Last season the Cincinnati Bearcats defensively gave up a lot of big plays. Actually as a team, they gave the ball away at a much higher rate than taking it away. It’s why they were viewed as one of the worst defenses in the American Athletic Conference. During the offseason head coach Tommy Tuberville discussed how he wanted the defense to take away the ball more during the course of games. On Saturday, the Bearcats certainly showed this season how much improved they are on the defensive end in the creating turnovers aspect.
The Bearcats defense forced the Boilermakers into 4 interceptions, 3 of which came by senior defensive back/linebacker Mike Tyson. Last season playing in 10 out of 12 games Tyson had 28 total tackles, but zero interceptions. Tyson didn’t have any game changing impact plays last season, so the expectations rose for him to help improve a young and upcoming secondary this year. Tyson did just that snagging 3 big time interceptions from Purdue quarterback David Blough. Perhaps his most impressive came with Purdue driving and trying to cut into the Bearcats lead before the half, Blough rolled to his right trying to float a touchdown pass to Bilal Marshall and Tyson turned around making a one handed grab in the end zone. It helped the Bearcats maintain a 21-7 lead heading into halftime.
Tyson play making ability alongside Tyrell Gilbert with his 2 interceptions already this season makes the Bearcats secondary much more improved. We know what Zach Edwards can do, but if Tyson can continue to play at this high level the Bearcats defense that coach Tuberville bragged about during the offseason will certainly exceed expectations. Tyson being a senior leader on this defense certainly made his presence known and the Bearcats defense as a whole will need to create some turnovers in order to beat Houston Thursday night. With the way the secondary is playing that is certainly plausible and expected from #BearcatNation given the performances the last two weeks.