Ralph David Abernathy IV. When you have a game where you don't score an offensive touchdown, picking a "player of the game" becomes a difficult task. You have to go beyond stats and look at who had the biggest impact on the game. In my opinion, that player was RDA IV. Abernathy is a touchdown waiting to happen, and is one of the most explosive players in college football. Against the Scarlet Knights, Abernathy only touched the ball five times, but was able to 55 yards using those touches, good for nearly 11 yards per touch. When you have a player like this in the fold, he has to get more involved in the offense. His touches may have been limited against Rutgers, but his impact was not.
Top Offensive Player
Travis Kelce. The senior tight end has been coming along strong these past few weeks; finally living up to the potential he was lauded for in the preseason. He creates mismatches against linebackers due to his athleticism, and with safeties due to his size. When Kelce has the ball in space, he usually makes one or two guys miss while picking up extra yards. Against Rutgers on Saturday, Kelce lead the team in receiving with five catches for 50 yards, showing off his combination of size and skill with some shifty moves after the catch. Having a gifted tight end is a large component in having a successful offense, as he can act as a safety net for a quarterback under pressure. Given the play of UC's quarterbacks this season, Kelce should be seeing a healthy portion of passes coming his way the rest of the season.
Top Defensive Player
Greg Blair. After a one-week hiatus from his usual defensive player of the game award, Blair is back on top. The senior from Pittsburgh finished the game with 12 tackles, including one tackle for loss, against the Scarlet Knights. His presence in the middle of this Bearcat defense has been huge all season. Blair has solidified the middle linebacker spot and taken more of a leadership role in the absence of injured defensive end Walter Stewart. Apart from just putting up great statistics every game, Blair simply makes plays. If there is a big hit, or a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, you can expect to see number 51 getting up from the pile. I expect Blair to step up this week in practice and get the defense back on track after a rough performance this past Saturday against Rutgers. The one thing you can be sure of with this defense, however, is Greg Blair is going to give you everything he has every Saturday (or in this case, Friday).