The Cincinnati Bearcats entered Saturday’s game against the Temple Owls hoping to pick up win number seven on the season and secure a berth in one of the Big East’s premiere postseason bowls.
Little did they know that when they left Philadelphia they’d be bringing with them renewed hope for a Big East Championship and a return trip to the BCS.
The Bearcats took care of business of Saturday, bullying an overwhelmed Temple Owl squad from start to finish en route to a 34-10 win.
Meanwhile, in Syracuse, the Orange put a beating on the previously undefeated Louisville Cardinals, opening the door for yet another wild finish in the Big East and putting the Bearcats back in the Big East title discussion.
The Bearcats were led on offense by quarterback Brendon Kay who took full advantage of his first career start.
Kay managed the game well. The senior completed 13-of-21 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over once in the win.
While much of Kay’s success came in his decision-making and management of the offense, he also flashed the ability to make tough throws.
His first touchdown throw came late in the first quarter with the Bearcats leading 7-3. Kay rolled to his left and threw off of one foot, lofting a perfect pass into the arms of wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins who scampered 75 yards for the score.
His second touchdown came late in the third quarter when he found a streaking Chris Moore downfield and delivered another beautiful throw that went 65 yards for a score.
Moore, a true freshman from Tampa, Florida, finished second on the team in receiving with those 65 yards as Kembrell Thompkins finished with the 2 catches for 79 yards.
Kay also showed an ability to account for some of the run threat the Bearcat offense possessed with Munchie Legaux under center. Kay carried the ball 11 times for 77 yards including a couple of long runs in third-and-long situations.
Tight end Travis Kelce once again led the team in receptions, finishing with 4 catches for 37 yards.
On the ground, the Bearcats were led by George Winn who finished with 20 carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came from one yard out.
Ralph David Abernathy IV also carried 6 times for 40 yards, but the electrifying sophomore was shut out in the receiving game for the second straight week.
With the win, the Bearcats move into a two-way tie for second place in the Big East with Louisville with a big game against first place Rutgers on the horizon.
A win next week at home against the Scarlet Knights would put the Bearcats in great shape in the conference standings heading into the final two weeks of their season.