2019 Cincinnati Bearcats football team

Last updated
2019 Cincinnati Bearcats football
Cincinnati University Bearcats textlogo.svg
AAC East Division champion
Birmingham Bowl champion
Conference American Athletic Conference
DivisionEast Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 21
APNo. 21
2019 record11–3 (7–1 The American)
Head coach
Offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock (3rd season)
Defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman (3rd season)
Home stadium Nippert Stadium
(Capacity: 40,000)
Seasons
  2018
2020  
2019 American Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
East Division
No. 21 Cincinnati xy 71    113 
No. 24 UCF  62    103 
Temple  53    85 
South Florida  26    48 
East Carolina  17    48 
UConn  08    210 
West Division
No. 17 Memphis xy$ 71    122 
No. 20 Navy x 71    112 
SMU  62    103 
Tulane  35    76 
Houston  26    48 
Tulsa  26    48 
Championship: Memphis 29, Cincinnati 24
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2019 Cincinnati Bearcats football team represented the University of Cincinnati in the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Bearcats played their home games at Nippert Stadium, and competed as members of the East Division in the American Athletic Conference. They were led by third-year head coach Luke Fickell.

Contents

Previous season

In 2018, the Bearcats finished with an 11–2 (6–2 AAC) record, and won the Military Bowl against Virginia Tech. The 11 win season was only the third such season in the history of the program. [1] This was Cincinnati's first bowl game since the 2015 season and the first bowl win since the 2012 season.

Recruits

The Bearcats signed a total of 16 recruits, including three transfers.

Incoming transfers

Cincinnati added six transfers to the 2019 roster.

NamePos.HeightWeightYearHometownPrev. School
James HudsonOT6' 5"255Freshman (Redshirt) Toledo, OH Michigan
Darrian BeaversLB6' 3"218Sophomore Cincinnati, OH UConn
Bryan CookS6' 1"180Sophomore Cincinnati, OH Howard
Kyriq McDonaldDB5' 11"197Sophomore (Redshirt) Madison County, AL Alabama
Garyn PraterWR6' 5"200Sophomore Cincinnati, OH Ohio State
L'Christian SmithWR6' 6"205Sophomore (Redshirt) Dayton, OH Ohio State

Preseason

Award watch lists

AwardPlayerPositionYear
Davey O'Brien Award [2] Desmond Ridder QBSo.
Doak Walker Award [3] Michael Warren II RBJr.
Mackey Award [4] Josiah Deguara TESr.
Maxwell Award [5] Michael Warren II RBJr.
Nagurski Award [6] James Wiggins SJr.
Ray Guy Award [7] James SmithPJr.
Rimington Award [8] Jakari RobinsonCSo.
Thorpe Award [9] James Wiggins SJr.

AAC media poll

The AAC media poll was released on July 16, 2019, with the Bearcats predicted to finish second in the AAC East Division. [10]

Media poll (East)
Predicted finishTeamVotes (1st place)
1UCF169 (19)
2Cincinnati157 (11)
3USF107
4Temple101
5East Carolina66
6UConn30

Schedule

The Bearcats' 2019 schedule consisted of six home games and six away games. Cincinnati hosted two of its four non-conference games; against UCLA from the Pac-12 Conference, and Miami (OH) from the Mid-American Conference for their annual Victory Bell game. They travelled to instate rival Ohio State for their first meeting with the Buckeyes since 2014, and to Marshall. [11] [12]

The Bearcats played eight conference games; hosting Temple, Tulsa, UCF, and UConn. They travelled to South Florida, East Carolina, Houston, and Memphis.

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
August 297:00 p.m. UCLA * ESPN W 24–1438,032
September 712:00 p.m.at No. 5 Ohio State * ABC L 0–42104,089
September 1412:00 p.m. Miami (OH) *
ESPNU W 35–1335,526
September 285:00 p.m.at Marshall * CBSSN Facebook W 52–1432,192
October 48:00 p.m.No. 18 UCF
  • Nippert Stadium
  • Cincinnati, OH
ESPN W 27–2440,121
October 123:30 p.m.at Houston No. 25 ESPN2 W 38–2325,716
October 193:30 p.m. Tulsa No. 21
  • Nippert Stadium
  • Cincinnati, OH
ESPNUW 24–1333,209
November 27:00 p.m.at East Carolina No. 17 CBSSN W 46–4332,276
November 93:30 p.m. UConn Dagger-14-plain.pngNo. 20
  • Nippert Stadium
  • Cincinnati, OH
CBSSNW 48–338,919
November 167:00 p.m.at South Florida No. 17CBSSNW 20–1729,112
November 237:00 p.m. Temple No. 19
  • Nippert Stadium
  • Cincinnati, OH
ESPN2 W 15–1330,101
November 293:30 p.m.at No. 18 Memphis No. 19ABCL 24–3436,472
December 73:30 p.m.at No. 17 MemphisNo. 20
ABCL 24–2933,008
January 2, 20203:00 p.m.vs. Boston College *No. 21ESPNW 38–627,193

Game summaries

UCLA

UCLA at Cincinnati – Game summary
1234Total
Bruins077014
Bearcats737724

at Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

  • Date: August 29
  • Game time: 7:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 80 °F (27 °C); sun, clear
  • Game attendance: 38,032
  • Referee: Jay Edwards
  • TV: ESPN
Game information

The Bearcats kicked off the 2019 season before a raucous near capacity crowd at Nippert Stadium and a national TV audience, and like their previous meeting against the visitors from the Pac-12 dominated the game after a slow start. Sophomore QB Desmond Ridder was an efficient 18–26 from 242 yards while Junior RB Michael Warren II had 92 yards on 26 carries as the Bearcats defeated the Bruins 24–14. Both teams showed opening day rust and jitters combining for 19 penalties. The Bruins nearly flipped the game momentum when Ridder threw an interception near the goal line late in the first half, CB Jay Shaw raced 60 yards with the pass before Josiah Deguara heroically shed several blockers to make the tackle. The Bruins were flagged for a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and did not score off the turnover as the half ended. Warren scored a pair of touchdowns one on a run the other on a pass to keep the Bearcats comfortably in the lead. The win was the 2nd in the series and completed a 2-year sweep of the Bruins in football and basketball. The Bearcats men's basketball team logged wins over the Bruins in Dec 2017 in Los Angeles and in 2018 in the newly renovated Fifth Third Arena.

at Ohio State

Cincinnati at Ohio State – Game summary
1234Total
Bearcats00000
No. 5 Buckeyes7217742

at Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

  • Date: September 7
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 72F Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 104,089
  • Referee: Daniel Capron
  • TV: ABC
Game information

Unlike their 2014 meeting, the Bearcats were never in their meeting with the 5th ranked Ohio State. Ohio State QB Justin Fields threw for 2 scores, ran for an additional 2 scores and Ohio State blew out the Bearcats 42–0, their first shutout loss since 2005. The Bearcats had pitched 6 shutouts in the span of being blanked themselves

Miami (OH)

Miami at Cincinnati – Game summary
1234Total
RedHawks1003013
Bearcats01421035

at Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

  • Date: September 14
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 73 F Partly Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 35,526
  • Referee: Curt Johnson
  • TV: ESPNU
Game information

at Marshall

Cincinnati at Marshall – Game summary
1234Total
Bearcats141417752
Thundering Herd0001414

at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV

  • Date: September 28
  • Game time: 5:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 92 F Clear
  • Game attendance: 32,192
  • Referee: Henry Johns
  • TV: None
Game information

UCF

UCF at Cincinnati – Game summary
1234Total
No. 18 Knights3130824
Bearcats01010727

at Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

  • Date: October 4
  • Game time: 8:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 61 F Clear
  • Game attendance: 40,121
  • Referee: Mike Roche
  • TV: ESPN
Game information

In front of a frenzied, black-clad crowd of 40,121 (which included a record 7,825 UC students), the Bearcats upset the 18th ranked Knights and avenged a pair of lopsided defeats from the previous two seasons. The Bearcats forced 4 turnovers, limited UCF to 3.0 yards per carry, and held the high-powered Knights offense under 30 points for the first time in 31 games (which was an FBS record). The win also snapped the Knights' 19-game conference win streak. The Bearcats and Knights traded scores in the 1st half and the Knights held a 16–10 lead at halftime. The Bearcats closed the gap to 16–13 on a Sam Crosa field goal. Ahmad Gardner picked off a Dillon Gabriel pass and raced 16 yards with the stolen loaf to give the Bearcats a lead they would never relinquish. After extending their lead to 11 with Desmond Ridder's scoring strike to Alec Pierce, the Knights fought back to close the game to 3 with a 45-yard pass from Gabriel to Nixon. The Knights would not get the ball back as the Bearcats would recover the Knights' onside kick attempt and then converted a 4th and inches to ice the game. The Bearcats earned their first home win over a ranked opponent since 2009 (West Virginia) and their first win over a ranked team since 2012 (Virginia Tech), having lost their last 6 attempts. The win moved the Bearcats into 1st place in the AAC East and earned the Bearcats a Top 25 ranking at 25.

at Houston

Cincinnati at Houston – Game summary
1234Total
No. 25 Bearcats14701738
Cougars377623

at TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX

  • Date: October 12
  • Game time: 2:30 p.m. CDT
  • Game weather: 77 F Sunny, Clear
  • Game attendance: 25,716
  • Referee: C. Lamertina
  • TV: ESPN2
Game information

On the road now as a ranked team (#25), the Bearcats traveled to Houston to face the Cougars. Taking advantage of five turnovers that led to 21 points, The Bearcats led all the way to a 38–23 win and improved to 2–0 in conference play. Big plays were the watchword of the day played under a sunny sky in Houston. Desmond Ridder scrambled 13 yards for the opening score, then found Rashad Medaris streaking downfield for a 75-yard score. After the Cougars cut the Bearcat lead to four with a long touchdown pass of their own, Ridder found Josiah Deguara with a short pass that the senior tight end took into the end zone to give the Bearcats a 21–10 halftime lead. The Cougars again cut the lead to 4 with a 3rd quarter scoring strike, a 69-yard pass from the second of four different quarterbacks the Cougars employed on the day. Michael Warren II took a screen pass from Ridder and pinballed his way to the end zone on an 11-yard TD to open the 4th quarter scoring and give the Bearcats a 28–17 lead. The Cougars answered with their own score but failed on the two-point conversion to close back to 5. After a Sam Crosa field goal increased the Bearcat lead to 8, the Cougars got the ball back needing a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the score. The Cougars started their drive inside their own 20 and Clayton Tune's 3rd down pass was batted by Malik Vann with Perry Young corralling the ricochet and waltzing into the end zone from 2 yards out for the clinching touchdown. A final Cougar drive was also snuffed out with an end zone interception by Coby Bryant.

Tulsa

Tulsa at Cincinnati – Game summary
1234Total
Golden Hurricanes073313
No. 21 Bearcats1007724

at Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

  • Date: October 19
  • Game time: 3:30p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 68 F Partly Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 33,209
  • Referee: A. Calabrese
  • TV: ESPNU
Game information

Returning home with #21 ranking, the Bearcats hosted the Golden Hurricane. Gerrid Doaks scored three times as he filled in for Michael Warren II who was hampered by nagging injuries and held to 35 yards rushing. Despite being outgained 377–317 in total yardage, the Bearcats led all the way in a 24–13 win. Doaks, who had not seen the end zone since 2017, scored his first touchdown in the 1st quarter on a 4-yard run after the Bearcats opened the scoring with a 50-yard field goal. Trailing 10–0 in the 2nd quarter, the Golden Hurricane got on the board after a bizarre series of events: the Bearcats had forced the Golden Hurricane to punt and partially blocked it, but the ball ricocheted off a Bearcat player 10 yards downfield which Tulsa recovered and went on to score 5 plays later. The Bearcats led 10–7 at the half. The Bearcats increased their lead back to 10 on Doaks' second score of the day, a short pass from Desmond Ridder in which Doaks broke several tackles on his way to diving for the pylon. The Golden Hurricane got as close as 4 on a pair of field goals, the latter early in the 4th quarter. After forcing a turnover deep in their own territory, the Bearcats drove 80 yards but turned the ball over on downs at the Tulsa 10. With a chance to take the lead, Darrick Forrest intercepted Zach Smith and returned the ball to the Tulsa 27. The interception was the 5th forced by the Bearcats defense on the afternoon. Doaks then delivered the back breaker with a nearly untouched 27 yard sprint to the end zone for his third touchdown of the day to put the Bearcats back up by 11. Doaks finished with 91 yards on 17 carries and 2 TDs. The win was the Bearcats' 11th consecutive win at Nippert, with only a 17-game home win streak by the 2008–2012 teams being longer. The win also made the Bearcats bowl eligible for the 2nd straight year.

at East Carolina

Cincinnati at East Carolina – Game summary
1234Total
No. 17 Bearcats21071846
Pirates14179343

at Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC

  • Date: November 2
  • Game time: 7:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 54 F Clear
  • Game attendance: 32,273
  • TV: CBS Sports Network CBSSN
Game information

After a bye week, the #17 ranked Bearcats headed on the road to face East Carolina, a team that they beat 56–6 in their previous meeting to end the 2018 regular season. Entering the game as heavy favorites, the Bearcats found themselves in a serious fight to remain unbeaten in conference play. The Bearcats opening the scoring with a short TD run by Michael Warren II, only to have the Pirates answer with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Holton Ahlers to CJ Johnson. The Bearcats answered that score with a long pass from Desmond Ridder to Josiah Deguara that covered 73 yards and Gerrid Doaks scoring from 2 yards out. The back and forth scoring continued with the Bearcats and Pirates trading scores and UC leading 21–14 after one quarter. ECU then scored 17 unanswered points to take a 31–21 lead into the half. The Bearcats responded with a solid drive to open the 2nd half, with Warren scoring his third TD of the game. The Pirates added another touchdown late in the 3rd to build their biggest lead at 40–28. The Bearcats battled back, cutting the lead to 5 with a touchdown pass from Ridder to Deguara. The biggest play of the game came from the much-maligned defense—with the Pirates pushing into Bearcats territory for a potential backbreaking score, Ahmad Gardner intercepted a short out route pass and raced 62 yards with the stolen loaf for a momentum turning touchdown. The pick-6 gave the Bearcats a 43–40 lead after a Ridder to Deguara 2-point conversion. The Pirates did not go quietly, grinding a 9-play 65-yard drive ending in a Jake Verity 27-yard field goal. With good field position due to a poor kickoff by Verity, UC's Ridder raced 30 yards on the first play, and a trio of short passes to Malick Mbodj got the Bearcats to the ECU 16-yard line. Sam Crosa nailed a 32-yard field goal with no time left to win the game. The Bearcats got the win despite being outgained (638–462), giving up 35 first downs, and having a nearly 10 min deficit in time of possession. The win kept the Bearcats unbeaten in conference play.

UConn

Connecticut at Cincinnati – Game summary
1234Total
Huskies00033
No. 17 Bearcats14243748

at Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

  • Date: November 9
  • Game time: 3:30 PM EST
  • Game weather: 45 F Sunny
  • Game attendance: 38,919
  • Referee: Adam Savoie
  • TV: CBS Sports Network
Game information

The #17 Bearcats (#20 CFP rankings) hosted Connecticut on a chilly, but sunny, homecoming Saturday. The Bearcats dominated the game from the start, driving the length of the field after holding the Huskies to a three-and-out on their initial drive. Desmond Ridder found Josiah Deguara in the middle of the end zone for the score. Michael Warren II scored on a 6-yard run on the Bearcats' second drive to build a 14–0 lead. The Bearcats scored 24 points in the second quarter with a field goal from Cole Smith, a short TD run by Gerrid Doaks, and a second score from Warren. Ridder added a second touchdown pass to Deguara on a slick fade pattern to make it 38–0 at the half. After playing one series in the 3rd quarter, the starters were done for the day. The rout gave Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell a chance to use a majority of reserve players in the 2nd half, providing valuable game experience. Ryan Montgomery crashed into the end zone early in the 4th to make it 48–0. UConn spoiled the shutout bid with a late field goal but the 48–3 win gave the Bearcats a 13–3 edge in the all-time series and kept them perfect at 10–0 all-time at home against UConn. Desmond Ridder passed for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Gerrid Doaks rushed for 123 yard and a score. The Bearcats dominated statistically gaining over 500 yards for the second straight week and 307 yards rushing. The defense allowed 218 yards total offense and 70 yards passing, a stark contrast to the 535 given up in the week previous. The 7th win matched the longest winning streak since 2014 and kept the Bearcats unbeaten in conference play. The Bearcats also extended their home win streak to 12 dating back to November 2017. Combined with the loss by UCF to Tulsa earlier in the day, the win clinched no worse than a tie for the American Eastern Division.

at South Florida

Cincinnati at South Florida – Game summary
1234Total
No. 17 Bearcats00101020
Bulls737017

at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

  • Date: November 16
  • Game time: 7:00 P.M EST
  • Game weather: 71F Muggy
  • Game attendance: 29,112
  • Referee: Anthony Calabre
  • TV: CBS Sports Network
Game information

Temple

Temple at Cincinnati – Game summary
1234Total
Owls0001313
No. 19 Bearcats067215

at Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

  • Date: November 23
  • Game time: 7:00 P.M EST
  • Game weather: 34 F Rain/Snow
  • Game attendance: 30,101
  • Referee: Charles Lamertina
  • TV: ESPN2
Game information

The 17th ranked (19th in CFP poll) Bearcats took the field against Temple in the regular season home finale for Senior Night. On a raw, rainy night, the Bearcats battled the Owls in an attempt to clinch their first AAC divisional title. After a scoreless first quarter, the Bearcats took the lead on a short field goal by Sam Crosa. The Bearcats squandered a chance to go up 10 after Temple punter Adam Barry knelt to field a low punt snap and was ruled down at the Temple 6-yard line. The Bearcats failed to move the ball (actually losing 14 yards) and settled for a second Crosa field goal to double their lead going into the half. Taking the 2nd half kickoff, the Bearcats put together their best drive of the game. Taking advantage of the kickoff going out of bounds, the Bearcats drove 65 yards in 9 plays, highlighted by an 18-yard run by Michael Warren II and a 14-yard scamper by Gerrid Doaks. Warren finished the drive with a 13-yard TD run. Temple got onto the board with a 10-play 73-yard drive with Re'Mahn Davis scoring on 7-yard run. The Bearcats, however, blocked the extra point attempt, and Coby Bryant scooped up the ball and raced 98 yards for 2 points making the score 15–6. This would be the score that would prove critical later in the game. The Bearcats punted on the subsequent drive and The Owls again put together a lengthy drive and again scored a touchdown with Temple QB Anthony Russo connecting with TE Kenny Yeboah on a 16-yard scoring strike to cut the lead to 15–13. Trying to ride out the clock, the Bearcats went on a 10-play 42-yard drive highlighted by a 17-yard run by Warren. The drive stalled and Crosa missed a 40-yard field goal. Taking over with one time-out and needing at 45 yards to get into field goal range, the Owls tried a last desperate drive, but 4 plays later Darrick Forrest picked off a deep pass attempt by Russo to seal the game. The Bearcats won their 3rd game when being outgained in yardage (310–210) . The Bearcats broke a 4-game losing streak to Temple, completed their 2nd consecutive perfect home schedule and extended their home winning streak to 13.

at Memphis

Cincinnati at Memphis – Game summary
1234Total
No. 19 Bearcats3140724
No. 18 Tigers17301434

at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN

  • Date: November 29
  • Game time: 3:30 EST (2:30 CST)
  • Game weather: 55 F Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 36,472
  • Referee: Mike Roche
  • TV: ABC
Game information

The 17th ranked (19th in CFP) Bearcats took the field the day after Thanksgiving to battle the 18th ranked Tigers in Memphis. The game was nationally televised on ABC and got off to an inauspicious start for the Bearcats as the kickoff was run back 94 yards by Chris Claybrooks for a Memphis touchdown. The Bearcats would be without the services of Desmond Ridder whose chronic shoulder troubles continued to haunt him. Redshirt freshman Ben Bryant would get the start in Ridder's place and the Bearcat offense struggled to move consistently in the 1st quarter. After getting an opening drive field goal, the Bearcat defense allowed a long Memphis drive which ended in another touchdown, with Kederian Jones on the receiving end of a Brady White pass. Trailing 17–3, the Bearcats drove the length of the field at the start of the 2nd quarter and Bryant found TE Leonard Taylor for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Michael Warren II scored from 4 yards out with 2:54 to play in the half and the Bearcats had erased the deficit. Memphis responded with a short field goal to lead 20–17 at the half. After a scoreless 3rd quarter, the Tigers were on the move and had the ball just inside Bearcat territory when they ran a reverse flea-flicker for a 46-yard touchdown pass from White to Demonte Coxie that boosted the Tiger lead back to 10. The Bearcats cut the deficit back to 3 on a 12-yard touchdown scramble by Bryant, but the Tigers ground out another long drive aided by a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Myjai Sanders on what should have been a 3rd down stop. The Tigers Antonio Gibson raced in from 29 yards out three plays later, re-extending the Tigers lead to 10. The Bearcats last gasp was snuffed out with an interception, ending the Bearcats' 9-game winning streak. The win clinched the AAC West for the Tigers and gave them home field advantage for the AAC Championship game. Michael Warren rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown, putting him over 1000 yards rushing for the 2nd consecutive season.

at Memphis (AAC Championship Game)

Cincinnati at Memphis AAC Championship – Game summary
1234Total
No. 20 Bearcats777324
No. 17 Tigers10010929

at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN

  • Date: December 7
  • Game time: 3:30PM (2:30P CST)
  • Game weather: 45 °F (7 °C), Clear
  • Game attendance: 33,009
  • Referee: Charles Lamertina
  • TV: ABC
Game information

The 20th ranked Bearcats were making their first appearance in the AAC title game, seeking their first American title since 2014 when they shared the crown with Memphis & Central Florida (The American Championship game was first played in 2015). The Tigers won the toss and deferred to the 2nd half, but attempted an onside kick on the opening kickoff. The Bearcats alertly called for a fair catch on the kick and were able to keep the ball even though the return man fumbled the kick and Memphis recovered. With the free kick catch penalty leveled on the Tigers the Bearcats started with the ball deep in Tiger territory. Michael Warren II opened the scoring with a 6-yard run. Memphis answered with a pair of scores, the second being a 65-yard run by RB Antonio Gibson. The Tigers had a 10–7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Bearcats capped off a 7-play 80-yard drive with a 15-yard run by Desmond Ridder who return to the starting lineup after missing a game. The Bearcats took lead into halftime. The Tigers went 75 yards on the 2nd half kickoff and Memphis QB Brady White later scored from a yard out. Michael Warren crashed in from a yard out on the ensuing drive which covered 9 plays and 75 yards. Riley Patterson validated his 1st team all-AAC selection by booming a 52-yard field goal and heading into the final quarter, the Bearcats held a narrow 21–20 lead. Patterson nailed his 2nd 50-yard field goal 13 seconds into the 4th and the Tigers took back the lead. After a Sam Crosa 33-yard field goal, the Tigers marched back down the field and with 1:14 left in the game, the Tigers put the 8th lead change on the board with a White to Gibson TD pass. The game had seen everything but an ending, as the Bearcats raced back downfield without the benefit of a timeout. The last gasp drive stalled at the Tiger 25 with Ridder misfiring on his last four passes. The Bearcats with the loss fell to 10–3, but accepted a bid to the Birmingham Bowl to be played on January 2 against Boston College.

vs. Boston College (Birmingham Bowl)

Cincinnati vs. Boston College (Birmingham Bowl) – Game Summary
1234Total
Eagles00606
No. 21 Bearcats71071438

at Legion Field, Birmingham, AL

  • Date: January 2, 2020
  • Game time: 3:00 PM (2:00 PM CST)
  • Game weather: 55F Rainy
  • Game attendance: 27,193
  • Referee: Greg Sujack
  • TV: ESPN
Game information
First Quarter
  • UC (1:26) Desmond Ridder 13 Run (Sam Crosa Kick) 10 plays, 79 yards, 3:45 UC 7–0
Second Quarter
  • UC (8:20) Sam Crosa 32 FG 16 plays, 63 yards, 6:31 UC 10–0
  • UC (7:05) Desmond Ridder 14 Run (Sam Crosa Kick) 1 play, 19 yards, 0:06 UC 17–0
Third Quarter
  • UC (9:02) Malick Mbodj 8 Pass From Desmond Ridder (Sam Crosa Kick) 12 plays, 75 yards, 5:58 UC 24–0
  • BC (4:56) Brandon Sebastian 67 Blocked Field Goal Return (2 Pt pass conversion Failed) UC 24–6
Fourth Quarter
  • UC (13:06) Desmond Ridder 13 Run (Sam Crosa Kick) 12 plays, 65 yards, 6:50 UC 31–6
  • UC (0:39) Ryan Montgomery 1 Run (Sam Crosa Kick) 12 plays, 63 yards, 5:13 UC 38–6

Playing in only their fourth January Bowl Game, the 21st Ranked Bearcats traveled to Birmingham to face Boston College from the ACC in the Ticketsmarter Birmingham Bowl. This would be the second time that the Bearcats had played a bowl game in this venue, having beaten Southern Mississippi in the 2007 Papa John's Bowl. The Bearcats dominated the game from start to finish and finished their season on a victorious note as they routed the Eagles 38–6 to notch their biggest bowl game victory margin in their bowl history. Played under cloudy threatening skies, the Eagles came into the game doubly hampered as head coach Steve Addazio had been fired before accepting the bowl bid and wide receivers coach Rich Gunnell would be interim head coach with newly hired Jeff Hafley on hand only as an observer. Star RB AJ Dillon declared for the NFL draft and announced that he would skip the bowl game. The Bearcats seniors were led by LB Perry Young, a Birmingham native who would be playing his final game in front of his hometown crowd. The Bearcats and Eagles played tentatively at the start, which was played under a steady downpour and then delayed as lightning was detected in the area. After a 92-minute delay the teams returned to the field and the Bearcats broke into the scoring column with a 13-yard run by Desmond Ridder. BC put together its best drive but Aaron Bouhmerhi's 40-yard field goal attempt was blocked. That would forebode many of the Eagles offensive struggles. The Bearcats took possession after the miss and drove downfield resulting in a Sam Crosa 32-yard field goal to increase the Bearcat lead to 10–0. The Eagles continued to struggle against the stout Bearcat defense. Two plays into the subsequent BC drive, Eagle QB Dennis Grosel was sacked by Ethan Tucky and fumbled the ball. Bryan Wright recovered the fumble and the Bearcats were in excellent scoring position at the BC 19. After a BC penalty, Ridder notched his second rushing touchdown of the day with a 14-yard scamper. The Bearcats took a 17–0 lead into the half. The Bearcats opened the 2nd half with a punishing 12-play 75-yard drive that ate nearly 6 minutes off the clock. Ridder found Malick Mbodj, who made an excellent one-handed TD grab, to increase the lead to 24–0. The Eagles again went three-and-out and the Bearcats' next drive stalled at the BC 26 yard line. Long distance field goal specialist Cole Smith was called on to try a 43-yard field goal, but the kick was blocked by BC's Mike Palmer and Brandon Sebastian picked up the loose ball and raced 65 yards the other way for an Eagles' touchdown. BC attempted a two-point conversion, but the pass was incomplete. The Bearcats produced another long drive that spanned the end of the 3rd quarter and the beginning of the 4th. Early in the 4th, Ridder romped into the end zone for his third TD of the game and gave the Bearcats a commanding 31–6 lead. Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell cleared the bench and got many players some bowl experience. Ryan Montgomery capped the Bearcats final drive with a touchdown from a yard out with under a minute to go to make the final score 38–6. The 32 point victory margin was the largest in a bowl game since the 1947 Bearcats defeated Virginia Tech 33–13 in the Glass Bowl Cincinnati notched a school bowl game record in first downs (33), total plays (91), held BC to 164 total yards (87 passing, 77 rushing) a miserly 0–11 on third down conversions, and held the ball offense for 41:29. The Eagles scored zero points on offense and the Bearcats ran more plays in BC territory 51, than the Eagles ran for the whole game (44) With a school bowl record 4 touchdowns (3 Rushing, 1 Passing) Desmond Ridder was named game MVP. Senior TE Josiah Deguara finished his Bearcat career with 92 receptions, a school record for tight ends. The Bearcats won their 2nd consecutive bowl game for the first time since 2012 and finished with 11 wins for only the 4th time in school history. The Bearcats finished the season with 10+ wins for the 7th time in the previous 13 seasons and in the national ranking in back to back seasons for the first time since 2008–2009.

Personnel

Roster and staff

2019 Cincinnati Bearcats football team roster
PlayersCoaches
Offense
Pos.#NameClass
WR 1L'Christian Smith Redshirt.svg  Fr
WR 2Jayshon JacksonSo
RB 3 Michael Warren II Jr
WR 4Thomas GeddisSr
RB 5Tavion ThomasSo
QB 6Ben Bryant Redshirt.svg  Fr
WR 7Javan HawesJr
WR 8Malick Mbodj Redshirt.svg  Jr
QB 9 Desmond Ridder Redshirt.svg  So
RB 10Charles McClellandSo
QB 10Jake Sopko Redshirt.svg  Jr
TE 11Leonard TaylorSo
WR 12Alec PierceSo
WR 13Trent Cloud Redshirt.svg  So
WR 15Garyn Prater Redshirt.svg  So
QB 16Michael LindauerFr
WR 17Rashad Medaris Redshirt.svg  Sr
QB 18Cameron JonesFr
QB 19Cole KoscoFr
WR 21Tre TuckerFr
RB 22Ryan Montgomery Redshirt.svg  Fr
RB 23Gerrid Doaks Redshirt.svg  Jr
RB 24JJ DavisFr
RB 25Cameron YoungJr
WR 26Jerron RollinsSr
RB 30Michael Kopaygorodsky Redshirt.svg  So
WR 32Jiair ThomasFr
RB 41Colin Thurman Redshirt.svg  Fr
OL 50Dylan O'Quinn Redshirt.svg  Fr
OL 51Lorenz Metz Redshirt.svg  Fr
OL 52Jakari Robinson Redshirt.svg  So
OL 54Alex Heil
OL 55James Hudson Redshirt.svg  So
OL 58Darius HarperJr
OL 60Zach Bycznski Redshirt.svg  Jr
OL 65Cody Lamb Redshirt.svg  So
OL 66Ethan Voelker Redshirt.svg  Fr
OL 71Colin Woodside Redshirt.svg  Fr
OL 72Jonathan AllenFr
OL 74Jeremy Cooper Redshirt.svg  Fr
OL 75Chris Ferguson
OL 76Marcelo MendiolaFr
OL 77Vincent McConnell Redshirt.svg  So
OL 78Morgan James
TE 81Josh Whyle Redshirt.svg  Fr
TE 82Wilson Huber Redshirt.svg  So
TE 83 Josiah Deguara
WR 84Wyatt Fischer Redshirt.svg  Fr
WR 85Bray GinyardFr
TE 86Jack CampbellFr
TE 87Bruno Labelle Redshirt.svg  Jr
WR 89Bryant Johnson IIFr
Defense
Pos.#NameClass
S 3Ja'von HicksSo
CB 4Justin HarrisFr
S 5Darrick ForrestJr
LB 6Perry YoungSr
CB 7Coby BryantJr
LB 8Jarell WhiteJr
CB 9Arquon Bush Redshirt.svg  Fr
LB 11Bryan Wright
CB 12 Ahmad Gardner Fr
LB 13Ty Van Fossen Redshirt.svg  Fr
CB 14Cameron Jeffries
CB 15Taj Ward Redshirt.svg  Fr
CB 16Aulden KnightJr
LB 17Dorian HollowayFr
CB 18Josiah Robey Redshirt.svg  So
DE 19Ethan Tucky Redshirt.svg  Jr
S 20Bryan CookJr
DE 21 Myjai Sanders So
S 22Collin Widecan Redshirt.svg  Jr
LB 23RJ Potts Redshirt.svg  So
CB 25TJ Johnson Redshirt.svg  Jr
S 26Kyriq McDonald Redshirt.svg  So
LB 27Darrian BeaversJr
S 29Jacob DingleFr
LB 30Brody IngleFr
CB 31Casey Kirk Redshirt.svg  So
S 32James Wiggins Redshirt.svg  Jr
DE 33Blake Bacevich Redshirt.svg  Fr
LB 34Kyle Bolden Redshirt.svg  So
LB 35Ryan Royer Redshirt.svg  So
S 36Will Adams Redshirt.svg  Fr
DE 37Steven HawthorneFr
CB 38Jake Tewart Redshirt.svg  Fr
S 39Jaquan SheppardFr
LB 40DeMarco Baker Redshirt.svg  Fr
LB 41Joel Dublanko Redshirt.svg  Jr
DE 42Malik VannSo
DE 43Michael Pitts Redshirt.svg  Jr
LB 44Mick Oakes Redshirt.svg  Fr
LB 45Tinashe Bere
LB 46Grant HorvathFr
LB 47Nate Lawler Redshirt.svg  Fr
DE 48Kevin Mouhon Redshirt.svg  Sr
LB 50Jackson BruscianelliFr
DT 52Daeshon Martin Redshirt.svg  Fr
DE 54Izaiah RuffinFr
DE 55Zach HummelFr
DE 57Ryan MullaneyFr
DE 86Angelo Howze Redshirt.svg  So
DT 89Nick Staderman Redshirt.svg  Jr
DT 90Jabari Taylor Redshirt.svg  So
DT 92Curtis Brooks Redshirt.svg  Jr
DT 93Elijah Ponder Redshirt.svg  Jr
DT 94Chase Brown Redshirt.svg  Fr
DT 95Joe Schroer Redshirt.svg  Sr
DT 97Eric PhillipsFr
DE 98Mychal Keys Redshirt.svg  Fr
DT 99Marcus Brown Redshirt.svg  Jr
Special teams
Pos.#NameClass
K 19Cole SmithSo
P 25Tyler Inloes Redshirt.svg  Fr
K 31Sam Crosa
P 37James SmithJr
K 39Bryce BurtonFr
LS 57Cory Armstrong Redshirt.svg  Jr
LS 59Zach Wood
LS 74Blake Bammann Redshirt.svg  Fr
K 91Alex BalesFr
LS 96Cayson PfeifferFr
K 97Ryan Jones
K 98Grant Simon Redshirt.svg  Fr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured
  • Redshirt.svg Redshirt

Roster

Depth chart

Rankings

Ranking movements
Legend:██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. т = Tied with team above or below. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
PollPre123456789101112131415Final 
AP RVRVRVRVRVRV2521181717171718212321 
Coaches RVRVRVRVRVRVRV21181817171717212221 
CFP Not released201719192021Not released

Awards and milestones

Players drafted into the NFL

RoundPickPlayerPositionNFL Club
394 Josiah Deguara TE Green Bay Packers

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References

  1. "Cincinnati rallies past Virginia Tech 35–31 in Military Bowl". ESPN.com. AP. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  2. "Ridder Named To Davey O'Brien Watch List". GoBearcats.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  3. "Michael Warren II Named To Doak Walker Award Watch List". GoBearcats.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  4. "Deguara Named To John Mackey Award Watch List". GoBearcats.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  5. "2019 Maxwell Award Watch List". July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  6. "2018 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST UNVEILED". July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  7. "James Smith Named To Ray Guy Award Watch List". GoBearcats.com. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  8. "Robinson Named To Rimington Trophy Watch List". GoBearcats.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  9. "Wiggins Named To Thorpe Award Watch List". GoBearcats.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
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  14. "Eleven Bearcats Earn All-AAC Honors". GoBearcats.com. Retrieved 4 December 2019.