CINCINNATI – Cincinnati junior cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner was named to ESPN’s Midseason All-America Team on Wednesday.
The Detroit, Mich., native has two interceptions and two pass breakups to go along with 10 tackles this season to lead a Bearcats’ pass defense that is allowing opponents to complete just 48% of their pass attempts (No. 1 in the nation). Cincinnati ranks second nationally in scoring defense (12.2 ppg), No. 5 in interceptions (9) and No. 6 in yards per play allowed (4.19).
Gardner, who is rarely tested, has never allowed a touchdown pass in his career. The 6-3, 200-pounder has eight career interceptions.
He was a standout in this season’s biggest game to date at No. 9 Notre Dame, making an end zone interception and allowing just two catches for nine yards to help lead UC to a 24-13 victory in South Bend, Ind. – the first win in school history over a Top 10 opponent on the road.
Gardner collected several accolades before the season, snagging preseason All-America mention from the Associated Press, Athlon, CBS Sports, ESPN, Phil Steele, Pro Football Focus, The Athletic, USA Today and Walter Camp. He was also named to the watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award.
In 2020, he earned first-team All-America honors from USA Today and the FWAA in addition to grabbing first-team All-AAC honors.
Gardner and the Bearcats will put their 23-game home winning streak (second in the nation) on the line when UCF comes to Nippert Stadium for a Noon ET clash. The game will be broadcast live on ABC.
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