There is no way to sugar coat Cincinnati’s 38-30 loss to USF at Nippert Stadium on Friday night. The Bearcats ended a thirteen game winning streak on campus and a fourteen game Big East streak as their record dropped to 3-4 for the season.
Every week Bearcat Lair tries to recognize the big plays and players from the game.
Play of the Game
With the Bulls already leading 31-23 with 9:36 left in the game, they fumbled at the Cincinnati 2-yard-line but managed to recover the football and eventually score the touchdown on a 1 yard B. J. Daniels run stretching their lead to 38-23.
This was an opportunity for the UC defense to get its first takeaway since the Oklahoma game but it was unable to do it.
Offensive Player of the Game
Marcus Barnett broke out of a slump to catch 9 passes for 174 yards. The senior more than doubled his season output in this game. In the six previous games, Barnett had 8 catches for 87 yards.
Defensive Player of the Game
None. As already mentioned, the UC defense failed to get a takeaway for the third game in a row and have only five in seven games. The Bearcats recorded no sacks and only five tackles for loss.
Special Teams Player of the Game
For the third time this year, it goes to Jake Rogers. The UC place kicker was perfect hitting on field goals from 26, 21 and 44 yards.
Blunder of the Game
Although there were plenty of dropped passes, Derek Wolfe’s personal foul after a USF touchdown with 9:32 left in the game was completely unnecessary and meant the Bearcats wouldn’t get an opportunity to gain good field position on the ensuing kick-off due to the fifteen yard penalty.
Break of the Game
Zach Collaros’ fumble with 5:45 left in the game was recovered by the Bearcats for a first down on the South Florida 26-yard-line.
Disappointment of the Game
Thousands of Cincinnati fans left the game prematurely and weren’t there to see the Bearcats mount their comeback.
Sacks Are Back
After showing considerable improvement over the last few weeks, the Bearcats gave up four sacks on Friday night. They have now given up 23 for the season while recording just 11.
In the Penalty Box
The Bearcats were whistled for twelve penalties costing them 115 yards. Conversely, USF had only three infractions for 40 yards. Cincinnati’s previous high was nine against Miami for 85 yards when UC substituted liberally in the second half.
Tip of the Helmet
Out of respect for the fine game he played, a BCL tip of the helmet goes to USF cornerback Mistral Raymond. The former walk-on led the Bulls with ten tackles, an interception and two pass break-ups. At 6-feet-2 and 192 pounds, he looked big and fast. I seriously doubt this senior’s football career will be over after the 2010 season.