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Ross Trail Season in Review

He threw a lot of interceptions even though he didn’t play much.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers

  • 65.7 completion percentage (46-of-70)
  • 494 yards
  • 1 touchdown
  • 6 interceptions
  • 2 rushing touchdowns

Its fitting that we will take a look at Ross Trail’s first full season as a Cincinnati Bearcat during the week of National Signing Day. Trail was a major recruiting coup for the Tommy Tuberville era. A four-star recruit by ESPN, he was named the No. 6 prospect out of his home state of Arkansas and the No. 21 quarterback in his class.

Trail impressed during last year’s spring game and entered this season No. 2 on the depth chart behind Hayden Moore, leapfrogging former starter Gunner Kiel in the process. After a slow start and some injury concerns from Moore, it wasn’t long before Trail got his shot at the big time.

He came in for his first game in UC’s loss to Houston and did very little. He did complete both of his pass attempts, but one of those completions was to the other team. That didn’t stop Tuberville from inserting Trail as the starter the following week against Miami (Ohio). The Bearcats won that game but more in spite of Trail than because of him. Although he completed a solid percentage of his passes (25-of-38), scored a rushing touchdown and finished with a season-high 276 yards, he was also intercepted twice and did not record a single touchdown pass.

He would start again the following week against USF and his play did not exactly improve. Once again, he connected on most of his attempts (20-of-30) and rushed for a touchdown. He also recorded his first career touchdown pass, a six-yard strike to Kahlil Lewis late in the second quarter. However, he was intercepted three times in the 45-20 loss, with one of those picks going back for a touchdown.

Trail did not throw another pass the rest of the season, cementing his freshman season as an underwhelming one to put it lightly.

The Best of the Best

As you’ve just read about every game of the season, you might surmise that it would be difficult to pick standout performances from Trail. I’d lean toward the Miami game as his best since the Bearcats won and he threw for more yards than he did against USF.

For Next Year

The quarterback situation is about to get a big shakeup this season if Torrance Gibson has anything to say about it. Even if he doesn’t, Trail is still in for a tough competition with Moore for the starting gig. Trail has proven he can complete passes, but he needs to be better at getting the ball further downfield and, most importantly, to Bearcat receivers and not opposing defenders. He still has the tool set to succeed, but he needs to clean his game up to become something special or even serviceable.