This was to be the night for a team in the state of Ohio to finally take down mighty Ohio State as many felt Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel's ability to throw touchdown passes would be enough for the upset.
Many forgot defense must also be played and the Buckeyes used great offensive performances from quarterback T.J. Barrett and running back Ezekiel Elliott to put up offensive numbers Tommy Tuberville could not be happy about.
The game started the way many Bearcat fans hoped it would as Kiel wasted little time in hitting Chris Moore for a 60-yard touchdown on a four play 83 yard drive that took just over a minute to complete.
However, the Buckeyes also have a few offensive weapons of their own and countered with an eight play drive for 75-yards that ended with running back Rod Smith pushing it in from three-yards out in just over two-minutes.
After the trading of opening drive scores, Ohio State never looked back as Barrett and Elliott took over and the Buckeyes would extend their lead to 30-7 in the second quarterback before the Bearcats recovered and put two drives together to get some in the Ohio Stadium record crowd thinking the Bearcats were on the comeback trail cutting the lead down to 30-21 at the half.
The third quarter opened with the Bearcats defense showing some adjustments and holding the Buckeyes to a Sean Nuernberger field goal. Kiel would hit Moore again for a 78-yard touchdown strike and after an Andrew Gantz extra point, things were looking up for the Red & Black.
Ohio State shutdown the Bearcats before adding to their score with another Nuernberger field goal then Barrett would hit Dontre Wilson for a 24-yard score then Devin Smith on a 34-yard strike making the final 50-28 over the Bearcats.
For Cincinnati many questions will need to be answered on the defensive side of the ball despite another stellar performance from senior linebacker Jeff Luc (18 total tackles) and Leviticus Payne. The lack of pressure placed on Barrett from the Bearcats defense (1 sack / 1 hurry) and the fact the Buckeyes reeled off over 100 offensive plays must be a concern as the Bearcats head into conference play against Memphis.
Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville made no excuses following the game.
“I think everybody saw we got whooped pretty good up front on the defense and offensive line,” said Tuberville after the game. “We we're not able to sustain the run or stop the run. They had a good plan and they changed some things on us and we we're slow to get adjustments done to slow down their power play and their zone play out of different formations. But they've got a good football team and obviously better than we were tonight.”
Offensively, Cincinnati showed signs of their high powered offense despite the fact they played with a makeshift offensive line. Kiel found Moore three times for three touchdowns and 221 yards receiving but again the running game was weak with Tion Green leading the way with 31 yards.
Bearcat Insider will have more coming from the Bearcats first loss of the season.