At first glance, beating South Florida in their first American Athletic Conference game did not appear to be an obstacle to the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bulls (USF) came into the game 0-4, with a painful opening loss to McNeese State of the FCS subdivision. The Bearcats, were 3-1 with a loss to Illinois and victories over Purdue, Miami (OH), and Northwestern State.
Unfortunately, the Bearcats were in for a nightmare in Tampa. The game, which was not even televised, except for ESPN3 streaming, was controlled by the Bulls. In fact, USF jumped out to a 26-6 lead. Ironically, USF never scored an offensive touchdown, with scores on a blocked FG, a fumble TD return, and four field goals. UC quarterback Brendan Kay threw three TD passes, but also two INT. The Bearcats rallied, but the comeback fell short, and the final score was 26-20 USF. USF improved to 1-4 (1-0 AAC), and UC downgraded to 3-2 (0-1 AAC).
The game was the first for the Bearcats since a car accident killed a team member, and injured two others. A moment of silence was held in honor of the fallen redshirt freshman, Ben Flick.