Last Look Back Defense: UConn

BearcatInsider.com takes a look at UC's defensive performance against UConn.

Defensive Line

This was the kind of game the Cincinnati defensive line had been missing since Walter Stewart's injury. Without their senior leader, the d-line had struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and the rest of the defense suffered because of it. Against UConn on Saturday, this unit got back on track, recording two sacks, both of which came from senior defensive tackle Dan Giordano, and getting solid pressure on Huskies quarterback Chandler Whitmer all game long. Although Whitmer had an impressive day through the air, it wasn't due to lack of pressure from the defensive line, which is something this group can build on going forward.

BearcatInsider grade: B

Linebackers

The two-headed monster of Greg Blair and Maalik Bomar added a third head to that monster on Saturday, as Nick Temple turned in his best game of the season against the Huskies. Temple finished with seven tackles, including one sack and 3.5 tackles for loss, all season highs for the outside linebacker. While Bomar had an off day, only recording two tackles, Blair picked up where he has all season, finishing with eight tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. We all know about the exploits of Blair and Bomar, but it was nice to see Temple, a talented player in his own right, step up and put that talent on display against one of the Big East's most balanced offenses. .

BearcatInsider grade: A

Secondary

The three interceptions recorded by this unit were key moments in the Bearcats victory, but they game in a game where the secondary was picked apart by the Huskies passing attack for most of the day. UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer had a big day passing, finishing 16 of 31 for 264 yards and one touchdown in a little over three quarters of work. Granted, Whitmer is one of the more talented quarterbacks the UC secondary has faced all season, but this secondary had come on as of late, and it was a tad disappointing to see them get diced up like this in the last game of the regular season. The bright spots for this group came in the form of big days from Deven Drane and Drew Frey. Drane had the best game of his season against the Huskies, finishing with nine tackles to lead the team and one interception. Frey also recorded an interception, his second of the season, to go along with three tackles. Although the performance wasn't spectacular, this unit made big plays when needed and helped Cincinnati wrap up the win.

BearcatInsider grade: C+


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