Cincinnati Football: Luke Fickell, players react to Bearcats rivalry win

Despite a disappointing first half performance, the Bearcats overcame a slow start to take down Miami on Saturday afternoon. During the postgame press conference, Luke Fickell discussed the annual rivalry game via Cincinnati Athletics.

“We’re really excited and proud that this is the first lead we’ve had in the series since 1915. The respect for the rivalry is definitely alive and well in what we do. They came out with a really good game plan. We came out in the second half and didn’t play clean, there’s a lot of things we have to do better, but I really think we were in control and had a better grasp and feel for what we were doing. I give them a lot of credit. It was a hard fought battle.”

After going down by double digits in the second quarter, Cincinnati woke up and scored 31 straight points to take a commanding lead and cruise to a 16th consecutive win over the rival RedHawks at Paycor Stadium.

Even though it wasn’t a particularly clean performance, Fickell has to be proud of his program for extending the win streak. With that said, the Bearcats must avoid more slow starts as the schedule gets more difficult moving forward.

Cincinnati Football: Luke Fickell, players react to Bearcats rivalry win

In the comeback win against Miami, veteran receivers Tyler Scott and Tre Tucker eclipsed the 100-yard mark with a combined 15 catches. Ben Bryant explained why both receivers were able to find success per Cincinnati Athletics.

“I tell those guys all the time, I’m gonna throw to whoever is open. Thankfully they aren’t greedy and complain about not getting the ball. It’s a really good group to work with and I’m happy those are my guys to throw to. Tyler is a mechanic. He’s always working his release and getting open. I know if I get him the ball, he’s going to make someone miss and get yards after the catch. He’s a really good player.”

It was also the first time multiple receivers finished with 100+ yards since Fickell was hired six years ago. Scott recorded a team-high 119 receiving yards, while Tucker totaled 105 yards in the win over Miami.

On the defensive side, Ivan Pace Jr played well against his former program with a team-high eight tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. In the press conference, Pace described what it was like to face his old teammates via Cincinnati Athletics.

“It definitely was emotional because that was my old team and I’ve been practicing with them for three years and came over here. It was pretty hard playing against them because I know what they can do and they know what I can do. They definitely changed up some signals. I looked to the sideline a couple times just to see if I could see something.”

Cincinnati will look to wrap up non-conference play with a third straight win as Indiana comes to Nippert Stadium next Saturday. After getting off to a slow start this week, I’m sure the Bearcats will be ready to go against an undefeated Big Ten opponent.