The University of Cincinnati football team picked up their second win of the season on Saturday, defeating no. 22 Army West Point 24-10.
Cincinnati’s defense pulled through to keep the Black Knights’ infamous rushing offense largely at bay as the Bearcat offense made up for a lackluster performance in the first half of the game.
“I’m not sure they could’ve done much better,” head coach Luke Fickell said postgame, referring to the Cincinnati defense. “Coach Freeman and those guys played lights out. Made some big plays… they didn’t panic, found a way to make some plays, my hat’s off to them.”
Quarterback Desmond Ridder looked much unlike his performance last week vs Austin Peay, as he missed several open targets throughout the day and gave up two turnovers in the first quarter. He finished the day 18/33 with 258 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and one fumble. Army brought back the fumble for over 40 yards, scoring on the turnover within the first minute of the game.
“I don’t [know what was going on with Ridder],” Fickell said, referring to Ridders struggles in the first quarter. “[When the ball gets tipped], one of those, I think [that] maybe gets in your head a little bit… if one face is struggling a little bit, deep balls are struggling a little bit, we [find] a way to hit some of the other things.”
Running back Gerrid Doaks, who had three rushing touchdowns last week, was limited to 23 yards on 10 attempts. Doaks might not have had success on the ground, but his 60 yard reception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter helped to clinch the UC win. This puts him at five touchdowns this season, rushing and receiving combined.
Notre Dame transfer Michael Young Jr. had a day, catching five passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Junior Jayshon Jackson also turned in a good performance out wide, with four receptions for 75 yards.
“I think he’s going to continue to grow as a part of the offense,” Fickell said, referring to Young. “What you see at the beginning of the year and what you see at the end of the year, I think will be light years… I know he was big for us tonight and I think he’s only going to continue to grow.”
UC's special teams also came up big today, blocking a punt in the second quarter and gaining the ball back on Army's seven yard line. Although, the Bearcats failed to score after the blocked punt, and turned the ball over on downs.
The Bearcats next game will be their first conference test against the University of South Florida for the 2020 homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in Nippert Stadium.