Director / Strategic Brand Engagement
CINCINNATI — Finally, Cincinnati’s 2022 football season will kick off on Saturday when the No. 22 Bearcats head south to take on No. 19 Arkansas. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm on ESPN.
This marks the first ever meeting between the schools.
“Week 1 is unique to me, and in college football, I know at any other level, you can test yourself against someone else, but not in college football,” the head coach said. lucas fickell He said he opened his Tuesday news conference. “Every year it’s something like that, but to start a game like this, on the road in a crazy hostile environment, it’s going to be unique for us. With a lot of new faces, these guys have been here, they just haven’t been the recognizable faces. It’s been a long time coming, I know our guys have been incredibly excited.
Led by Fickell, the reigning consensus National Coach of the Year, and 12 returning starters, the Bearcats are two-time defending AAC champions and are coming off a 13-1 season that culminated in a trip to the College Football Playoff at 2021. Going 44-7 since the start of 2018, Cincinnati’s 86% winning percentage ranks among the top five winning percentages in the country over the past four years.
Cincinnati lost a school record nine players in the NFL Draft, but leaders like TE return Josh Whylea third-team All-American in 2020 and a two-time All-AAC selection, all five offensive line starters, three senior defensive linemen and three-year starters at defensive back in arquon bush and Ja’von Hicks. Whyle has 12 career touchdown receptions for him, including scores in each of the last two season openers. he and leonardo taylor they were on the Mackey Award watch list for the best tight end in the country, accounting for two of the 15 overall preseason nominees for the Bearcats.
Also, Whyle, linebacker wilson huberdefensive lineman jabari tayloroffensive lineman Dylan O’Quinn and wide receiver tre tucker all were announced as team captains.
• UC is 5-0 in season starts under Fickell and has won 11 straight season starts, dating back to 2011.
• Cincinnati last opened the season on the road against a Top 25 opponent in 2004, traveling to face No. 9 Ohio State.
• The Bearcats won back-to-back non-conference road games in 2021, defeating Top 25 preseason opponent Indiana, 38-24, in Bloomington, Indiana, before traveling to South Bend, Indiana, to defeat No. 9 Notre Give me , 24-13. The win over the Fighting Irish was the Bearcats’ first over a Top 10 opponent on the road.
• Cincinnati has capped the season against SEC opponents in the New Year’s Six Bowl Games the past two seasons, facing Alabama in the Cotton Bowl in the CFP Semifinals in 2021 and Georgia in the Peach Bowl in 2020.
• The Bearcats have 17 wins over the all-time SEC, nine against Kentucky and four against Vanderbilt.
• The Bearcats have won eight straight on the road. UC’s last road loss came on Dec. 7, 2019, in Memphis at the 2019 AAC Championship. • The Bearcats opened the 2021 campaign with a 49-14 win over Miami, Ohio at Nippert Stadium, which was highlighted with an 81-yard touchdown pass from Desmond Rider a Tyler Scott in the play of the first pass of the season 45 seconds into the game. returners why, leonardo taylor Y Ryan Montgomery all also caught touchdowns, while Evan Prater had a hasty score.
• The first match of 2020 was won 55-20 over Austin Peay. ben bryant he threw one touchdown and ran for another, while Tucker and Whyle each caught touchdowns. Bush had a 31-yard interception return.
• Cincinnati last opened the season on the road against UCLA in 2018 when the Bearcats erased a 10-point deficit to defeat the Bruins, 26-17, in the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. Ridder came off the bench in his first career game in victory. • Fickell’s 48 wins are already the third-most in Cincinnati history and he needs just six wins to surpass Rick Minter as the winningest coach in Cincinnati football history.
MOST VICTORIES IN CINCINNATI HISTORY
53-63-1 Rick Minter (10 seasons)
50-13-1 Sid Gillman (six seasons)
48-15 lucas fickell (five seasons)
• Junior shawn beat, a dynamic defensive playmaker, finished sixth in the conference and third on the team with 94 tackles, as well as adding a team-high nine for loss and four interceptions. His field goal block at Navy and his subsequent return set up a 52-yard field goal as time expired.
• Pace was named AAC Defensive Player of the Week after posting a total of 10 tackles and an interception in the fourth quarter in a 38-24 win at Indiana. He also had a 27-yard INT at Notre Dame. • Transfer of older people Ivan Paz Jr.He had six sacks in a single game, to tie an NCAA record, while starring for Miami (Ohio). The 2021 MAC Defensive Player of the Year by PFF College is expected to be a playmaker alongside his brother, a junior linebacker. shawn beat, and the rest of your position group. He tied for 10th nationally with 125 total stops a year ago. • Senior wide receiver tre tucker he has already proven to be one of the best kick returners in the country after leading the AAC with a 29.9 kick return average en route to all-conference honors in 2020. He has two career kick return touchdowns, rushing for a touchdown against USF in 2020 and a momentum-turning 99-yard score at Indiana in 2021. The 5-9, 175-pounder from Akron, Ohio has 60 career receptions and five touchdown receptions. • Senior nose tackle Jowon-Briggs is ready to break. The football strength coach calls the 6-1, 313-pound player the strongest player on the team. Brady Collins. He is also married with two children and starred in Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. A former four-star recruit and Under Armor All-America, he began his career at Virginia before transferring home last season. He rotated at defensive end in 2021 and finished with 42 tackles, including three sacks. He came in strong at the end of the season recording a sack in each of the final regular season games. He is also an accomplished singer.