The University of Cincinnati (UC) football program has improved to 6-0 (4-0 AAC) on the 2020 college football season after defeating the University of Houston 38-10.
The Bearcats remain undefeated overall and in American Athletic Conference play while extending their home win streak to 18 wins at Nippert Stadium, breaking the school record.
Meanwhile, the Cougars fall to 2-3 (2-2 AAC), further stagnating in contention with the AAC West midseason.
UC’s star of the day was senior running back Gerrid Doaks, who had himself a career day, finishing with 214 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. Doaks had a season-best 166 rushing yards on just 11 carries by the end of the first half alone.
“Our goal is to go out there and make a statement every week,” Doaks said postgame. “Just go out there and dominate. People are going to take it however they want, but we just gonna go out there and play ball, do the best we can.”
The main contributors to those first-half stats were a 72-yarder – the longest of his career – early in the first quarter and a 48-yarder near the end of the half. Both of which saw Doaks tackled within the five-yard line to set up Bearcat touchdowns.
With his third 100+ yard rushing performance of the season, Doaks leads the team in rushing yards at 538 and has tacked seven rushing touchdowns, nine total.
Quarterback Desmond Ridder is proving to put together his best season as a Bearcat in his junior year, following a shaky start in his first three games. Ridder put his athleticism, and moreover his awareness, on full display against the Cougars.
Ridder escaped the pocket effectively multiple times, avoiding sacks and making plays out of nothing. Highlighted by a nifty running completion to tight-end Josh Whyle and a 32-yard rush up the middle of the field for what was his second rushing touchdown of the day.
A second-quarter redzone pass to Whyle ended up being the only Bearcat touchdown through the air. Whyle tied Michael Young Jr. for the most receptions of the game for UC, four, and goes into next week hauling in the most receiving touchdowns on the team, with four scores.
Although he made some acute decisions throwing the ball, Ridder’s legs were the most lethal yet again. Ridder finished his day 17-27 with 162 yards and one touchdown in the air, tagged along by 103 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Also noteworthy, punter James Smith became UC’s all-time leader in punting yards (9,515), surpassing Chet Ervin. Smith has only given up three touchbacks in his career at Cincinnati, one of which was tonight against the Cougars.
“It’s too bad because all I can think about is that ball that went into the endzone,” head coach Luke Fickell said. “He missed a guy, found a way to get it off. He’s probably going to be so disappointed, he is a weapon.”
Cincinnati plays their first and only Friday night game next week, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. against Eastern Carolina University for senior night. The game airs on ESPN2 and will be available on ESPN+.