So after the build up the Cincinnati Bearcats and the San Diego Aztecs finally got to lock up in the Hawai’i Bowl and from the opening kickoff it didn’t look good for the Bearcats.
The Aztecs Rashaad Penny returned the opening kickoff for a 100 yard score. The Bearcats had a three & out and the Aztecs caught the defense with a play action score from Christian Chapman to Mikah Holder and they didn’t look back.
The Bearcats turned the ball over three times tonight all three were interceptions by quarterback Hayden Moore. One of the turnovers was a pick six and to say the least this wasn’t Moore’s finest hour. I’m not picking on Moore because this wasn’t the team or staff’s finest hour either.
Even if the final score doesn’t show it the defensive side of the ball played pretty well. In the second half if the Bearcats had any hope it was all whipped away when they had the ball on the Aztecs side of the field and ran the ball three straight times and attempted a fake field which was snuffed out and almost got kicker Andrew Gantz killed on national television. The game was 21-0 then and after that play the water was in the boat.
UC was outgained 336 to 279 to a team who only threw the ball 12 times. They also loss the turnover battle 3-0 to the Aztecs which coming in was one of the best at takeaways and we know the Bearcats are generous with giveaways.
UC loss yet another bowl, but this time 42-7.
This performance raises more questions than answers. The Bearcats finish the season at a disappointing 7-6 and the Aztecs finish on a high of 11-3.
The Hawai’i Bowl MVP’s were fullback Dakota Gordon for San Diego State and safety Zach Edwards for Cincinnati. Gordon had 3 rushes for 7 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 catches for 58 yards and 1 touchdown. Edwards had 7 solo tackles and 1 tackle for loss.