Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bearcats didn't set the world on fire with their 28-7 win versus the UT Martin Skyhawks on Thursday night

The Cincinnati Bearcats opened up Nippert Stadium on a beautiful Thursday night against the UT Martin Skyhawks. It wasn't a pretty game as some expected, but it was a game that the Bearcats needed to get the machine going in the right direction with a tough early September Schedule right around the corner.

After an eight month layoff for real action the Cincinnati Bearcats welcomed UT Martin into Nippert Stadium in front of 28,520 screaming fans. On the Bearcat Insider podcast I made a huge prediction (49-7) and the Skyhawks must’ve listened and took it as a sign of disrespect.

During the first drive of the game the Skyhawks went 75 yards with ease capping it with a seven yard touchdown throw from Gunnar Holcombe to Caylon Weathers. The following drive the Bearcats had two under throws by Hayden Moore that eventually led to a missed field goal by Josh Pasley. The first quarter ended on a Tion Green fumble and just like you guessed the Bearcats were down 7-0.

The defense caused their first turnover of the season as Alex Pace recovered a fumble of Jaimiee Bowe. The offense reverted back to their last year form as Moore was picked by Joseph Este on a tipped ball it was double coverage. Later in the quarter Moore fumbled when getting sacked. The Bearcats are lucky that Mitch Mersman is not a good kicker as he missed two field goals. With new live Moore led the team down for a big score to Nate Cole to get them within one because Josh Pasley missed an extra point. So the Bearcats went to the half down 7-6.

In the third quarter the Bearcats started with a three and out and after that they seemed to get some life. Multiple key plays from Moore to Cole and Devin Gray kept drives alive. The running game led by Green and Mike Boone started making more plays. Cincinnati took control of the game with a 3 yard touchdown to Kahlil Lewis and a 2-point conversion pass to D.J. Dowdy.  The Bearcats didn’t look back after that tacking on a Boone 1 yard touchdown and a Tyrell Gilbert pick six that went for 58 yards.

The Bearcats went on to win 28-7 and outgain the Skyhawks 400-323. This team really settled down in the second half and breaking even in the turnover game 3-3 something they didn’t do much of last season.

Devin Gray caught 5 balls for 111 yards in his first NCAA game, keep an eye out for the speedster.

They have Purdue next Saturday and they will have to clean up some things to push their record to 2-0.

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