One week after putting together a solid performance against USF, I was interested to see how quarterback Brendon Kay would respond against a much more talented UConn defense. Add in the fact that it was a road game, and the interest level peaked to a higher degree. I think it's safe to say that Kay responded like a veteran quarterback should. His performance against the Huskies on Saturday may not have been anything overly special, but he was much more than a "game-manager", in fact, he was the most consistent player on the Cincinnati offense for this particular game. His stats, 19 of 29 for 245 yards and two touchdowns, spoke volumes of his development over these past four games. While I still believe Kay is at his best when managing the game, he showed on Saturday that he can be the focal point of the offense if other units are struggling. With Kay's play at quarterback, this UC offense is the most balanced it has been all season.
BearcatInsider grade: A
While Winn did not have the spectacular game we've become accustomed to, he still put together a solid game, proving that when holes are not there in the running game, the senior running back can still make an impact. Winn finished the day with 22 rushes for 70 yards and one late touchdown. While he was able to extend his touchdown streak, much of his damage was done in the fourth quarter with the game mostly out of reach. The UConn defense did a good job of cracking down on the Bearcats rushing attack, limiting the big plays and forcing Winn to struggle. The other UC running backs struggled as well against the stingy Huskies defense. Ralph Abernathy IV and Jameel Poteat combined to finish with just seven combined yards on twelve combined carries. While the off-game could be concerning for the Bearcats offense, I believe it had more to do with a well prepared UConn defense than the Cincinnati rushing attack.
BearcatInsider grade: B-
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
If you needed more proof that Travis Kelce is the go-to guy for this Cincinnati wide receiver/tight end unit, Saturday should have done the trick. The senior from Cleveland finished the game with five catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns, not to mention one passing touchdown on a Cincinnati trick play to start the second quarter. It's been a long time coming for Kelce, a talented but inconsistent star for this Cincinnati offense. While it would have been nice to see him put it all together earlier in the season, "it's better late than never", as the old cliché goes. As for the rest of the Bearcats receivers; it was more of the same. Anthony McClung had one of his better games, finishing with six catches for 70 yards, while Kenbrell Thompkins finished with two catches for 11 yards. While no receiver ever fully grasped the #1 spot, multiple players stepped up to give this group a number of players who can get the job done. Sometimes, that's all you need.
BearcatInsider grade: B