Cincinnati Football: Looking back at the series history against UCF

Cincinnati Bearcats running back Jerome Ford runs for a touchdown against UCF Knights at Nippert Stadium. The Enquirer.
Cincinnati Bearcats running back Jerome Ford runs for a touchdown against UCF Knights at Nippert Stadium. The Enquirer. /
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Even though it’s not a historic rivalry, the Bearcats have recently developed a hostile feud with UCF and that will carry into Saturday. Check out a break down of the all-time series as Cincinnati looks for a fourth consecutive win over the conference rival.

In the first ever matchup, senior wide receiver Shaq Washington propelled the Bearcats to a 52-7 win over winless UCF in 2015. It was the first game after longtime Knights coach George O’Leary resigned and Cincinnati took advantage with 726 total yards.

Scott Frost replaced O’Leary the following year and it resulted in a quick turnaround with three straight wins over Cincinnati including a 24-3 win in 2016. UCF outscored the Bearcats 89-36 in the next two matchups as Luke Fickell started 0-3 in the series.

Cincinnati Football: Looking back at the series history against UCF

Fickell picked up his first win against the Knights in 2019 at Nippert Stadium and hasn’t lost since as the Bearcats survived an upset attempt in 2020 before a 56-21 blowout last season. Jerome Ford scored four touchdowns in the first half as Cincinnati jumped out to a 35-0 lead and coasted to a third straight victory.

The upcoming matchup will be more competitive as both teams try to stay in contention for a conference championship berth before departing for the Big 12 next year. During a recent press conference, Fickell discussed the rivalry game via Cincinnati Athletics.

"“It’s a rivalry because they were the champions and we ended up knocking them off a couple years ago. All rivalries are created differently. Any team that has beaten us or embarrassed us like they did in year one, that’s something that will never go away. In my own heart and mind, it’s been a rivalry since then. I do think as everything moves forward, this one is going to stay. That’s how rivalry games are created. When it becomes a recruiting rivalry as well, it creates something throughout the entire year and I think that’s good for college football.”"

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