Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) throws for a first down to Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Tyler Scott (21) in the first half of the NCAA football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the UCF Knights on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.

Ucf Knights At Cincinnati Bearcats 141

News Articles

‘Nothing’s done’: No. 2 Cincinnati, unbeaten so far, faces Navy

Cincinnati rose to No. 2 in The Associated Press poll, the highest ranking in program history, following its 56-21 victory over UCF last Saturday.

Senior quarterback Desmond Ridder said he asked his coaches after Sunday night’s practice how they felt about that latest achievement.

“They kind of stopped me and were like, ‘Hey, nothing changed. The job’s not finished. Nothing’s done,'” Ridder said. “I was like, ‘OK. As long as you guys are there, we can be there, too.’ “

So this Saturday’s visit to Annapolis, Md., is little more than the next business trip for Cincinnati (6-0, 2-0) as the Bearcats prepare to face Navy (1-5, 1-3) in an American Athletic Conference game.

“There’s no one who’s out here jumping around in their boots that we’re No. 2 or that’ll go out on the weekend wearing a No. 2 chain or something,” Ridder added with a grin.

The long-term goal is still unspoken this early in the season: The Bearcats are shooting to become the first Group of Five team to earn a College Football Playoff berth, and they’ll likely need to stay perfect to make it.

Last season’s 8-0 regular-season record and then a win in the AAC title game weren’t enough for the Bearcats to crack the field of four, but their 2021 resume so far looks stronger thanks to a 24-13 road win over then-No. 9 Notre Dame on Oct. 2.

The last time Cincinnati visited Navy was in 2017, Luke Fickell’s first year coaching the program. The Midshipmen ran for 569 yards that day and won 42-32.

“That’s something you never forget,” Fickell said. “The triple option stuff’s always gonna be unique. I think every year, you’ve got to have some wrinkles and you’ve got to be sound in what you’re doing. But I think it’s always, as soon as you think you’ve got something a little bit figured out, it can get really ugly really quick.”

The Bearcats learned from their mistakes and overwhelmed Navy 42-0 in 2018. The teams haven’t met since.

Defense has become Cincinnati’s calling card as the program has established a national profile. The Bearcats rank third in the nation in scoring defense (13.7 ppg), 14th in total defense (296.7 ypg) and 12th in passing defense (172.2 ypg).

Offensively, Ridder has completed 64.3 percent of his passes, with 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions, but running back Jerome Ford is becoming the team’s star. He scored four touchdowns against UCF in the first half alone, including one for 79 yards, and has run for 338 yards in Cincinnati’s past two games.
That’s a lot for the Midshipmen to prep for after its latest loss last Thursday. The defense gave up four touchdowns on Memphis’ first five drives in a 35-17 defeat.

Navy made the most of its first possession against Memphis, piecing together a methodical, 21-play touchdown drive that lasted 11:50. The Midshipmen scored only 10 points the rest of the day.

“We’ve been having a lot of drives in the teens,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “We had some of those drives (Week 1 against) Marshall, but we didn’t capitalize, we didn’t finish. We just got to continue to finish. But sometimes when you have those long, sustained drives, which are great, but also it forces you to execute every time, too.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Florida State +8.5 -107

Florida -8.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Wake Forest (21) -6 -107

Boston College +6 -107

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Georgia (1) -34.5 -107

Georgia Tech +34.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Miami-OH +1.5 -110

Kent State -1.5 -110

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Akron +27.5 -110

Toledo -27.5 -110

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Army +3 -107

Liberty -3 -107

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Houston (19) -32.5 -107

UCONN +32.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Texas Tech +15 -110

Baylor (9) -15 -110

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Navy -13 -107

Temple +13 -107

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Ohio State (2) -6 -110

Michigan (6) +6 -110

@

Nov 27th, 12:00 PM

Maryland -1.5 -107

Rutgers +1.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 12:30 PM

Miami-FL -20.5 -107

Duke +20.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 1:00 PM

LA Tech -3.5 -110

Rice +3.5 -110

@

Nov 27th, 2:00 PM

Troy +6 -110

Georgia State -6 -110

@

Nov 27th, 2:00 PM

UTSA (15) -13 -110

North Texas +13 -110

@

Nov 27th, 2:00 PM

Texas State +2.5 -107

Arkansas State -2.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 2:00 PM

Charlotte +10 -107

Old Dominion -10 -107

@

Nov 27th, 2:30 PM

Georgia Southern +24 -107

Appalachian State -24 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:00 PM

Florida International (FIU) +10 -107

Southern Miss -10 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:00 PM

Hawaii +10.5 -107

Wyoming -10.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:00 PM

Massachusetts +6 -107

New Mexico State -6 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:30 PM

Oregon State +12.5 -107

Oregon (11) -12.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:30 PM

Alabama (3) -17.5 -107

Auburn +17.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:30 PM

WKU +1 -107

Marshall -1 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:30 PM

Northwestern +6 -110

Illinois -6 -110

@

Nov 27th, 3:30 PM

Penn State -1 -107

Michigan State (12) +1 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:30 PM

Indiana +15 -107

Purdue -15 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:45 PM

Vanderbilt +30.5 -107

Tennessee -30.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 3:45 PM

Virginia Tech +7 -107

Virginia -7 -107

@

Nov 27th, 4:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +21.5 -107

Louisiana-Lafayette (23) -21.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 4:00 PM

Arizona +20 -107

Arizona State -20 -107

@

Nov 27th, 4:00 PM

Tulsa +7 +103

SMU -7 +103

@

Nov 27th, 4:00 PM

Wisconsin (18) -6.5 -110

Minnesota +6.5 -110

@

Nov 27th, 7:00 PM

Middle Tennessee +3.5 +103

Florida Atlantic -3.5 +103

@

Nov 27th, 7:00 PM

Texas A&M (14) -6 -107

LSU +6 -107

@

Nov 27th, 7:00 PM

West Virginia -16.5 -107

Kansas +16.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 7:30 PM

Clemson -11.5 -107

South Carolina +11.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 7:30 PM

Oklahoma (10) +1 -107

Oklahoma State (7) -1 -107

@

Nov 27th, 7:30 PM

Kentucky +1 -107

Louisville -1 -107

@

Nov 27th, 7:30 PM

Tulane +6 -107

Memphis -6 -107

@

Nov 27th, 7:30 PM

Pittsburgh (20) -11 -107

Syracuse +11 -107

@

Nov 27th, 8:00 PM

Notre Dame (5) -17 -107

Stanford +17 -107

@

Nov 27th, 9:00 PM

Nevada -6.5 -107

Colorado State +6.5 -107

@

Nov 27th, 10:30 PM

BYU (13) -7 -107

USC +7 -107

@

Nov 27th, 10:30 PM

California +7.5 -102

UCLA -7.5 -102

@

Dec 4th, 3:00 PM

Utah State

San Diego State (22)

@

Dec 4th, 3:30 PM

Appalachian State -2 -107

Louisiana-Lafayette (23) +2 -107

@

Dec 4th, 4:00 PM

Georgia (1) -4 -107

Alabama (3) +4 -107

@

Dec 4th, 4:00 PM

Houston (19)

Cincinnati (4)

@

Dec 4th, 11:00 PM

USC -1.5 -110

California +1.5 -110

@