There weren’t a whole lot of bright spots from last night’s game. There was plenty of blame to go around from the players to the coaches. But that’s a sob story for another day (tomorrow).
Today we celebrate a player who provided a spark on a defense that was playing without its best player Walter Stewart. It was Adrian Witty, made famous from this Earth shaking hit in the Liberty Bowl (also pictured above). He’s been relegated to special teams and a backup defensive back during his short time with the Bearcats but is likely being groomed to supplant Drew Frey at strong safety when he graduates. Against Toledo he didn’t have a ton of stats but when Chris Williams left the game with an injury, Witty took full advantage of his opportunity by showing UC fans just what he can do.
The first play that stood out to me was a stop with Toledo sniffing the goal line. It was 2nd and goal. Toledo had just been stuffed up the middle with a standard running play to David Fluellen. On this play they tried a QB sneak with Terrance Owens but it was sniffed out and stuffed by Witty. He read the play perfectly and evaded the lead blocker to attack Owens for a 1 yard loss. UT ultimately settled for a field goal. The second play came at the beginning of the fourth quarter with Cincinnati in danger of letting the Rockets run away with the game. They were still in their own territory but driving with a 6 point lead. The defense was showing signs of exhaustion after David Fluellen chugged his way for five yards to bring up a 2nd and 5. They needed a spark and got one from Adrian Witty who crashed on a corner blitz and sacked Owens for a nine yard loss. It forced Toledo into a 3rd and long situation and they were forced to punt.
Two key plays that could have changed the course of things had the rest of the game not gone to shit.
Witty finished the game with five tackles, two tackles for loss, including that sack. He’s clearly going to be a player at safety for the Bearcats when he’s finally plugged into the first team offense.