Sep 29, 2023; Provo, Utah, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats safety Deshawn Pace (3) covers Brigham Young Cougars running back Miles Davis (4) in the first half at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

BYU overcomes yardage disparity to defeat Cincinnati

Kedon Slovis threw for two touchdowns and LJ Martin ran for two more Friday night as BYU won the battle of Big 12 Conference newcomers, defeating Cincinnati 35-27 in Provo, Utah.

Slovis completed 13 of 24 passes for 223 yards, including a 59-yard scoring strike to Chase Roberts with 2:53 left in the third quarter for a 28-13 lead.

Martin added a 29-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and a 1-yard plunge with 12:41 remaining in the game that capped the scoring.

The Cougars (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) were outgained 498-295 but played cleaner football. They committed just four penalties and didn’t turn the ball over, while the Bearcats (2-3, 0-2) were flagged seven times and coughed up 14 points off two turnovers.

Quarterback Emory Jones completed 23 of 37 passes for Cincinnati, good for 256 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. His 23-yard strike to Chamon Metayer with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter pulled the Bearcats within 28-20.

They forced a punt as the period ended, but Braden Smith fumbled it and BYU’s Austin Riggs recovered at the Cincinnati 15. Martin scored his second touchdown five plays later.

Roberts caught six passes for 131 yards and recovered an onside kick with 25 seconds left after Jones’ 31-yard touchdown pass to Smith.

BYU initiated the scoring when Jakob Robinson intercepted Jones on a third down throw at the 8:28 mark of the first quarter and returned it 42 yards. From that point, Cincinnati’s ground game dominated most of the rest of the first half.

The Bearcats tied the score at 7 with 10:59 remaining in the half on Jones’ 27-yard touchdown strike to Metayer, capping a 17-play drive that saw them run on 10 plays and eat up nearly seven minutes. A 33-yard field goal by Carter Brown put Cincinnati up 10-7 with 44 seconds left.

But the Cougars stole the halftime lead with Slovis’ 22-yard scoring pass to Darius Lassiter to finished off an 82-yard drive with six seconds on the clock, giving them a 14-10 advantage.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Kedon Slovis (10) throws a pass as Kansas Jayhawks defensive lineman Jereme Robinson (90) defends during the second half at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

BYU out to reach full potential in matchup with Cincinnati

After four games, BYU coach Kalani Sitake is certain of one thing.

“I know we are a good team, and we haven’t played our best yet,” Sitake said. “We definitely didn’t play our best (last week).”

Sitake and the Cougars will try to raise their level of play on Friday night when they face fellow Big 12 Conference newcomer Cincinnati in Provo, Utah, in their first conference home game.

BYU will aim to bounce back from a 38-27 loss at Kansas in its Big 12 opener.

After three nonconference victories, including a 38-31 win at Arkansas, BYU became the latest team to be unable to slow the Jayhawks’ high-powered attack. The Cougars led 17-14 at halftime but gave up the advantage only 22 seconds into the second half on a pick-six before yielding lengthy scoring drives on Kansas’ first three offensive possessions of the half.

BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis completed 30 of 51 passes for 357 yards with two scores and two interceptions. The Cougars (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) got nothing from their ground game (22 attempts, 9 yards) and allowed 6 yards per carry to the Jayhawks.

Slovis has thrown for 1,017 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions in four games, relying on the trio of Chase Roberts, Isaac Rex and Darius Lassiter. They have a combined 52 catches and five scores.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati (2-2, 0-1) got Oklahoma at home for its first Big 12 game and kept the Sooners in check but couldn’t do enough on offense in a 20-6 loss last week. The Bearcats held the Sooners 35 points under their average but went just 3-for-15 on third-down conversions and couldn’t find the end zone.

“I’m very proud of our defense,” first-year Cincinnati coach Scott Satterfield said. “They held a very high-powered offense to 20 points and didn’t get a lot of help from our offense.”

Bearcats quarterback Emory Jones was 22 of 41 for 235 yards but tossed two key interceptions. He has 970 passing yards and seven touchdowns in addition to five picks on the season.

BYU has won both games in the all-time series, a 38-24 home triumph in 2015 and a 20-3 decision at Cincinnati the following year.

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Emory Jones (5) celebrates after scoring a touchdown as Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Evan Prater (3) celebrates with him in the second quarter of the NCAA football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Eastern Kentucky Colonels at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports

Emory Jones (7 TDs), Cincinnati crush Eastern Kentucky

Emory Jones threw for five touchdowns and ran for two others as Cincinnati blasted visiting Eastern Kentucky 66-13 on Saturday in the Bearcats’ debut under coach Scott Satterfield.

Jones, a former Florida and Arizona State quarterback, had a sterling first game with his new team. He completed 19 of 23 passes for 345 yards.

Cincinnati led 42-7 at halftime while compiling 487 yards of total offense. It was a huge offensive showing for the Bearcats, who didn’t reach the 30-point mark in any of their final eight games of the 2022 season.

Cincinnati outgained Eastern Kentucky, an FCS team, 667-302 en route to its 22nd consecutive victory in a home opener.

Quarterback Parker McKinney was 13-for-24 for 177 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions for the Colonels. Running back Joshua Carter ran for 68 yards on seven attempts.

Satterfield, who was most recently with Louisville after coaching Appalachian State, saw his new team rack up three touchdowns in both the first and second quarters.

Corey Kiner rushed for 105 yards on 13 carries. Jones gained 26 yards on nine carries.

Jones threw two touchdown passes and for 143 yards on Cincinnati’s first two possessions while going 7-for-7 and gaining 11 yards on the ground.

The first points of the game came on Jones’ 49-yard connection with Xzavier Henderson, who finished with seven receptions for 149 yards. Next was a 39-yard touchdown hookup with Dee Wiggins.

Payten Singletary, Braden Smith and Aaron Turner also caught touchdown passes from Jones. Backup quarterback Brady Lichtenberg, who was 4-for-4, threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Barry Jackson Jr. in the fourth quarter.

Eastern Kentucky trailed 35-0 before scoring on McKinney’s 17-yard pass to Hunter Brown in the second quarter.

Patrick Nations kicked second-half field goals from 42 and 43 yards for the Colonels.

The Bearcats improved to 3-0 all-time vs. Eastern Kentucky after the first meeting since 2008.

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Emory Jones (5) prepares to pass the ball during the Cincinnati Bearcats spring scrimmage at Nippert Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2023.

Cincinnati Bearcats Football Spring Game April 15 2023

Cincinnati makes Big 12 bow against Eastern Kentucky

There are a lot of firsts taking place for the Cincinnati football team this weekend.

The Bearcats begin their first season as a member of the Big 12 Conference with a nonleague matchup with visiting Eastern Kentucky on Saturday afternoon.

It also marks the Cincinnati debut for coach Scott Satterfield, who arrived after previously coaching at Appalachian State and Louisville.

“I know our players will feed off of the excitement and the atmosphere and it’s just really inspirational to those guys and they’ll continue to bring it every play,” Satterfield said. “I want to make sure we’re putting a great product on the field that’s going to be very competitive and it’s going to make some plays that the people are going to be excited about.”

Eastern Kentucky coach Walt Wells acknowledged the historical impact of the contest for Cincinnati due to the move to a Power 5 conference.

“A huge game for them, for their fan base,” he said.

Cincinnati has won its past 21 home openers. However, the Bearcats had an overall home-field winning streak of 31 games end in their final home outing of 2022, falling in overtime to Tulane.

The Bearcats will go with well-travelled Emory Jones as their starting quarterback. He has previously started games for Florida and Arizona State.

Cincinnati’s only returning starter on offense is center Gavin Gerhardt.

Eastern Kentucky has quarterback Parker McKinney, a preseason Football Championship Subdivision All-American, directing its offense.

“I think it’s certainly going to be a test for our defense,” Satterfield said. “If you give this quarterback time, he can pick you apart. We have to be able to create some pressure there and get him off his spot in that pocket.”

Eastern Kentucky is a member of the new United Athletic Conference after spending last season in the ASUN.

“I like where we are with our team currently and coming off training camp,” Wells said.

He also said there are potential pitfalls going into a game against Cincinnati.

“Inexperience is something that says a lot about our football team,” Wells said. “That being said, we are experienced at the quarterback position.”

The Colonels are 3-2 in their past five openers and 54-50-6 all-time in the first games of a season.

The Bearcats won 40-7 in the last matchup with Eastern Kentucky in 2008. Cincinnati also won the only other clash by 31-0 in 2006. Both those meetings were also season openers.

Last year, Eastern Kentucky went to the state of Ohio and returned with a 59-57, seven-overtime victory against Football Bowl Subdivision member Bowling Green.

–Field Level Media

A Cincinnati Bearcats helmet lays on the turf during a spring practice at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on Thursday, March 24, 2022.

Cincinnati Bearcats Spring Practice

David Currey, former Cincinnati football coach, dies at 80

David Currey, Cincinnati’s football coach from 1984-88, died at age 80.

The university announced his death on Wednesday. No cause of death was given.

Currey also was the Bearcats’ acting athletic director in 1984. He resigned as football coach after the 1988 season with a 19-36 record.

Before his time in Cincinnati, Currey was the head coach at Long Beach State for seven seasons, compiling a 40-36 mark. He also was the offensive coordinator at Stanford for seven seasons.

After Cincinnati, he returned to California as athletic director at Chapman University in Orange, where he served from 1990-2015.

He is credited with overseeing the transition of Chapman athletics from a Division II school with 150 student-athletes with mediocre facilities to a Division III campus with state-of-the-art facilities and 500 participants.

–Field Level Media

Florida Gators wide receiver Xzavier Henderson (3) prays before the game during the Florida Gators Orange and Blue Spring Game at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Thursday, April 13, 2023. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

Ncaa Football Florida Gators Orange Blue Spring Game

Ex-Florida WR Xzavier Henderson transfers to Cincinnati

Former Florida wide receiver Xzavier Henderson announced Friday that he is transferring to Cincinnati.

He shared the news on Instagram, showing a photo taken inside the Cincinnati sports medicine building with the caption, “Today I woke up a Bearcat.”

Henderson becomes the third player to make the move from Gainesville to Cincinnati this offseason, following quarterback Emory Jones and defensive back Jordan Young.

In the 2022 season, Henderson started 11 games. He led the Gators with 38 catches and was third on the team in receiving yards with 410, adding two touchdowns.

Over his three seasons with Florida, he played in 35 games and caught 73 passes for 835 yards and five touchdowns.

A Miami native, Henderson was ranked by 247Sports as a four-star prospect and the No. 10 wide receiver in the Class of 2020.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans athletic director Mike Bohn reacts in the first half against the California Golden Bears at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Mike Bohn left Cincy for USC amid misconduct probe

Former athletic director Mike Bohn left Cincinnati for Southern California in 2019 amid an investigation into his “discriminatory and professional misconduct,” On3 reported Thursday.

On3 cited information found through a public records request.

The report comes one week after the Los Angeles Times reached out to Bohn and USC about internal criticism levied against the former administrator over alleged inappropriate comments to staff members.

Bohn, 62, abruptly resigned from USC the following day, Friday, citing “ongoing health challenges.”

At Cincinnati, three current or former UC Foundation or athletic department employees alleged that Bohn made “racially harassing and other unprofessional remarks,” per the On3 report.

At USC, the Times reported Bohn “made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female colleagues, including remarks about their dress, hair and weight, that staff members said made them feel uncomfortable.”

USC on Wednesday announced it had formed a leadership team on an interim basis until a permanent AD can be found. Dr. Denise Kwok, current executive senior associate AD, will act as interim executive administrator.

Three external administrators will support Kwok in the interim — former Penn State and Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour, former Duke deputy of athletics Mitch Moser and former Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg.

“This team brings depth, experience, and great expertise in championship-level Division I intercollegiate athletics, including NIL, recruiting and facilities management, operations, marketing, finance, and Big Ten conference processes and procedures,” USC president Carol Folt wrote in a letter to the athletic department. “They will augment the leadership and staff in our department and provide a broad national perspective on changes taking place nationally.”

Folt also announced a four-person internal transition team.

Bohn had been in charge of Trojans athletics since November 2019 and made a splashy hire in football coach Lincoln Riley as well as guiding the university’s pending move to the Big Ten Conference in 2024 with rival UCLA.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Ben Bryant (6) passes the ball against the Temple Owls during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati QB Ben Bryant transfers to Northwestern

Cincinnati quarterback Ben Bryant announced Wednesday that he is transferring to Northwestern.

It is the second time Bryant has departed Cincinnati. He was with the program from 2018-20, left for one season at Eastern Michigan before returning to play for the Bearcats last season.

Now he will play for the Wildcats and coach Pat Fitzgerald in 2023.

“Thank you Cincinnati for all you have done for me,” Bryant wrote on Twitter. “You will always be home. Thank you Coach Fitz for this incredible opportunity. Let’s get to work.”

Bryant is from La Grange, Ill., just southwest of Chicago, so he grew up in close proximity to the Evanston campus north of the Windy City.

Bryant passed for 2,732 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games last season. In his one season at Eastern Michigan, Bryant threw for a career-high 3,121 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

At Northwestern, Bryant will be in a competition with Ryan Hilinski and Brendan Sullivan for the starting job. Hilinski passed for 1,644 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight games last season while Sullivan had 589 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions in five games.

Northwestern went 1-11 in 2022.

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Ben Bryant (6) throws  a pass during the Cincinnati Bearcats spring scrimmage at Nippert Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2023.

Cincinnati Bearcats Football Spring Game April 15 2023

Cincinnati QB Ben Bryant in transfer portal

Cincinnati starting quarterback Ben Bryant has entered the transfer portal as a grad transfer.

Bryant threw for 2,732 yards and 21 touchdowns against seven interceptions in 2022 before suffering a season-ending foot injury in November. His 61.2 completion percentage ranked as the 10th best in school history.

The move would suggest that Arizona State transfer Emory Jones will be the Bearcats’ starting quarterback in 2023.

Bryant, not quite 100 percent recovered from surgery on the foot, competed last week in the Bearcats’ spring game under new coach Scott Satterfield.

Bryant has thrown for 6,406 yards and 37 TDs and 17 picks in five seasons with Cincinnati (2018-20; 2022) and Eastern Michigan (2021).

Satterfield became the new Bearcats coach in December after Luke Fickell left to take the Wisconsin job.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Texas Longhorns defensive end Justice Finkley (1) and Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Keondre Coburn (99) sack Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Davis Beville (11) during the second half at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 releases football schedule for 14-team season

The 2023 Big 12 football schedule, released on Tuesday, will make for some awkward get-togethers.

While BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are joining the league, Oklahoma and Texas have not yet departed for the SEC.

All 14 teams will play nine conference games, starting Sept. 16 when newcomer Houston hosts TCU, the 2022 College Football Playoff runner-up and a former Southwest Conference rival.

Texas will face just two of the Big 12’s newest entries, and the games will come back-to-back. The Longhorns will visit Houston Oct. 21 and host BYU Oct. 28

Oklahoma, meanwhile, will open its Big 12 schedule by visiting Cincinnati Sept. 23. The Sooners will later host UCF Oct. 21 and travel to BYU Nov. 18.

The annual Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma is set for Oct. 7 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

A rematch of last season’s Big 12 championship game, between TCU and equally surprising Kansas State, will be Oct. 21 in Manhattan, Kan.

Oklahoma State is slated to host Oklahoma on Nov. 4 in the Bedlam series matchup.

Oklahoma and Texas will join the SEC in either 2024 or 2025. The two bluebloods’ decision to jump ship prompted the Big 12 to invite BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, some of the most successful athletic programs from outside the power conferences.

–Field Level Media