This was a hard game to grade out. On one hand, the Cincinnati defense didn't allow a single offensive touchdown and only allowed 355 yards of total offense. On the other hand, the Toledo offense moved the ball with ease all game long and came away with points on five drives. To the defensive line's credit, they did a great job getting pressure on Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens, sacking him three times and not allowing a touchdown pass. The rushing attack for Toledo was able to get going, putting up over 220 yards on the ground. With that being said, the d-line knows they need to get a better job of getting in the backfield and stopping running plays at the point of attack. It wasn't a best performance, but it wasn't their worst either.
BearcatInsider grade: B-
Linebacker Greg Blair has continued to impress the past few games. Against Toledo, Blair tallied 15 total tackles, including seven solo and one tackle for loss. A performance like this would normally mean the linebackers played a fantastic game, however, the Toledo rushing attack created too many big plays on the ground, meaning the linebackers missed some assignments in allowing the Rockets rushing attack to break through the second wave of defense. This group boasts two of the leaders of this Bearcat defense, in Blair and senior Maalik Bomar, and their consistent performances have been expected throughout the season. However, they have to do a better job of stopping opponents rushing attacks once they get pass the defensive line. Long running plays are momentum gainers for the defense, and shortening a 30-yard rush to a four or five-yard rush is paramount in gaining momentum as a defense. We will see how they respond against Louisville.
BearcatInsider grade: B-
Similar to the other two defensive units, the Cincinnati secondary did a great job from a statistics standpoint, but allowed a few big throws that put the Toledo offense in scoring position. Camerron Cheatham and Arryn Chenault both had solid games, with Chenault having a pass break up and Cheatham producing six tackles. As a unit, they held Terrance Ownes to 126 passing yards and zero touchdowns, solid numbers considering Owens had been averaging nearly two passing touchdowns per game. They were a few big plays they would like to have back, but other than that, the secondary performed to the level we've come to expect from this veteran laden group.
BearcatInsider grade: B+