Cincinnati Bearcats finally back home to take on Navy today at 4 PM on ESPNU

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati football team returns home on Saturday looking to right the ship against Navy at 4:00 p.m. in a key conference matchup inside Nippert Stadium.
Kevin Brown and Hutson Mason will have the ESPN call, while Dan Hoard and Jim Kelly Jr. will carry the game on 700 WLW, as well as Sirius 99 or 204 and SXM App 967.
The Bearcats will look to rebound from a 25-21 loss at UCF that ended UC’s AAC-record 19-game conference win streak.
Senior quarterback Ben Bryant passed for 298 yards and senior tight Josh Whyle and senior running back Ryan Montgomery scored touchdowns, while Ivan Pace Jr. tallied 11 tackles with 1.5 TFLs in the loss in Orlando. UC overcame a 10-0 deficit to take a 21-18 lead in the final minutes, but UCF scored the winning touchdown with 48 seconds left.
At 3-1 in the AAC, the Bearcats remain in contention for the AAC Championship Game. UC is currently tied for second in the league standings with Houston (3-1) and UCF (3-1). Tulane (4-0) is alone in first place in the AAC.
Cincinnati has won 30 straight games at Nippert Stadium – the nation’s second-longest streak behind Clemson (38). The Bearcats are 6-2 coming off a loss since 2018. Cincinnati is 50-9 (84.7%) since the start of 2018 and 28-4 (87.5%) since the start of 2020 – to rank among the nation’s top five winningest teams during each span.


Josh Whyle’s 14-yard touchdown catch at UCF was the 15th of his career, which set a new UC career TD record for tight ends, breaking a tie with Brent Celek, who had 14 scores from 2003 to 2006 before his 11-year NFL career. Whyle, a two-time All-AAC selection, has 22 catches and three scores in 2022. He had six TDs in both 2020 and 2021.


The Bearcats have won two in a row against the Midshipmen. In the last meeting Arquon Bush intercepted a pass with 25 seconds left to help then-No. 2 ranked Cincinnati hold on for victory at Navy on Oct. 23, 2021. TE Josh Whyle scored two touchdowns against the Midshipmen, while LB Deshawn Pace had nine tackles, two TFLs and a blocked field goal. The last time Navy came to Nippert Stadium, UC won 42-0 in 2018.


The Midshipmen are 3-5 this season and 3-3 in the AAC with a pair of overtime wins, including last week’s 27-20 victory over Temple in Annapolis, Md. Starting quarterback Tai Lavatai was knocked out of the Temple win with a season-ending injury. Navy leads the country in fewest penalties (3.62 per game) and ranks fourth in time of possession (34:58). Navy leads the AAC and ranks seventh nationally in rushing (244.5 ypg) and leads the conference and ranks No. 8 nationally in rushing defense (92.1).


Luke Fickell (54 wins) and Ken Niumatalolo (108 wins) are two of the nine active head coaches who are the all-time winningest coaches at their schools. Fickell surpassed Rick Minter for the Cincinnati record at SMU two weeks ago.


Cincinnati leads the nation with four defensive touchdowns through the first eight games (interceptions by Ja’Von Hicks and Deshawn Pace, fumbles by Jabari Taylor and Dom Perry).

UC has 18 non-offensive TDs under Fickell, all over the last five years. That 2018 squad that had five included scores by then-freshmen Wil Huber and Arquon Bush. The 2019 team had four, with two more in 2020 and three in 2021.