On Saturday, the Cincinnati Bearcats play the Memphis Tigers, in Memphis, for the second straight week. It will be the 36th meeting between both teams, with Memphis holding a 22-13 edge.
Cincinnati beat Memphis in 2013, their first year in the AAC, but the Tigers have won the last four matchups. Last week’s game was the first for Luke Fickell as Bearcats head coach. Prior to that, they hadn’t played since 2016. Memphis is the only AAC team that Fickell has yet to defeat. He is 4-7 in his first game vs a conference opponent.
Cincinnati is 5-14 against Memphis on the road.
Memphis wins 34-7 in 2016
Bearcats were bad in 2016. It was Tommy Tuberville’s last season in Cincinnati and the Bearcats finished 4-8. Their 5 year bowl appearance streak (the longest in school history) officially ended with this loss when Cincinnati fell to 4-7.
Cincinnati had just 244 yards of total offense. Their only score came on a touchdown with under 3 minutes to go in the 4th quarter.
The first half for Cincinnati was a disaster. Actually, whatever word is worse than disaster is what the first half was. Bearcats had 7 possessions - 2 interceptions, 1 fumble, 4 punts.
Memphis wins 53-46 in 2015
Everyone remembers this game. Gunner Kiel started at QB for Cincinnati but was stretchered off the field in the first half after a very scary hit. Turned down to be a concussion, he was ultimately fine and did return to action later in the season.
But in relief of Kiel came Hayden Moore, a freshman backup with very little experience. All Moore did was throw for a school-record 557 yards on 31 of 53 passes. He threw 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
The 4 TD passes went to three different receivers, all of whom went for over 100 yards. Max Morrison caught 9 passes for 162 yards and 2 TD. Chris Moore caught 5 passes for 153 yards and a TD. Shaq Washington caught 9 passes for 120 yards and a TD.
Cincinnati had a chance to tie the game. They got inside the redzone but Hayden Moore, instead of throwing the ball away, made a brutal freshman mistake throwing an ill-adivsed interception to seal the deal for the Tigers.
Memphis wins 41-14 in 2014
This was the first AAC matchup between these teams to take place at Nippert Stadium. Bearcats got the ball first and on the first play from scrimmage, Gunner Kiel threw an 80 yard TD to WR Mekale McKay. And the route was on! But now the Bearcats route...
Following that opening TD, Memphis scored 27 straight points, including 24 in the first quarter. They scored on 4 of their 5 first quarter possessions, including touchdowns on the first two.
Cincinnati wins 34-21 in 2013
2013 was the last bad season for Memphis. It was the last time they missed a bowl game and had a losing record and had less than 8 wins (they finished 3-9 in Justin Fuente’s second season).
Cincinnati ran for 4 touchdowns on the day, with 2 of them coming in the second quarter. Down 7-0, backup QB/wildcat offensive weapon Jordan Luallen scored on a 13 yard TD run and later in the quarter on a 19 yard TD run by RB Ralph David Abernathy IV. RB Tion Green added 2 TD runs in the second half.