Oh how wrong that notion was.
No. Rock bottom came in Greenville, North Carolina on Saturday when the Bearcats were beaten so badly by East Carolina, it was almost as if the Pirates were not a team with eight losses. But they were and still are since UC couldn’t pull out a victory. Obviously we know that. What else do we know?
Cincinnati is not good at defending against the pass
Despite technically ranking second in the American Athletic Conference in passing yards allowed prior to this game (now ranked fifth), UC is a really bad team against the pass. That has never been more evident than yesterday when the Bearcats were gouged to the tune of 464 yards of the aerial variety. They also allowed 10.1 yards per attempt and more than 14 yards per completion. ECU quarterback Gardner Minshew was the director of the destruction, picking UC apart with 444 yards and four touchdowns.
Malik Vann can’t get here soon enough
The four-star linebacker can’t be expected to save the defense entirely but he will certainly have that on his shoulders from some. Even if Luke Fickell is a defensive genius, and there’s no reason to think he isn’t, this unit needs an influx of talent. Vann will mark the beginning of the reinforcements.
Ross Trail deserves to start next week
Hayden Moore is not the quarterback of the future. At least he's not the quarterback of a bright future. Moore threw for only 187 yards against East Carolina, which ranks 121st out of 130 teams in the country in defensive S&P+. Moore has shown glimpses of competence but that's it. UC needs more for the offense to really improve. Is Trail the answer? I don't know, but I'd like to find out.
Jarell White is good
Vann may be the bringer of the defensive revolution, but White is at least a harbinger of it. Since working into the starting lineup, the freshman linebacker has recorded 18 tackles, including one for loss. He is destined to be a fixture on the defensive front for years to come. His time has just arrived earlier than we thought.
That's about it for it this week. Tune in next Sunday when we dissect the (mercifully) last game of the season.