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Undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats crack Top 25 in both major college football polls

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Posted at 4:39 AM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 05:08:46-04

CINCINNATI – The 6-0 Cincinnati Bearcats got their first Top 25 rankings since 2013 on Sunday.

UC moved into No. 25 in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY coaches polls. It is UC’s first AP ranking (writers poll) since Oct. 14, 2012  and the first USAT ranking (coaches poll)  since Dec. 1, 2013.

Coach Luke Fickell's Bearcats are one of the best rags-to-riches stories in college football, coming off two straight 4-8 seasons in Fickell's second season at UC. The Bearcats are defeating opponents by an average of 18.4 points per game, which includes home wins over Alabama A&M, Ohio and Tulane and road triumphs at UCLA, Miami (Ohio) and UConn.

UC ranks first in team passing efficiency defense among the NCAA FBS teams. It’s also in the top 10  in scoring defense (3), total defense (5), net punting (6) and passing yards allowed (8).

RB Michael Warren II has rushed for 675 yards and 11 touchdowns, equaling last year's team total of 11 rushing TDs. Redshirt freshman QB Desmond Ridder has completed nearly 66 percent of his passes in five starts. He has thrown for 10 TDs and rushed for four.

DT Cortez Broughton has 11.0 tackles for a loss and 5.0 sacks, surpassing his career numbers prior to the 2018 season. Linebackers Perry Young, Bryan Wright   and Malik Clements rank 1-2-3 on the team in tackles with 29, 27 and 26, respectively.

UC, off this week, plays at Temple on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Ohio State (6-0) is third in both polls. Kentucky (5-1) is 18th in AP, 20th in USAT.