yarder on Friday.
The bad: With the receiving corps accounting for 22 receptions but only 144 yards, there was obviously not much gained on all those catches. Cole had a team-high of only 34 yards, never making a catch longer than nine yards. Gray had four catches for 33 yards and Kahlil Lewis turned his four grabs into 31 yards.
Final grade: D
The good: The offensive line did not commit any penalties...
The bad ... that counted, as two holding penalties were declined. Aside from that, the offensive line was largely at fault for UC’s trouble running the ball and it also had a hand in Moore’s inconsistencies. Moore did pick up 40 yards on the ground, but he was sacked four times which meant his net gain was only nine yards. The Tigers were also able to rip past the line and collect eight tackles for loss, hurting UC’s chances of ever getting anything going from the backfield.
Final grade: F
With only 244 yards of total offense, UC once again showed no signs of having any clue how to fix its offensive problems. The Bearcats have had less than 300 yards in three of the last four games and a lone touchdown doesn’t help the fact that they have not scored more than 10 points since the loss to Temple, when they managed a robust score of 13. UC also turned the ball over three times, which led to 17 Memphis points while once again failing to do much on third down (5-of-14) or the red zone (two trips). Now that bowl contention is out the window, UC has one more game left to
torture its fans find some solutions that might help next year.
Final grade: F