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Cincinnati Bearcats Football Season in Review: Marcus Brown

Brown reached his peak against Tulsa and was a frequent contributor during the rest of the season as well.

Tulsa v Cincinnati Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Numbers

  • 35 tackles
  • 5.5 tackles for loss
  • 2.0 sacks
  • 3 quarterback hits/hurries
  • 1 forced fumble
  • 1 fumble recovery

Last week I wrote about defensive tackle Curtis Brooks and the relatively emergent season he had for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2019. Marcus Brown put together a similar campaign in 2019. Like Brooks, Brown was a junior and one who had appeared in plenty of games but had never really been given a major chance at contributing. He had 20 tackles, including two for loss, across his first two seasons combined although he did log 24 games played in that time.

Opportunities began to open up in 2019, however, and Brown didn’t let them go to waste. He set career-highs in tackles (35), tackle for loss (5.5) and sacks (2.0). Obviously it wasn’t particularly difficult to surpass his previous personal bests from two largely quiet years, but it was encouraging to see Brown produce when his number was called. That’s not just me talking either. Brown did enough during the early parts of the season that when his chance to work into the starting lineup appeared, he was right there to fill in. He started five of the final six games of the season, only returning to a reserve role in the Birmingham Bowl against Boston College.

Surprisingly, that wasn’t the portion of the campaign when he was most productive. In fact, it was during a three-game stretch against Houston, Tulsa and East Carolina that Brown really made a name for himself, as he tallied five tackles for loss and two sacks combined in those three games. After playing like that, he was elevated to a starting role against UConn and turned in five assisted tackles.

After Brown had such a promising 2019, the he Bearcats are lucky that they can keep sending him, along with Brooks, out to anchor the defensive front next season.

The Best of the Best

Oct. 12, 2019 at Houston

Brown only had two tackles in this game but he got the most out of them, stopping ball carriers for a loss each time.

Oct. 19, 2019 vs. Tulsa

This was the crown jewel in Brown’s 2019 campaign. He amassed five tackles, including two sacks, and also forced and recovered a fumble.

Nov. 2, 2019 at East Carolina

Three tackles, including one for a loss, made for a solid showing from Brown.

For Next Year

Brown will be a senior next season which means he will likely have the chance to play even more for the Bearcats. With more playing time, he could stand to improve on his ability to create pressure and be a bit more consistent. After all, most of his production was concentrated in a handful of games this past year. It would be great if he could make his effort against Tulsa from this past season a more regular occurrence. Brown may also need to show that he can handle a permanent starting role. The Bearcats should expect that he will be more than ready considering his 38 career games played, but playing as a reserve primarily is still a different job than starting.