J.T. Smith of Bearcat Insider gives out defensive game balls for the No. 6 Houston Cougars game

The Cincinnati Bearcats hosted the No. 6 Houston Cougars to Nippert Stadium in front of a sellout crowd and loss 40-16, the score was misleading if you didn’t watch the game, but Bearcat Insider is going to give out some game balls on the defensive side of the ball.

When you see that the Bearcats gave up 40 points on Thursday, you think man how can somebody get a game ball? But if you watched the game you know the Cougars had two salt touchdown aka two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a row which salted the game away. This unit gave up 506 total yards, but that doesn’t tell the story, they were on the field slightly over 38 minutes against one of best offenses in the country.

Let's see who received game balls. 

Game ball number one: Antonio Kinard, linebacker- 18 tackles, 1 tackles for loss and 1 sack

Kinard has received his second game ball in consecutive weeks. Against Houston he was every where picking up double digit tackles before halftime and finishing with 18 total. I personally like the aggression that Kinard has been playing with he's been the hidden gem of the team so far this season. 

Game ball number two: Alex Thomas, cornerback- 5 tackles, 1 pass break up and 1 interception

Thomas got an interception in consecutive weeks. He made a huge play in the red zone to stop the Cougars from scoring and eventually led to the Bearcats taking the lead early in the fourth quarter.

Game ball number three: Grant Coleman, cornerback- 3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception

Coleman had a weird game, he got beat for a touchdown early and whiffed on a tackle or two, but when a big play was needed number 13 came up big twice against Houston. He got an interception deep in Houston territory that later didn't turn into points and he had an amazing fumble recovering before the half that prevented Houston from going up potentially 17-7 because of that play the Bearcats were able to tie the game at 10 at the half. It's good seeing Coleman making plays.

It was hard narrowing it down because Mark Wilson, Carter Jacobs and Eric Wilson all had good games also, but I feel like the three that I picked this week had the most impact. I couldn't give everyone a game ball because at the end of the day they were on the wrong side of the victory column.

The Bearcats will look to bounce back against Miami of Ohio next Saturday at Nippert Stadium.

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