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Offense Wakes Up, Defense Struggles in 42-32 Loss to Navy

Putting points on the board proved no problem for Cincinnati...or Navy.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Navy Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Defending that triple option sure is difficult, huh?

The Cincinnati Bearcats played their best offensive game of the season, but an inability to stop Navy’s run-heavy offense cost them in a 42-32 loss at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Hayden Moore and Devin Gray both showed that the UC offense has some punch in it after all. Moore played what might be his best game as a Bearcat, completing 28-of-46 pass attempts for 381 yards and three touchdowns. On top of that, he wasn’t intercepted. Not even once, although he did lose a fumble during UC’s last drive of the game. More play like that (outside of the fumble) will be crucial as the Bearcats (2-2, 0-1 American Athletic Conference) continue on from this conference opener.

Gray had a lot to do with Moore’s resurgence, as the senior wideout caught six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. UC fans must have let out a collective sigh of relief after Gray had all of five receptions in the first three games. Kahlil Lewis (six receptions, 59 yards) and tight end Tyler Cogswell (five receptions, 45 yards) were both frequent targets as well.

In the end it didn’t matter, however, as Navy (3-0, 2-0) racked up 569 yards on the ground, surpassing 300 before the end of the first half. Five different players rushed for at least 50 yards, led by Zach Abey (20 attempts, 128 yards), Malcolm Perry (10 attempts, 100 yards) and Chris High (17 attempts, 87 yards).