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Cincinnati Bearcats Football Season in Review: Darrick Forrest

Forrest reached another level in 2019 and earned an all-conference nod for his trouble.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 29 UCLA at Cincinnati Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Numbers

  • 106 tackles
  • 3.5 tackles for loss
  • 3 interceptions
  • 6 passes defended
  • 3 pass breakups

What’s better than one good thing? Two good things. Two things imply twice the goodness. When playing defense in football, it is good to tackle opponents, defend passes and create interceptions. Having twice as many of those things is even better. With this simple concept in mind, it is time to evaluate Darrick Forrest’s 2019 season, which yielded the Cincinnati Bearcats a whole lot of goodness because Forrest doubled up a lot of his production.

Forrest entered the campaign as a surefire starter in the secondary after a 12-start season in 2018 when he established himself as the perfect partner for James Wiggins. Forrest tallied 49 tackles, three passes defended and an interception while Wiggins claimed the spotlight. The duo was supposed to be back in business this past season, but an injury cost Wiggins the entire year. That meant everyone in the secondary had to step up and they did — especially Forrest.

Remember that tackle total from 2018? He more than doubled it, producing a team-high 106 stops, which tied him for the second-most in the American Athletic Conference. He also logged 63 solo tackles, which was more than any other Bearcat and the third-most among AAC players. Forrest also managed to collect 3.5 tackles for loss, boosting his production in that area by quite a lot considering he had never had one before 2019. It wasn’t just his tackling that jumped off the charts compared with his previous production. Forrest also doubled his number of passes defended and tripled his interception total.

With a resume like that, it was no surprise that Forrest was placed on the All-AAC first team at the end of the season. After all, when you effectively double your output from an already solid campaign, more than a few people are going to notice.

The Best of the Best

Oct. 4, 2019 vs. UCF

You may be wondering why Forrest’s nine-tackle performances against UCLA and Miami-Ohio from earlier in the season aren’t on this list. The answer is that those were commonplace efforts for Forrest, who racked up 16 tackles, including one for loss, in this critical win against UCF.

Oct. 19, 2019 vs. Tulsa

This marked Forrest’s second game with a double-figure tackle total (10) and that came along with an interception.

Nov. 23, 2019 vs. Temple

Forrest could probably get eight tackles in his sleep, but since he also got an interception in this game, we’ll add it to the list.

Dec. 7, 2019 at Memphis

The end result wasn’t ideal, but Forrest had 12 tackles, including one for loss. It was one of his three games with at least 10 tackles in 2019.

For Next Year

Forrest shouldn’t change a thing. He was that good this past season. If there’s anything he needs to deal with its relearning how to play with Wiggins, assuming Wiggins is healthy. That shouldn't be a problem in the slightest. Forrest and Wiggins were already great collaborators in 2018. So that means the Bearcats should have two all-conference safeties in 2020. You don’t need me to tell you that’s better than having one.