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The Three Stars of Cincinnati’s Overtime Win Against SMU

An interception decided it, but which players contributed the most?

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

I guess we’re only doing overtime games now. The Cincinnati Bearcats survived their trip to Dallas with a 26-20 victory against the SMU Mustangs on Saturday and it took a few extra minutes to do so. We all know what the best play of the game was (spoilers: James Wiggins’ 86-yard interception return for a touchdown), but who were the three best players? Let’s find out.

Honorable Mention: A win like this deserves a few marks of extra credit. Marquise Copeland had a very good game on the defensive line, He had one of the Bearcats’ two sacks and a pair of tackles for loss. He also had a pass breakup, showing active hands at the line, and a quarterback hit. On any other week, he would have gotten at least one star, but this wasn’t any other week.

Additionally, Cole Smith nailed a 41-yard field goal in the final seconds of regulation to tie the game and force overtime. The Bearcats wouldn’t have gotten a chance to win without Smith.

One Star - Kahlil Lewis, WR

If the Bearcats had just won in a normal way, instead of by epic means, this would be known as the Kahlil Lewis game. The senior wide receiver set career-highs in receptions (12) and receiving yards (172) and also threw in a pair of touchdown grabs. Lewis is good for a double-digit reception game at least once a year, and this was a pretty spectacular one. Before Saturday, he had yet to record a 100-yard game this season and had a total of 19 catches. Could this be a turning point for Lewis’ season?

Two Stars - Bryan Wright, LB

James Wiggins is the defender who will get the most credit for UC’s win, but Wright’s steady contributions throughout the day deserve to be celebrated as well. The junior linebacker led the Bearcats with eight tackles. But it wasn’t just a bunch of tackles that got him here. Wright sacked SMU quarterback Ben Hicks on the first play of overtime, forcing a 2nd-and-17 that eventually led to the game-winning interception.

Three Stars - James Wiggins, S


Poll

Who was the MVP of Cincinnati’s win against SMU?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Kahlil Lewis
    (19 votes)
  • 7%
    Bryan Wright
    (5 votes)
  • 54%
    James Wiggins
    (36 votes)
  • 9%
    Someone else
    (6 votes)
66 votes total Vote Now