All’s well that ends well. The Cincinnati Bearcats successful 2017 campaign concluded with a convincing win over the Duke Blue Devils by the score of 24-6. For UC first year Head Coach Jim Miller, the season couldn’t have gone much better. “I was really pleased with how we responded to adversity and rose to the occasion all year long.” he said. “We have a special group of seniors and they laid the foundation this year for a winning culture. I’m going to miss those [those guys].” he added. UC took the early lead on a 41-yard field goal by Kicker, Rosendo Porter. The first touchdown of the game came in the second quarter when senior Quarterback Bradly Tyler connected with Wide Receiver Donald Davis on a 22-yard touchdown strike. Porter added two more field goals (35yd and 25yd) to give the Bearcats the 15-0 lead going into Halftime. Duke’s only score of the day came midway through the third quarter on a 27-yard fumble recovery taken in for a Touchdown by Defensive End Alfred Rogers. The Blue Devils attempted a 2-Point Conversion that failed and had to settle for six points. It would be the only points they would score all game. The Bearcats scored for the final time on a 9-yard Touchdown pass that Quarterback Tyler placed perfectly in the corner of the end zone for Wide Receiver Michael Dahl. “It was the best pass he’s thrown all year.” Head Coach Miller said, “I hope the NFL scouts were watching that one, it was an all pro pass.” Playing in his final game the senior Quarterback Tyler ended the day 21 for 39 with 266 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception. The player of the game was Duke Sophomore Strong Safety Nathan Jack. Blue Devil Head Coach Jeremiah Davis said of Jack, “He played his heart out and gave us everything he had.” Jack ended the game with nine tackles and a season best two interceptions. For Cincinnati the day belonged to the defense, holding the Duke offense to 318 total yards and zero offensive points. “Our defense just kept getting better as the season went on and I’m so proud of the effort those kids gave today.” Coach Miller said. “I gave the game ball to the entire [defensive] squad.” Miller concluded.
The off season has officially begun for both programs and UC has reason to be excited for next year as a majority of the 11-win 2017 Bearcats were underclassmen. “The bar has been set high for next year and I’m confident we have the players coming back to take things to a new level.” Coach Miller said. For the Duke Blue Devils, Coach Davis hoped that the loss wouldn’t put a damper on what appears to be a great incoming class for 2018, “We have five or six top 50 recruits showing interest for next year,” Davis said, “Hopefully the blowout loss doesn’t hurt too that too much.”
Cincinnati is now 2-0 vs. Duke in bowl games.