- 59 Total Tackles
- 1 Sack
- 4.5 Tackles for Loss
- 2 Forced Fumbles
Marquise Copeland, a sophomore defensive lineman, put up much improved numbers from a 2015 season where he saw very limited action. Copeland improved all aspects of his game and physique, a key reason for his huge improvement. Copeland’s 59 tackles ranked fourth among Bearcat defenders and his two forced fumbles were tied for the team lead with Carter Jacobs and Tyrell Gilbert. Copeland was also among team leaders in tackles for loss (T-6th) with 4.5.
Despite playing behind Alex Pace on the depth chart for the majority of the season, Copeland put up numbers every week that proved he can play and compete at the college level. Statistically speaking, Copeland was the most productive defensive lineman on the country’s 72nd ranked defense, a ranking that Copeland and new head coach Luke Fickell hope to improve on in 2017.
The Best of the Best
Sept. 24 vs. Miami (OH)
Despite a few eight-tackles performances against Temple and Tulsa, Copeland’s best game of the year came in a 27-20 win against Miami (OH). Marquise posted a four tackle game which included a sack and a forced fumble. Copeland played a key part in one of the Bearcats best (and rare) all-around performances of the year.
For Next Year
With Alex Pace having played his last game in a Bearcats uniform, it is clear that Marquise Copeland should get a starting job as a junior. To become a defensive anchor, Copeland needs to increase the amount of “big plays” he creates including sacks, forced fumbles and tackles for loss. However, if Copeland continues to grow as he did this season, he could very well be one of the top defenders on the Bearcats roster and in the American Athletic Conference.