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Grading the Offense: Week 12

It would have taken a Herculean offensive effort for the Bearcats to keep pace with East Carolina. They didn’t get that.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at East Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

One team created a whole mess of offense when the Cincinnati Bearcats played the East Carolina Pirates this past Saturday. The problem is, the Bearcats weren’t the ones doing it. In a game in which they allowed 48 points, the Bearcats had a pretty sobering offensive effort themselves. It may not have been the main culprit for the loss, but it certainly didn’t make it any easier.

Quarterback

The Good: Hayden Moore threw a beautiful deep ball midway through the second quarter that ended up in the hands of Kahlil Lewis and led to a 75-yard touchdown. It was one of three scores Moore threw in the game, tying the season-high he produced against Austin Peay and Navy.

The Bad: If you take out Lewis’ touchdown catch-and-run, Moore threw for 112 yards. But that’s not fair. He threw for that touchdown so we won’t take it away from him. How many yards did he throw for now? 187. That’s it. 187. While not a season-low, it marked the fifth time this season he has failed to reach 200 yards. He also only completed 15-of-28 pass attempts (53.6 percent) and was picked off for the first time since Oct. 21.

Final Grade: D-

Running backs

The Good: Mike Boone had a relatively solid average yards per carry reading (4.1) and finished with 62 yards on the ground, while Michael Warren added 51 on only seven carries. As a group, the Bearcats rushed for 139 yards, including 30 from Moore. UC also gained 11 first downs via the run compared to six from the pass.

The Bad: Gerrid Doaks continued to deal with a shoulder injury and did not play. It is always difficult to pereform at your best when the most productive contributor on the roster is sidelined. Taylor Boose got a little bit of work as the third running back, but lost three yards on his only carry. He also caught a nine-yard pass. Neat.

Final Grade: C

Wide Receivers

The Good: Let’s actually take a look at that 75-yard touchdown reception for Lewis. It really was the only highlight of the game for the Bearcats.

Just watch that a few more times. That’s a fun thing to see. Let’s just live in that moment for a little while.

The Bad: And now we’re back. No receiver had more than two receptions and besides Lewis, no receiver had more than 18 yards. Lewis himself would have had only nine yards if not for the catch we were just admiring.

Final Grade: D

Offensive Line

The Good: Moore was only sacked once and ECU managed to break through for only three tackles for loss. That means the offensive line did its job for the most part. With Boone and Warren both picking up yardage at a respectable clip, the run game also got some help.

The Bad: Unfortunately, the running lanes were not exceptionally large, with Boone’s longest run of the game going for eight yards. The line also contributed to a disturbing amount of penalties, with several holding and false start infractions. In fact, UC had 10 flags called against it, which resulted in the loss of 90 yards. That wasn’t all the offensive line’s fault, but the unit was not as disciplined, with nearly all of the fouls against UC coming via false starts or offensive holding.

Final Grade: D

Overall

What more needs to be said? The Bearcats were ineffective through the air and that did not go well with the 464-yard eruption from ECU’s passing offense. The Bearcats also went just 3-for-10 on third down and made it to the red zone a whole two times. With 326 yards of total offense, their streak of games with at least 400 yards was snapped at three. In a word, the offense was bad.

Final Grarde: D-