Cincinnati may have tallied up a total of 557 yards offensively on Saturday night and Gunner Kiel might have thrown for 427 yards and 2 TDs against a great defense in Temple. The offensive line most importantly protected Kiel and the offense completed 64-percent of third downs.
But none of that really matters looking back as the stats sheet lied as the Bearcats committed five turnovers falling to the Temple Owls.
The game between the Bearcats and Owls on Saturday night was prime example of why in the sport of football stats can be very misleading. Despite dominating the stat sheet and playing well enough on both sides of the ball to win the game, Cincinnati loss and it hurt.
In football, special teams play can play a big factor in whether or not a team wins or loses. Tuberville and special teams coordinator Ty Linder put a big emphasis on special teams play throughout the week in practice.
However, entering the 3rd quarter losing 10-6, Temple scored on the opening kickoff of the 2nd half and that had to be a huge disappointment for the coaching staff. It was momentum changer that lead to the Owls outscoring the Bearcats 31-12 in the 3rd quarter. Again the Bearcats are learning how special teams play can determine the outcome of a football game.
Even after the special teams struggles, Cincinnati had a chance to win the game late. Even after the defense had given up 215 yards to the Owls, Kiel and the offense still had a chance to tie the game with a touchdown in the last drive pending a two point conversion.
So the game ultimately came down to what every coach at any level points to. You can’t overcome “TURNOVERS”.
“You’re not gonna win many football games against good teams when you turn the ball over that many times,” said head coach Tommy Tuberville at his weekly press conference Tuesday.
The Bearcats lost the turnover battle 5 to 0 to the Owls and showed you can overcome penalties. You can overcome the lack of production in the redzone. You can overcome giving up 215 rushing yards to the opposing offense. You can even overcome the lackadaisical special teams play. But you can’t overcome turning the ball over 5 times and the Bearcats found that out the hard way Saturday night.
As the Bearcats prepare for the Redhawks of Miami this Saturday afternoon, one positive takeaway from the previous game will be the flow of the offense. Racking up 557 yards on a defense they couldn’t get a first down against last season is a positive sign for the Bearcats moving forward.
The Redhawks have gave up 58 points in their last week matchup against Wisconsin, so Tuberville and the Bearcats offense should feel pretty confident they can move the football with consistency.
Tuberville knows this being a rival game the Redhawks will be ready for the Bearcats. When asked about the Bearcats dominance over the Redhawks in recent years Tuberville replied.
“Streaks are made to be broken,” he said. “You know sooner or later the ball is going to bounce the other way. I don’t care who the best team is.”
It will be interesting to see how the Bearcats respond after the loss to Temple Saturday. If the Bearcats can eliminate turnovers, elevate special teams play and produce touchdowns in the redzone, they will have no problem winning the victory bell for a 10th consecutive time come Saturday afternoon. If not the bell will be headed up the road for a year and many will question the direction this years team is headed after entering the season as a possible Top 25 program.
You can listen to Bearcat Insider breaking down the loss to Temple here.