Bearcats Avoid Hornets Sting

It wasn't pretty, but UC survived its second game, beating Delaware St. 23-7.

The term "trap game" gets thrown around a lot in college football. The term, loosely defined, means a game that is either pre or post a very important game for said team, usually against a perceived inferior opponent. Cincinnati's game against Delaware State fell into that "trap game" category. Six turnovers, including a few in the red zone, killed multiple Bearcat drives and led to a game few people, outside of the state of Delaware, saw coming.

Delaware State began the game doing something Pitt struggled to do against the UC defense, gained a first down. After a few decent run plays, Delaware State's drive stalled and they were forced to punt. Cincinnati proceeded to go on a lengthy drive, including converting on 4th and one from inside the five-yard line. They were able to capitalize on the good ball movement and got on the board first with Jameel Poteat's one-yard touchdown run. Delaware State's second drive was eerily similar to their first. They were able to move the ball fairly well, but UC continued to play bend but don't defense, forcing another punt.

UC's next drive began an unfortunate pattern of events that plagued the Bearcat offense throughout the game. Quarterback Munchie Legaux dropped back, hesitated, then under threw a pass intended for Kenbrell Thompkins that was intercepted, stalling a drive and giving Delaware State some momentum back. The Hornets once again moved the ball well but had their efforts nullified by a stingy UC defense once they got the ball near midfield, and were forced to punt. Cincinnati took advantage of the good return by Anthony McClung and marched down the field to score, an eight yard pass from Legaux to McClung, putting them up 13-0.

The rest of the half might as well have been a giant game of "hot potato", as there were a combined three turnovers in the second quarter. UC got things started with a fumble on what should've been a touchdown reception for Anthony McClung. Legaux hit McClung on a screen pass along the left side, Anthony took the ball around the edge, cut back, and was headed for the end zone before being blindside hit just inside the five, fumbling the ball into the end zone, a touchback for Delaware State. Not to be outdone, Delaware State drove down the field, had the ball inside the 50 yard line, and wasted another potential momentum building drive with Nick Elko's first interception of the game, a great play by UC defensive back Arryn Chenault. The Bearcats made up for the previous drive's blunder by orchestrating a nice 12 play, 70 yard drive, punctuated by an 11 yard touchdown pass from Legaux to Damon Julian, making the score 20-0 going into halftime.

The second half was a mirror image of the first, with both teams committing drive killing turnovers. Legaux threw his second interception of the game, allowing Delaware State to move the ball down the field. However, the Hornets could not reach pay dirt until Malcolm Williams broke off a 60 yard touchdown run, making the score 20-7 Cincinnati. Another fumble by UC gave the ball back to the Hornets, but they could not capitalize and had a fumble of their own, giving the ball, and their hopes of a win, back to UC. The Bearcats added a late field goal, making the final score 23-7. It was not a game to remember, and one I'm sure UC fans will soon forget. However, it's a lot easier learning from mistakes after a win then a loss. Bearcat nation can take solace in that.

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