Cincinnati’s defense stood up on its way to a 24-10 victory over Army.
The Black Knights scored an early touchdown on defense, but only managed a field goal from their offense.
Cincinnati started slowly on offense, but scored two touchdowns in the second half to put the game away.
Army had scored 79 points in two games while only giving up seven. Cincinnati was by far the toughest opponent on Army’s schedule, and they showed in Week Two.
Cincinnati’s defense was the star of the show, shutting down the triple-option offense. The offense wasn’t at the same level, but they did enough to get the job done this week.
Cincinnati’s Defense Stands Up To Army
Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder needed to take a step forward this season, but didn’t show improvement in this game. He only completed 55 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 39.4. Ridder missed several wide open receivers, and his only interception came off of one such miss.
Ridder played reminiscent of the end of last season when he was playing through an injury. He was uncomfortable in the pocket without pressure. His passes were batted down when there was pressure. He took a long time before he got into a rhythm, and when he did it wasn’t that good.
Cincinnati’s run game also took a long time to get going. In the first half, Cincinnati had six rushing yards on 13 carries.
They ended the game with 69 rushing yards. But Gerrid Doaks, the hero of Week One only had 10 rushes for 23 yards.
The Bearcats rushed for three yards per carry in the second half, which was enough to put the game on ice in the fourth quarter. But if their first half rushing attack was playing in the fourth quarter, the game would have been more interesting.
So far, Army’s option offense has run wild. Cincinnati held them to only 182 yard, which is well below Army’s season average.
The defense was disciplined in their assignments, so Christian Anderson had to take the Lions’ share of carries. Anderson had 22 carries, which means the ball stayed out of the hands of their best players. Jakobi Buchanan and Sandon McCoy only had 11 carries for 23 yards despite being two of Army’s most dangerous backs.
The defense also forced Army to throw the ball, which is not what their offense is built to do. Anderson completed nine of his 21 passes for 94 yards and an interception.
Most importantly, Cincinnati always had a stop when it mattered. The Bearcats kept the Black Knights to three for 15 on third and fourth down conversions. That’s how they kept the Army offense to only three points, and turned their only red zone appearance into a turnover on downs.
In order to beat a team like Army, the defense has to get into third-and-long situations. Army actually helped Cincinnati there with ten penalties for 87 yards. Another reason for Army’s poor third down conversion rate was because they were constantly behind the chains due to penalties.
Cincinnati took advantage of Army’s poor discipline and kept the Knights’ offense to only a field goal.