Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Smith is giving the Bearcats defensive game balls for their performance against the Pirates

BCI is giving out the last set of defensive game balls for the regular season for the Bearcats latest performance against the Pirates Saturday afternoon. Let's check out who the top performers were this week.

During the last regular season game for the Bearcats the defensive unit did a heck of a job holding the Pirates to 16 points Saturday afternoon. As much as we beat up the defensive unit we need to give them some props for holding ECU in check. ECU was playing to become bowl eligible and for the defense to turn in this type of performance on the road is a step in the right direction for this young group.

The unit as a whole held the Pirates to 385 total yards, which is one of the unit’s better performances as a whole this whole season.

Let’s see who the top performers were this week.

Game ball number one: Zach Edwards, safety- 7 tackles and 1 pass defensed

Edwards has been a staple in the back end of the defense all season. With all of the injuries that have happened he has been there to try his best to hold it down for the back four. He did a great job at holding it down for the secondary on Saturday as he has all season.

Game ball number two: Leviticus Payne, outside linebacker- 6 tackles (1 tackle for loss) and 1 pass defensed

I called Payne the Bearcats swizz army knife earlier in the season and he’s lived up to it all year. Payne had a nice game on Saturday. I’m glad to finally be able to give Payne a game ball because this guy all season has lined up wherever the defense needed him he started at outside linebacker, injuries hit so he played cornerback as the young guys started getting their feet wet he moved between both slots. He made plays all year, presences of the unit and he did a good job at doing his part to bog down ECU on the road.

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