By Bailey Curtiss on Oct. 23, 2021

The Cincinnati Bearcats escape an impressive first-half performance by the Navy Midshipmen and win 27-20. Navy, entering the game with a 1-5 record, only trailed the Bearcats by three at halftime.

Cincinnati’s offense started off slow in the first half, with the only touchdown being a 31-yard pass by Desmond Ridder to tight end Josh Whyle. The two would later connect again in the second half on a three-yard touchdown pass. These were Ridder’s only touchdowns of the game, throwing for 176 yards on 18/30 passes, and turning the ball over only once on an interception. These were also Whyle’s first two touchdowns of the season.

A kicking battle between two Bearcats was on display at the end of the first half, as Cincinnati’s Christian Lowery tied the game with a 32-yard kick, and Alex Bales made a 52-yard attempt to close out the half at a score of 13-10. Despite the longer make from Bales, Lowery remained the kicker for extra points in the second half.

The rushing offense exploded to begin the second half, as Jerome Ford ran 43 yards for a touchdown to bring the lead to 10. Ford finished the game with 90 yards on 15 carries. Navy’s triple-option offense outran the Bearcats, rushing for 192 yards, and scoring two rushing touchdowns with quarterback Tai Lavatai.

Despite the Bearcats victory, Navy dominated time of possession during the game, having the ball for nearly 40 out of 60 minutes. The Midshipmen also had more yards and first downs than Cincinnati, with 308 total yards and 22 first downs. The Bearcats move to 7-0 on the year, winning their third conference game of the season. Cincinnati is on the road for the second week in a row, traveling to New Orleans to face Tulane next Saturday. 

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