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Alex Pace: An Appreciation

A breakthrough senior season for the disruptive defensive tackle.

NCAA Football: Miami at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Career Numbers

  • 79 total tackles (career-high 34 in 2016)
  • 13.5 tackles for loss (career-high 6.0 in 2016)
  • 1.5 sacks

Alex Pace undoubtedly had his best season as a Cincinnati Bearcat in 2016. Pace posted career-highs in all the major statistical categories, and despite being somewhat out-shined by the surprise emergence of sophomore Marquise Copeland, Pace still managed to be a disruptive force and leader on defense in his farewell tour with Cincinnati. There is no denying the improvement made by Pace throughout his time in the red and black, as exhibited by Pace doubling his tackles total from 2014 to 2016.

The 6’2”, 300-pound defensive tackle was a three-star recruit coming out of Glennville Academic Campus in Ohio where he was coached by Ted Ginn Sr. Despite holding offers from Syracuse, West Virginia and North Carolina, Pace made the decision to stay home and play for the Bearcats in his home state.

Pace and Copeland provided a safety blanket for the Bearcats d-line and defense in general. Having two players on the front line as talented as the two of them allowed coaches to take larger risks with the players around them knowing that the first level was secure. There is also no denying that the veteran Pace played a huge role in the development of Copeland and other Bearcat defensive linemen.

The Best of the Best

Nov. 22, 2014 at UConn

In the final weeks of the 2014 season, Pace began producing to help secure a prominent role the next year. In a late November matchup with the Huskies, Pace had four total tackles in a Bearcats win.

Sept. 15, 2016 vs. Houston

Pace had one of his best career games early in his senior season. He put up four total tackles and a half sack. Unfortunately the rest of the defense did not follow suit as Cincinnati fell to Houston 40-16.

Oct. 1, 2016 vs. USF

Although the Bearcats were dismantled by the Bulls, Pace did record his first and only career solo sack in the 45-20 setback.

Nov. 25th 2016 at Tulsa

Fittingly, Pace’s best game as a Bearcat came in his last game. His season concluded with a five total tackle performance, which was a career high. The Bearcats sadly fell 40-37 in overtime, a disappointing moment that is unfortunately still fresh in all of our memories.

A Final Goodbye

Pace’s future as a football player is still very much up in the air. Although it is highly unlikely he will hear his name called come draft time, he will could get calls in the moments following the draft by a number of teams. What the future holds will have to wait but for now we’ll say a hearty goodbye to the big man who controlled the the middle of the UC defensive front.