Eradicate. Annihilate. Eviscerate. Obliterate. No matter how many synonyms you pull from Thesaurus.com, the narrative of today’s game remains the same; Cincinnati did everything and anything they wanted to the Scarlet Knights. Mike Jorgenson’s breakdown of the first half does an excellent job summarizing it for you. But to boil it down to the the key points:
- The Bearcats went up 38-7 at halftime. It was Cincinnati’s largest lead at halftime against Rutgers in Piscataway since 2009.
- Shaq Washington, MeKale McKay, and Anthony McClung absolutely torched a depleted Scarlet Knights secondary today.
- Shaq even added a touchdown pass in the first half. He was a quarterback in high school, after all.
- Brendon Kay had no issues dissecting the Rutgers defense in the first half. But he did boot a pooch-punt into the endzone. There goes his Ray Guy Award hopes.
- On the flip side, Gary Nova had no clue what to make of Cincinnati’s defense. They abused him constantly.
Cincinnati didn’t take the pedal off the metal in the second half. They put up another 14 points after halftime. MeKale McKay caught his third touchdown pass of the day. The last UC receiver to reach that mark in a single game was Armon Binns against Louisville in 2010. MeKay also joined Shaq Washington and Anthony McClung in the 100+ yard receiving club. The last time any UC wide receiver trio notched 100 more receiving yards each was Binns, Marcus Barnett, and D.J. Woods in 2010. Overall, Cincinnati’s offense clicked on all cylinders today to the tune of 52 points and 620 yards of total offense.
But it wasn’t just the Bearcats’ offense that put on a show today. UC’s defense held a Rutgers team that averages 31 points to just 17 points, and ten of those occurred during garbage time late in the fourth quarter. They were essentially lights out this afternoon, constantly getting in Gary Nova’s face, causing him to throw a pair of interceptions, and forcing his benching after halftime. The Cincinnati defense was impressive last week holding SMU to just 25 points and again gave me hope about their prospects heading into Houston and Louisville.
It seems overall every Bearcat is stepping up their game in this critical stretch. If the offense and defense can continue to perform at this high of a level, Cincinnati should have more than a puncher’s chance of taking down the Cougars and Cardinals.