Bearcats losing streak continues, BYU wins 35-27

By: Ryan Roberts

Photo Credit: Gobearcatsfb twitter

It was a late night kick off as the Bearcats traveled west to take on the BYU Cougars in front of a sold out Lavell Edwards Stadium crowd. The two newcomers to the Big 12 Conference were both in search of their first conference win as both teams lost their Big 12 opener last week.

The Cougars came out strong and picked up 29 yards rushing on their first drive. The Bearcats defense bent but did not break as they forced a punt and then would force three and outs on BYU's next three possessions.

On the first offensive drive for the Bearcats, Corey Kiner picked up 23 yards on 3 carries, including back to back runs of 10 and 12 yards. With the Bearcats facing a 3rd and 4 from their own 39, Emory Jones had a receiver fall down and threw a pick 6 to give BYU the lead, 7-0, with 8:28 remaining in the first quarter.

Cincinnati drove to the BYU 37 on their next possession but were unable to convert a 4th and 4 and turned the ball over on downs as Emory Jones' pass attempt to Payten Singletary fell incomplete. 

On the third Cincinnati drive, Bearcat fans finally saw the 17 possession streak without a touchdown come to an end as the Bearcats put together a 17 play, 90 yard drive that would span 6:49 between the 1st and 2nd quarters.

Photo Credit: Gobearcatsfb twitter

Myles Montgomery got the drive started with runs of 11 and 8 yards to get the Bearcats out to their own 36. Emory Jones picked up 32 yards on 3 carries to get UC in to BYU territory. Facing a 4th and 1 at the BYU 31, Corey Kiner picked up 2 yards to extend the Bearcats drive. Three plays later, Emory Jones found Chamon Metayer for a 27 yard touchdown on 3rd and 8 to get Cincinnati on the board. With 10:59 remaining in the 2nd quarter, Cincinnati tied the score at 7.

Carter Brown converted a 33 yard field goal with 44 seconds remaining in the half and it looked like the Bearcats would head in to the half with a 10-7 lead, but Kedon Slovis and the BYU offense had other plans.

Slovis connected with wide receiver Keanu Hill for 27 yards to get the drive started and followed that with a 24 yard completion to Chase Roberts to the UC 35 yard line. Jordan Young was called for a pass interference on the next passing attempt and Slovis found a wide open Darius Lassiter for a 22 yard touchdown on the next pass. BYU would convert the PAT and head in to the locker room with a 14-10 lead, despite being outgained by UC 254-107 in the first half. 

Emory Jones completed 10 of 18 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but the pick 6 loomed large and was the difference in the halftime score. 

Cincinnati turned the ball over on downs to start the second half and BYU picked up where they left off in the first half.

Kedon Slovis started the drive with a 33 yard completion to Chase Roberts and LJ Martin took a carry 29 yards for a touchdown on 3rd and 13 three plays later to give BYU a 21-10 lead with 11:38 remaining in the second quarter. 

What once looked like a dominant performance by the UC defense, turned in to BYU picking up 155 yards on 8 plays for two touchdowns to make it a two possession game.

Cincinnati would respond with a 14 play, 71 yard drive that would take 6:14 off the clock. The Bearcats drove to the BYU 4 but a 3rd down pass attempt to Corey Kiner fell incomplete and the UC offense had to settle for a 22 yard Carter Brown field goal. With 5:24 remaining in the third quarter, UC trailed 21-13 despite outgaining BYU 334-176.

The Bearcat defense would again be gashed for big plays on the next BYU possession. Chase Roberts caught a 10 yard Slovis pass to open the drive and then on 2nd and 21 from the BYU 41, Slovis found Roberts for a 59 yard touchdown. Daniel Grzesiak just missed the sack on Slovis before he threw the ball up for grabs and Roberts came between two Cincinnati defenders for the catch and score. 4 plays, 75 yards in 2:31 extended the BYU lead to 28-13 with 2:53 left in the 3rd quarter.

It wouldn't take long for the Bearcats offense to make things interesting again. Myles Montgomery started the drive off with a 10 yard run. Braden Smith turned an out route in to a 23 yard catch and run. Emory Jones picked up 19 yards on a qb keeper and then on the 5th play of the drive, Jones found Metayer for his second touchdown of the game as he made a juggling catch in front corner of the end zone. With 54 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter, BYU led 28-20.

Photo Credit: Gobearcatsfb Twitter

Disaster would strike for the Bearcats special teams on the next possession. After forcing a punt to end the 3rd quarter, Braden Smith tried to catch a rolling punt from BYU's Ryan Rehkow. The ball took a bounce and Smith touched it as it went over his head. After a scrum for the ball, BYU's Austin Riggs recovered the fumble to give BYU possession at the UC 15 to start the 4th quarter.

BYU would need 5 plays, but would ultimately cash in on the short field as they extended their lead to 35-20 on a Martin 1 yard touchdown run with 12:41 left in the game. 

The Cougars missed a 44 yard field goal attempt with 4:31 remaining in the game but there simply wasn't enough time left for the Bearcats to make a comeback.

Emory Jones found Braden Smith for a 31 yard touchdown with 26 seconds left in the game to cap off an 8 play 80 yard drive that took 1:10 off the clock, but Chase Roberts recovered the onside kick attempt and that would end the Bearcats hopes of picking up their first Big 12 win.

When the clock hit zero, BYU walked off the field as the first of the newcomers to pick up a BIg 12 win. Final Score: BYU 35 Cincinnati 27

Final Stats and Thoughts:

UC outgained BYU 498-295. The Bearcats are extremely capable of moving the ball but have to get better with execution in key moments.

- Emory Jones finished the game 23-37 for 256 yards and 3 touchdowns to go with 94 yards on 14 carries. The pick 6 pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game as the Bearcats were fighting an uphill battle the entire game.

- Corey Kiner finished with 77 yards on 19 carries. Myles Montgomery had 61 yards on 12 carries. 

- Xzavier Henderson led the receivers with 7 catches for 74 yards, but it was Chamon Metayer that made the big plays with 3 catches for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

- Deshawn Pace returned from suspension to lead the team with 8 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Pace also had 2 pass break ups. 

- The defense finished with 7 TFL but the secondary was gashed for multiple big plays that allowed BYU to march down the field for short scoring drives.

- 3rd down was better this week (9-18) but the two turnovers are a concern. Emory Jones now has 6 interceptions in the past 4 games and BYU had 14 points off turnovers in this game. 

- 7 penalties for 63 yards

- The three game losing streak is the first for the Bearcats since the 2017 season...Luke Fickell's first season.

Up Next:

The Bearcats will have a BYE next week and return to action Saturday October 14th as Iowa State comes to Nippert Stadium for homecoming weekend. 

Scott Satterfield Post BYU:





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