Junior cornerback leads the nation’s top pass defense
CINCINNATI – Junior cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner collected three more midseason All-America honors on Tuesday, snagging accolades from The Athletic, Associated Press and CBS Sports.
Last week, ESPN selected the 6-3 defensive back for its midseason team, as well.
Gardner, who is rarely tested and starts in the boundary, has two interceptions to go along with 16 tackles and two PBUs to lead the second-ranked Bearcats to a 6-0 start in 2021.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Detroit, Mich., native has allowed an FBS-low 44.2 pass efficiency rating this season. Quarterbacks have completed just 8 of 18 passes for 47 yards when targeting him. He has never allowed a touchdown pass in his three-season career.
Gardner is the leader of Cincinnati’s top-ranked pass defense. The Bearcats lead the nation in pass efficiency defense (87.9) and are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete only 49.5% of pass attempts. Cincinnati has the nation’s top red zone defense and the No. 3 scoring defense (13.7 ppg).
At No. 9 Notre Dame, Gardner intercepted quarterback Jack Coan in the end zone in the first quarter to spark UC to a 17-0 lead en route to a 24-13 win – Cincinnati’s first-ever victory over a Top 10 team on the road.
In addition to Gardner’s honors, junior running back Jerome Ford was named to the The Athletic’s midseason All-America second team. Ford leads the AAC in rushing (118.2 ypg) and ranks second in the nation in touchdowns (12). He has won the AAC Offensive Player of the Week award the last two weeks.
COURTESY UC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS