Football, Sports, WVU Sports

Win-loss record doesn’t tell the full story of Cincinnati’s season

MORGANTOWN — It would be very easy to write off Cincinnati this season.
The Bearcats are sitting at just 3-7 (1-5 Big 12) and are just another one of the Big 12 newcomers struggling in their first season in the conference. 

The stats tell a different story, however, and WVU head coach Neal Brown isn’t looking past the Bearcats when they come to Morgantown this Saturday (2:30 p.m./ESPN+).

“It was a good win on the road for them last week,” Brown said of UC’s 24-14 win over Houston. “I think that’s the best they’ve played and they’ll have some confidence rolling in here.”

Cincinnati was 0-5 in Big 12 play prior to defeating Houston last week and had lost six games in a row, dating back to Sept. 9.

“Our most complete game this season in all three aspects,’ UC coach Scott Satterfield said. “It’s been a long time coming to get our first Big 12 win. Been close in a lot of opportunities this year and just hadn’t come through, but we did this week.”

Although Cincinnati has seven losses, four of them have been by one score or less. Two games, 32-29 vs. Baylor and 28-26 vs. UCF, were lost by a field goal or less.

“I think it shows our guys are continuing to fight, continuing to put the time and work in and trying to get better,” Satterfield said. “We’re having guys have their best games this late in the season, which is awesome. We want to continue that this week going to West Virginia.”

Cincinnati has been one of the top rushing teams in the Big 12 all season, currently sitting in second averaging 223.3 yards per game. The Bearcats also defend the run well, allowing just 138.7 yards per game, fifth-best in the conference.

“If you just look at the stats and didn’t look at the win-loss record, they’re a team that’s one of the top rushing teams in the whole conference and defensively they stop the run at a high rate,” Brown said. “Then you look at their win-loss record and they’ve won three games and one league game. It’s really a weird makeup. They’ve been in almost all their games and lost some close ones, but they did play their best against Houston on the road.”

Against the Cougars, UC ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns and forced three turnovers on defense. Running back Corey Kiner ran for 129 yards and two scores while quarterback Emory Jones completed 13 of 16 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown.

“They’ve started to pick it up at the end of the season,” WVU defensive lineman Jalen Thornton said. “They went into Houston and got a win and that was something we were not able to do.”

West Virginia lost at Houston earlier this season in a game where the Mountaineers only mustered a55 rushing yards and Houston scored on a last-second Hail Mary to win 41-39.

“This time in November, teams really start to show who they are,” Thornton said. “They turn the tide and start to get it rolling so I’m not even thinking about their record. They’re a good team.”