By Dan Sellers
After a rough defeat the previous week against Navy and its triple option offense, which yielded a lofty 569 yards on the ground; the Cats looked to rebound verses a 2-1 Marshall University of West Virginia.
Marshall’s Thundering Herd struck first in their second drive with a 10 play drive ending with a 10-yard touchdown pass form Chase Litton to tight end Ryan Yuracheck following an errant backwards pass by Haden Moore which was recovered as a fumble. The first three series for the Cats were bleak, producing a feeble 11 yards total offensive yards. On the other side of the ball, the Cat’s defense could not seem to get off the field on third downs.
They incessantly shot themselves in foot by blowing coverages or committing stupid penalties. Marshall started the second quarter by kicking a field goal after completing a 15-play, 77-yard drive. The Herd took a 10 -0 lead. The Cats continue to self-destruct with its lack of discipline. One example was when on a 9-yard scramble by QB Haden Moore; offensive guard Kyle Trout committed a senseless personal foul negating a much-needed first down, which forced the Bearcats to punt. The officiating did not help the Cats in the first half either. The conference USA officials were lacking in their compassion for the UC defenders as they called two very questionable pass interference penalties. However, the Cats did not need the officials to aid in there 24 -0 trouncing in the first half. UC self- imploded by committed turnovers and foolish penalties on third downs to keep the Herds scoring drives alive. One of them being kick return man Tom Geddis, who fumbled the ball on the 10 yard line, which set up a third TD for Marshall. The Bearcats quickly drove the length of the field only to stall on the 9 yard line. Cincinnati had just completed the worsted half of football in 30 years.
The Cats took to the field in the second half desperate to claw there way back into the game. With a since of urgency UC swiftly march down the field in a 15-play drive with Gerrid Doaks toting the ball. The drive capped off by the freshman’s 2-yard TD run. Cincy’s defense woke up to stop the herd on its first two drives. However, the Bearcats continued to eradicate their own drives with ridiculous penalties illustrating their endless lack of discipline on both sides of the ball and special teams. After a brief glimpse of light, the absence of keenness was evident after the second special team’s turnover. The fumble was followed by a third touchdown pass from QB Litton to his tight end Ryan Yuracheck. At the beginning of the fourth, the Cats moved the ball hastily down the turf, when freshmen running back Mike Warren darted free for a 25 yard TD bringing the score to 31-14 with 14 minutes to play. The Bearcats managed to score another TD bring the game to a merciful end with the score 38-21.
Coach Fickell’s postgame commits were less than optimistic. “It was a tough night. Not a whole lot of things went right for us. I think we have been one of those teams that sits there and waits for something to go right. But we have to go out there and generate some things and make things go right. At some point in time, we have be able to feed off some positive momentum and some positive energy, and we just haven’t had that opportunity just yet. I don’t know why.”
In my opinion the story in this game was much like it’s been all year, the lack of discipline. The Cats face a much improved UCF next week at Nippert.