Cincinnati Football: Bearcats included on multiple midseason award watch lists

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell looks on against the SMU Mustangs at Nippert Stadium. Getty Images.
Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell looks on against the SMU Mustangs at Nippert Stadium. Getty Images. /
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In addition to Luke Fickell appearing on the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year watch list, senior linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. and freshman defensive tackle Dontay Corleone were included on multiple All-American midseason teams for the Bearcats this week.

After taking home the Dodd Coach of the Year award last season, Fickell has a chance to become the first repeat winner in college football history. Five former winners were on the list including Mack Brown, Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Kyle Whittingham and Fickell.

If the Bearcats can take care of business at SMU on Saturday at noon, Fickell will move past Rick Minter with the most wins in school history. Cincinnati is favored by a field goal but SMU’s pass-heavy offense could create problems for the defense this weekend.

Cincinnati Football: Bearcats included on multiple midseason award watch lists

Pace has developed into a dominant player with a team-high 62 tackles and five sacks, while leading the country with 12.5 tackles for loss, highlighted by a 15-tackle performance against Indiana last month.

The Cincinnati native was named a midseason First Team All-American from several sites including The Athletic, Associated Press, College Football Network, ESPN and Pro Football Focus. Pace is the nation’s highest-graded defender per Pro Football Focus.

Despite coming off the bench, Corleone has emerged as an impact player for the Bearcats with 22 tackles and two sacks during his redshirt freshman season. Corleone was recently included on the midseason Freshman All-American from The Athletic as well.

Next. Cincinnati Football: Ivan Pace Jr. named to midseason All-American team. dark