While not quite the dominating performance, statistically speaking, that they had in week one, the defensive line was still impressive in their 23-7 win over Delaware State. The defense as a whole was able to hold the Hornets to a measly 261 yards of total offense, including just 110 on the ground. They line did a solid job of getting pressure on quarterback Nick Elko, and although they just recorded the one sack, the pressure forced Elko into quite a few rushed throws. The one criticism of the line play was their tendency to over pursue on the edge, allowing the quarterback to step up in the pocket and open up the middle of the field. A solid performance, but one that I would like to see improve in the coming weeks with the talent along the defensive line.
BearcatInsider grade: A-
Linebackers Greg Blair and Maalik Bomar led the Cincinnati defense in tackles against Delaware State, with seven and six total tackles respectively. They did a solid job of limiting the big plays in the running game, and were solid in their discipline with Bomar and Blair combining for 1.5 tackles for loss. While they held the Hornets offense in check for most of the game, they did allow, due to a few missed tackles, Malcolm Williams to break free for his 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The performance as a whole, however, was solid as usual, and something that we've come to expect from this veteran laden unit.
BearcatInsider grade: B
After allowing Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri to throw for over 250 yards in week one, the secondary buckled down and held the Hornets passing attack to just 151 yards. The lone sack was from cornerback Aaron Roberson and Arryn Chenault had an interception in the second quarter, helping lead the way to the dominating defensive performance. Given the fact that veteran safety Drew Frey sat out the game due to injury, the performance is all the more impressive. They consistently hounded Delaware States receivers all game long, making it difficult to find receivers even when Hornets quarterback Nick Elko had time in the pocket. The cornerbacks really stepped up from a tackling standpoint as well. Senior Camerron Cheatham made a few great plays, reading screen passes from Delaware State and breaking the plays up in the backfield. A really nice comeback performance from the secondary.
BearcatInsider grade: A