#8: MEKALE MCKAY’S COMING OUT PARTY
MeKale McKay came to Cincinnati driving a truckload of hype. The 6’6″ sophomore wide receiver transferred to UC from Arkansas in early August and was cleared to play this past season just hours before the Bearcats’ home opener against Purdue. The anticipation of seeing a tower of a pass catcher like him on the field in 2013 was met with elation from the UC fanbase.
And McKay didn’t disappoint.
The wide receiver caught 16 passes for 485 yards (4th most on the team) and 7 touchdowns (2nd most). This despite working with Eddie Gran’s playbook for only a month. McKay averaged a whopping 30 yards per catch, illustrating his ability to take the top off the defense and give Brendon Kay a reliable target deep downfield.
Perhaps his best game was Cincinnati’s pantsing of Rutgers in mid-November. The Bearcats absolutely wore out the Scarlet Knights’ defense that afternoon. Three different Cincinnati players threw (THREW!) for touchdowns as UC put up over 600 yards of total offense. The Bearcats raced out to a 38-7 halftime lead and an eventual 52-17 win. MeKale McKay was a primary contributor for Cincinnati that day. He was one of three receivers to put up over 100 yards receiving, pacing all players at that position with 124 yards to his name. Surprise surprise McKay averaged over 41 yards per reception and all three of his catches went for touchdowns. You can watch all of his scores below.
What you saw there was a completely one sided affair in favor of the Bearcats. As for McKay, Rutgers simple had no answer for him. He was uncoverable. For his first touchdown, he found the soft spot in the zone and made an easy catch to stroll into the endzone. During his second touchdown McKay put on the jets and burned the helpless Rutgers defensive back. The final touchdown was my favorite. McKay illustrated his hops, high-pointing an underthrown football over the Scarlet Knight cornerback, essentially stealing an interception away from him and turning it into a Cincinnati touchdown. It was the kind of athletic move that you expect out of 6’6″ star receivers.
And to think, MeKale McKay still has two years of eligibility remaining. Can you picture him making these kinds of plays for the next 24-26 Bearcats games? Because I can, and it is amazing.