Cincinnati 49, Fordham 17: Bearcats Thump Rams as UC Starts to Hit Stride

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The Bearcats are clicking on all cylinders right now. Last week they showed us a glimpse of what this team could become when the Butch Jones machine was well-oiled and ran without problem. But the second quarter really blemished what was a dominating performance against the Miami Redhawks. Last night Cincinnati played its most complete game of the season emphasizing the run over the pass once again in a strong showing against an FCS foe. And while the Fordham Rams were mismatched on both the field and in the sidelines, this was a much better showing than their 23 – 7 win over Delaware State, also in the FCS.

On offense I can’t say enough of Munchie Legaux who looks to have taken a step up in his development as a quarterback. He finished the day 15/24 passing (62.5%) with a pair of touchdowns and no picks. It was the kind of commanding performance from the UC quarterback that will lead this team to many victories in the future. Munchie was essentially leaned upon to govern the offense, not place it on his back and win the game, and he excelled. He slung the ball around pretty evenly to his receivers and connected with Travis Kelce on a Brent Celek-like touchdown pass. On the ground the Bearcats did what they’ve been doing all season; pound the ball with George Winn and get the defense out of balance with Legaux and Abernathy. It was again effective as Cincinnati rolled up 262 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

The defense did exceptionally well against a dangerous passing attack. All you’d have to do is look at the “17” next to Fordham’s name to know that. But the Rams are known for piling up yards in chunks and the Bearcats held quarterback Ryan Higgins to just 6.2 yards per completion when he’s averaging right around double that. It was the defense that for the second straight week was the catalyst to waking up this entire team. With Fordham driving and in Cincinnati’s redzone, Dan Giordano crashed around the edge and got to Higgins quickly. He tried to get rid of the football but Giordano got his big paw on it and knocked it away. Deven Drane, also crashing on a corner blitz, was Johnny-on-the-spot picking up the fumble and running it 76 yards back for a touchdown. My only concern was the rushing defense that surrendered a few long runs. Otherwise a spotless performance from the UC defense.