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Winning, Kiner, Rally Cats, Pump it Up in Cincinnati


Cincinnati
Photo Credit- Ben Levin via WikiMedia

On the banks of the Ohio River lies the largest metropolitan city in the State of Ohio. Called the Queen City, it is widely known as the “Birthplace of Professional Baseball.” But in the world of college football, Cincinnati is home to one of the winningest college football teams in the country since 2007.

 

The Bearcats of the University of Cincinnati have enjoyed tremendous success under former coaches Brian Kelly and Luke Fickell.

 

Now, its Scott Satterfield’s turn.

 

Great Scott!

 

Satterfield comes to Cincinnati by way of Louisville and Appalachian State. With the Cardinals, he posted a 7-5 record in 2022. But when he was at App. State, he posted a 75% winning percentage. Satterfield’s resume includes two Conference Coach of the Year awards, winning it in the Sun Belt (App. State) in 2018 and in the ACC (Louisville) in 2019.


Keeping Up with the Joneses

 

The previous starter at quarterback, Ben Bryant, decided to jump into the transfer portal, leaving a vacancy behind center. That vacancy has now been booked up by Arizona State transfer QB Emory Jones.

 

In 2022, Jones only started eight games for the Sun Devils and passed for 1533 yards and only seven touchdowns, and threw 4 INTs. He completed 62% of his passes. In addition, Jones scored four rushing touchdowns.

 

The Georgia native began his career with the Florida Gators. In 2021, as a full-time starter in Gainesville, Jones accounted for over 3400 yards in total offense: 2734 yards passing, 19 TDs, 13 INTs; 758 yards rushing, 4 TDs.

 

Going into the 2023 season, Jones gives the Bearcats a dual-threat capability they have not had since Desmond Ridder was on campus.


The Offense

 

In the running game, Corey Kiner returns to tote the rock after rushing for 365 yards and 5 touchdowns.

 

The Bearcats lost all their top receivers to the NFL. So, the wide receiver room will be led by transfers, specifically WR Donovan Ollie (Washington State). While with the Cougars, Ollie caught 43 balls for 491 yards and 3 TDs.

 

Gavin Gerhardt returns at Center, and he is the sole returning starter on the offensive line.


Guardians of the Gridiron

 

The strength of this team will be on the defensive side of the ball. Cincinnati returns six starters on a unit that was ranked in the Top 30 in the following defensive categories:

 

#11 in pass defense (182 yards/game).

#20 in scoring defense (20 pts/game).

#16 in tackles for loss (92).

#27 in sacks (35).

 

Those guardians include:

 

DE Jawon Briggs: 60 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 3 sacks.

DE Malik Vann: played in only 2 games, missed 11.

NB DeShawn Pace: 62 tackles, 1 INT, 5 TFLs, 1 sack.

S Byron Threats: 58 tackles, 2 INTs, 5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks.

NB Taj Ward: 19 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1 INT, 4 pass breakups.

DE Eric Phillips: 38 tackles, 8 TFLs, 3 sacks, 4 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble.

 

‘Winning is a Habit’

But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” -Vince Lombardi

Since the 2007 season, Cincinnati has gone 143-62. That is a winning percentage of 70%, which put the Bearcats squarely in the Top Ten of the winningest college football programs in the country during that stretch.


Can Cincinnati keep up their winning ways? They are a little thin on offense, but they have talent. Jones brings experience to the most important position on the field. If the transfers can be big contributors, the Bearcats could post a winning record and earn a bowl berth.


The Bearcats begin play this season as a new member of the Big 12 Conference, and host their first Big 12 opponent in the form of Oklahoma on September 23rd.


Cincinnati kicks off the 2023 season when they host Eastern Kentucky on September 2nd.

 


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