Cincinnati Football: Bearcats aim for third straight win over Midshipmen

Arquon Bush of the Cincinnati Bearcats intercepts a pass against Navy Midshipmen. Getty Images.
Arquon Bush of the Cincinnati Bearcats intercepts a pass against Navy Midshipmen. Getty Images. /
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After losing the first three games versus Navy dating back to 1940, the Bearcats have a chance to tie the all-time series with a third straight win. In order to even the series, Cincinnati has to limit Navy’s triple option attack and get back on track offensively.

Long before Cincinnati and Navy became conference opponents last decade, they met in 1940 and 1956. Navy won both games in Annapolis as the Bearcats were led by coaches Joseph Meyer from 1938-1942 and George Blackburn from 1955-1960.

The programs didn’t play again until the conference opener in 2017 and Navy came out with a 42-32 win. In his first game against the Midshipmen, Luke Fickell’s team allowed the most rushing yards (569) in school history as Navy’s offense dominated.

Just one year later, Fickell had the team much more prepared for the triple option offense and it ended in a 42-0 win. The Bearcats jumped out to a 28-0 lead at halftime as Charles McClelland finished with a game-high 85 rushing yards and one touchdown.

Cincinnati Football: Bearcats aim for third straight win over Midshipmen

In the matchup against Navy last year, the Bearcats escaped a near upset and won in Annapolis for the first time ever. Arquon Bush sealed the 27-20 win with a last-minute interception as Navy was held to 192 rushing yards and only 2.9 yards per attempt.

It was the first time Navy hosted a top-five team in nearly four decades as the Bearcats moved to 7-0. Josh Whyle had a team-high 60 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the win, while Ja’Von Hicks and Deshawn Pace each totaled nine tackles.

Following the recent loss, Fickell’s team looks ready to respond with a clean performance and take down the Midshipmen. During a weekly press conference, Fickell discussed preparing for Navy’s triple option offense prior to kick off per Cincinnati Athletics.

"“It does make it a little more of a challenge. At least defensively, just trying to figure out how they stay the same. I know for us, we have to be able to adapt and adjust. There’s a bit of a guessing game if they change quarterbacks and have some of those situations. I think you can get something different and that makes for a longer week. There’s never a real comfort level with stopping the dive in a triple option. They do a really good job of it. The first thing it comes down to is people. It’s better to have those big fellas inside. That gives us a better opportunity but then it’s all about angles.”"

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