It’s amazing what a little defense and establishing a running game can accomplish. The Bearcats came away with a victory, 34 – 17, Friday night at Paul Brown Stadium. The UC defense forced four turnovers and held the AAC rushing leader, Marlon Mack, to a mere 54 total yards. UC won the time of possession battle, the penalty battle, and racked up nearly 600 yards of total offense.
With both Hosey Williams and Tion Green out, the Bearcats running back position has been a huge question. Freshman #27 Mike Boone stepped up and ran the ball 19 times for 212 yards, averaging 11.2 yards a carry. The 205 lb. converted wide receiver out of Macclenny, Florida, came up big Friday, and took advantage of every rep.
The victory was not without its costs. Gunner Kiel appears to have again re-aggravated his rib injury at the end of the first half, and did not return for the remainder of the game. His current status is unknown. However, with the East Carolina game looming in just a few weeks, it is imperative Gunner be 100% healthy very soon.
Munchie Legaux played the entire second half due to Jarred Evans’ suspension, going 14/15 for 121 yards, running an efficient offense. He also scored a rushing touchdown! While some prefer to see Gunner manning the offense, it is great to see Munchie playing after witnessing his horrific knee injury just a year ago, along with all of the intensive rehab he underwent after being told he would never play college football again. I was at the Illinois game, and will never forget watching him being carted off the field.
Munchie was appropriately awarded the game ball Friday night.
Tulane is up next. On Halloween night, the Bearcats travel to New Orleans to take on the Green Wave at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN2. Tulane is 2 – 5 and 1 – 2 in the AAC. Offensively and defensively Tulane is simply not good. Freshman quarterback Tanner Lee has thrown eight TDs and nine picks. The team is extremely young at all key positions. With or without Gunner Kiel, I expect the defense to continue to grow, and overall a big Bearcats victory. In fact, I would prefer Munchie get the nod as QB1 if Gunner’s health is at all an issue. Again, his health is paramount once East Carolina rolls into town.
All I want is a UC blowout this Halloween on ESPN2.
By Technical Writer: Andy Smith