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Cincinnati Bearcats Football Season in Review: Arquon Bush

Bush didn’t quite live up to the expectations he created in the 2018 regular season finale, but he is still a promising part of the future.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 04 UCF at Cincinnati Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Numbers

  • 19 tackles
  • 6 passes defended
  • 1 forced fumble

Before the 2019 season even began, Arquon Bush had made quite the name for himself with the Cincinnati Bearcats. He played very little in his freshman season in 2018, making a total of four appearances as he waited his turn deep on the depth chart. However, in the regular season finale against East Carolina, the Bearcats absolutely dominated and that opened up some chances for younger players to prove themselves.

No other player took advantage of that opportunity quite like Bush. The then freshman cornerback broke up two passes, recovered a fumble and, more memorably, grabbed two interceptions, including one that he returned 36 yards for an interception. To say that Bush’s stock rose after that performance would be a bit of an understatement. It was a spectacular showing and hinted at a promising future. While that future stalled a bit at the beginning of 2019, Bush was able to level up his playing time and build on that flash of greatness.

Bush didn’t play in the first three games of the season, but he at least appeared in 10 of the final 11 games, only missing the first meeting with Memphis in the final game of the regular season. Even though he was not consistently in the lineup from start to finish, Bush still earned himself five starting chances.

While that was quite a boost in playing time compared with 2018, Bush still had inconsistent opportunities which afforded him fewer chances to make plays than might have been expected. It certainly showed on the stat sheet. Bush only had 19 tackles all year and after his stunning work at creating turnovers in just a handful of minutes in 2018, he did not collect a single interception. Now don’t get the wrong impression. Bush still made plays on the ball. He broke up six passes and forced a fumble, keeping the hope alive that he can be a major difference maker in the secondary in the next couple seasons.

The Best of the Best

Oct. 19, 2019 vs. Tulsa

In his second start of the season, Bush made life exceptionally difficult for Tulsa. He compiled six total tackles, broke up two passes and forced a fumble. More games like this will be expected next season.

Dec. 7, 2019 at Memphis

Bush didn’t do much to stop ball carriers, with only a single tackle, but he did break up two passes in the American Athletic Conference title game.

For Next Year

Bush’s potential hasn’t gone away. His play against Tulsa proves that. Clearly that magical day against East Carolina wasn’t a launching pad for an all-conference sophomore season, but Bush still did just enough in 2019 to keep expectations on the higher end for 2020. For him to make good on that potential, he’ll need to improve in coverage and get back to not only breaking up passes but catching them himself in order to force more turnovers. If he adds in anything (pass rush, improved tackling), then all the better.