Bearcats Rush Past Governors in Season Opener

Bearcats rush past Governors

The Cincinnati Bearcats are 1-0 after they rush past the Austin Peay Governors.

Ironically, Cincinnati opened their fall season as Austin Peay wrapped up theirs.

The Bearcats took the lead early and never took their foot off the gas. While Austin Peay gave up 55 points for the second week in a row, they scored more points in this game than they did all season.

Gerrid Doaks set a school record for four touchdowns in a single game. Doaks had three rushing touchdowns for a combined total of four yards, two of which were from direct snaps. He added another touchdown on a short pass from Desmond Ridder on fourth-and-two.

While Doaks ran into the end zone three times, he wasn’t the only Bearcat to rush for major yardage on their way past the Governors in the 55-20 victory.

Bearcats Rush Past Governors in Season Opener

The Bearcats scored after one minute and 39 seconds and led the rest of the game. Ridder opened the scoring with an end-around to Tre Tucker for 29 yards to put the Bearcats up 7-0. Ridder would end the game completing 13 of his 19 passes for 196 yards and two scores.

Doaks added four touchdowns, while Jerome Ford and Josh Whyle scored their first as Bearcats.

C.J. Evans scored two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the Governors, but by that point, the lead was already insurmountable. Cincinnati takes home the 55-20 win.

Ground attack

Doaks found the endzone three times on the ground, but he was more involved in the passing game. Since most of his carries were on the goal line, he only averaged two yards per carry. Through the air, however, he was the teams’ leading receiver with four receptions, 64 yards, and a touchdown.

Plenty of Bearcats found success via the rush against the Governors.

The quarterbacks were the two leading rushers for the Bearcats. Ridder ran four times for 57 yards, and Ben Bryant ran four times for 54 yards and a touchdown. Bryant’s 40-yard touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage for either team. 

Doaks led the team in carries with 10, but Charles McClelland led running backs in rushing yardage with 47 yards on five carries.

In total, the Bearcats rushed for 276 yards for 6.7 yards per carry and five touchdowns past the Governors.

Penalties

One thing that Cincinnati needed was to clean up their penalty problem. The Bearcats were the most penalized team in FBS last season, averaging over 70 penalty yards per game.

Against Austin Peay, the Bearcats kept the flag in the pockets until 12:07 remained in the third quarter. They did end up having five accepted penalties go against them by the time the game was over. But that was a step in the right direction, and they can still improve by seasons’ end.

Passing defense

One area that was not a concern coming into the game was Austin Peay’s air attack. Governors’ quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall had completed less than 43 percent of his passes all season and threw two picks to zero touchdowns. He had 277 total passing yards going into this game.

Oatsvall’s poor performances this season combined with Cincinnati’s talented secondary seemed like a matchup that favored the Bearcats.

Austin Peay’s quarterback connected on 59 percent of his passes and threw for 202 yards. He didn’t have a touchdown, and he had an interception. It was his best game of the season by a mile.

On the one hand, it looked like Cincinnati needed some time to settle in. Oatsvall did a lot of damage on his first drive but didn’t look as good for the rest of the half.

The Governor’s clearly made some halftime adjustments and the passing game looked better in the final two quarters.

There was a combination of scheme change from Austin Peay and fatigue from Cincinnati, but the Governor’s passing game looked as good as it had for them all year.

The secondary is supposed to be the hallmark of the Bearcats’ defense, so it was a little concerning to see Austin Peay pass as well as they did. This will give something for Marcus Freeman to work on.

The talent is there, so it’s no time to hit the panic button yet. It’s just something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

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