September 16, 2021
. 8/8 University of Cincinnati football team is set for its first road challenge of the season, a Saturday 12 p.m. contest at Indiana. The matchup will air on ESPN as well as 102.7 WEBN-FM and 700 WLW AM.
7/8 CINCINNATI BEARCATS
Head CoachLuke Fickell
Record at Cincinnati 37-14 (Fifth Year)
Overall Record 43-21 (Sixth Year)
Head Coach Tom Allen
Record at Indiana 25-23 (Fifth Year)
Overall Record Same
Facility Memorial Stadium
Radio 700 WLW AM / Sirius 211 / XM 202 / Internet 970
Online SiriusXM Internet Channel 970
Series Record Indiana leads 9-3-2
• Play-by-Play: Dave Pasch
• Analyst: Dusty Dvoracek
• Sideline: Tom Luginbill
• Online: WatchESPN.com Mobile App: ESPN
RADIO: Bearcats Sports Network
• Play-by-Play: Dan Hoard
• Analyst: Jim Kelly Jr.
• Host/Engineer: Mo Egger
• Local: 700 WLW AM
• Satellite: Sirius 211 / XM 202 / Internet 970
• App: The Varsity Network: “Search Cincinnati”
LIVE STATS: Cincinnati.StatBroadcast.com
NOW IT’S TIME FOR THE BREAKDOWN
The No. 8/8 University of Cincinnati football team overcame a slow start to Murray State Saturday, outscoring the Racers 35-0 over the second half. It had just 90 seconds of possession in the first quarter but had three interceptions (including Ja’Von Hicks’ in the endzone on the opening drive) in the first half. UC scored TDs on four of its first five second-half possessions to break away. UC also moved to 25-1 in the Luke Fickell era when tied or ahead after the first period.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Cincinnati ranks fourth nationally in defensive pass efficiency and sixth on the offensive end. Six Bearcats account for the team’s seven touchdown catches, led by Tyler Scott’s two. He and Jadon Thompson also have a team-high five catches among 13 with a reception this season. Noah Davis’ fourth-down TD grab (UC’s first score of the game) was his first reception since having three for Michigan State in 2017. UC also has three scoring drives this season of one or two plays (the latter an 81-yard TD pass on the second snap of the Miami game). Defensively, the four takeaways came on the heels of having its nation-leading 20-game streak snapped in the opener.
Luke Fickell, a two-time AAC Coach of the Year, is in his fifth season at UC. He has led the Bearcats to back-to-back 11-win seasons, the 2019 AAC East Division title and consecutive bowl wins in the 2018 Military Bowl and 2019 TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl. A veteran of 20 years in the FBS ranks, Fickell has been a part of two national championship squads, nine conference titlewinning teams (seven as a coach, two as a player at Ohio State) with 16 postseason games and 13 NFL Draft selections.
Tom Allen is also in his fifth season there and was named the AFCA National Coach of the Year in 2020. His 24 wins were the most in program history over the first four years as head caoch. His head coaching debut was in the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl and previously had stops at South Florida (2015), Ole Miss (2012-14), Arkansas State (2011).
Cincinnati is seeking its third 3-0 start in Fickell’s five years at the helm. In addition to its perfect 2020 regular season, it also started 6-0 in 2018 and reeled off nine wins in a row after a Week 2 loss in 2019. • Not only that, UC’s 20-3 record (.870) win percentage in league play over the past three years is the highest mark in the AAC.
Indiana tight end Matt Bjorson’s father, Kris, was a tight end at Cincinnati from 1989-92. Hoosier run game coordinator/offensive line coach Darren Hiller was the Bearcats’ offensive line coach from 2013-15, including when UC broke 18 offensive school records in 2015.
RECENT BIG TEN GAMES
Cincinnati’s last win over a Big Ten foe was Sept. 10, 2016, a 38-20 win at Purdue. More recently, it fell at Michigan in 2017 and Ohio State in 2019.
BUILT FORD TOUGH
Senior running back Jerome Ford has continued his ascent in the UC backfield. Over his first three collegiate seasons (two at Alabama), he increased his carries (7- 24-73), yards (37-114-483) and TDs (0-3-8). This year, he has 30 carries for 234 yards and 4 TDs, averaging 7.8 ypc. Ford also had a 79-yard TD run against Georgia in the 2021 Peach Bowl.
COURTESY UC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS