Stadium: Alumni Stadium
Coach: Jeff Hafley
SU Record: 6-7
ATS Record: 7-6-0
|Sep. 4||vs Miami (OH)|
|Sep-11||vs Murray State|
2021 Cincinnati Bearcats Returning Stats Leaders
|Michael Young Jr.||29||332||11,4||33||3|
OVERALL RETURNING PRODUCTION FOR 2021/22
Cincinnati Bearcats Football Team
Brief History of the Cincinnati Bearcats Football Team
The football program at the University of Cincinnati is one of the nation’s oldest programs in history, with its first season starting back in 1885. They played in the first-ever intercollegiate football game against Miami University in 1888.
Nippert Stadium is one of the oldest college football stadiums as it was the home to the Cincinnati Bearcats since 1901. It is the 4th oldest site and 5th oldest stadium in college football. It has been considered the “baby Death Valley” in comparison to the vast Tiger Stadium of LSU.
Cincinnati joined their first conference, the Ohio Athletic Conference, around 1910 and remained there until 1927 where they joined the Buckeye Conference. There was a period until 1947 where the team was independent from a conference before joining the Mid American Conference.
They joined the Missouri Valley Conference in 1957 and would remain there until 1969 where they developed their offense to have the top passing offense in the nation under quarterback Greg Cook.
Cincinnati went through a rough patch for many decades until 2004, when they achieved their first winning season in 23 years. They transitioned into the Big East from the Conference USA in 2005. In 2008, Cincinnati won its first-ever outright Big East title and led them into their 2009 undefeated regular season.
In 2013, the Bearcats joined the American Athletic Conference, where they still remain to this day.
Their overall record since their emergence is 636-592-50, with a win percentage of .517. They have achieved 15 conference championships and 20 bowl games in their history.
Championships by the Cincinnati Bearcats Football Team
The Bearcats have never made it to the national championship game in their existence. 9 of their 15 conference championships have been outright. They were Big East Champions 4 out of 5 years from 2008-2012. Their most recent conference championship came last year as they went undefeated at 9-0 in the shortened covid season.
The Bearcats have played in 20 bowl games with a record of 10-10 in those games. The most prestigious of these bowl games came in 2008 with the Orange Bowl, 2009 with the Sugar Bowl, and 2020 with the Peach Bowl.
Key Stats by the Cincinnati Bearcats Football Team
On the offensive side, Gino Guidugli holds the record in Cincinnati Bearcats football history for most passing yards in a career (11,453) and a single season (3,542) which was in 2002. He also holds the most passing touchdowns in a career with 78. Right behind him, with 57, is Desmond Ridder, who will be looking to take that record this season if he can play up to that standard.
Reggie Taylor has the most career rushing yards in school history with 4,242. In second is DeMarco McCleskey (3,487), but he leads the school in rushing yards for a single season (1,361) in 2002 and career rushing touchdowns (37).
Shaq Washington has the most receptions for both his career (240) and a single season (90). Mardy Gilyard has the most career receiving yards in school history with 3,003, single season with 1,276, and single game with 381. Chris Moore had the most receiving touchdowns in his career (26) and is tied with many others for the most in a single game (3).
On the defensive side, Mike Mickens has the most interceptions in his career(14), and DeAngelo Smith had the most in the season of 2007 with 8. Karl Woods leads the program with tackles in his career (502) and a single game (31).
Antwan Peek is the program leader in sacks, with 27 in his career and 4 in a single game.
This year will be Cincinnati’s highest preseason AP ranking in history at 8 in Luke Fickell’s 5th year as Cincinnati’s head coach.
Top Players in Cincinnati Bearcats Football History
There have been many great players in Cincinnati football history. Some of the most notable include Gino Guidugli, Mardy Gilyard, Travis Kelce, and Antwan Peek.
Gino Guidugli holds almost all of the school’s passing and total offense records. He played from 2001-2004 with a total of 11,453 total passing yards with 78 touchdowns and a completion percentage of 56.6%. He went undrafted in the 2005 NFL draft but was then picked up by the Tennessee Titans for a short NFL career.
Mardy Gilyard was one of the best wide receivers to come out of the University of Cincinnati. He finished with 3,003 receiving yards on 204 receptions and 25 touchdowns as he played from 2005-2009. He was an All-American his senior year and was chosen to play in the 2010 Senior Bowl, where he won offensive player of the game. He was selected in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams.
Travis Kelce played from 2009-2012 for Cincinnati with being suspended his 2010 season. In his 2009 and 2011 seasons, he had a total of 2 touchdowns on 153 yards and 14 receptions. In his senior year alone, he had 45 receptions, 722 yards, and 8 touchdowns.
This 2012 season is what catapulted his NFL career by getting drafted in the 3rd round and now being one of the best tight ends in the game.
Antwan Peek had a school-record 27 sacks and added 200 tackles to his career as a linebacker while playing at Cincinnati. He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the 3rd round and played in the NFL for 6 seasons.
Top Coaches in Cincinnati Bearcats Football History
There were 3 coaches who have been crucial to the success of the Cincinnati Bearcats football program, including Sid Gilman, Brian Kelly, and Luke Fickell.
Sid Gilman led the UC football program during what is considered the greatest era of UC football so far. He had a record of 50-13-1, won 3 Mid-American Conference championships, and played in 2 bowl games during his 6 seasons at Cincinnati.
Brian Kelly took over after Mark Dantonio left for Michigan State. He led the Bearcats to their second-ever 10 win season in 2007. Then, in 2008, he led Cincinnati to their first-ever outright Big East Title and the Orange Bowl. In his last season, in 2009, Kelly’s Cincinnati Bearcats had an undefeated season and went to the Sugar Bowl.
Luke Fickell, the current head coach, has turned this football team around from its lackluster seasons after Kelly left. He led the Bearcats to an 11-2 season where he was named the AAC coach of the year. He followed that up with another 11-win the next season. In 2020, the Bearcats were undefeated in the regular season under Fickell, and he was named AAC coach of the year again.