Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead took home top Big East honors this year when he was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. He kept that momentum in his final game with the Bearcats with a 149-yard, 1 touchdown performance in a 31-24 win over Vanderbilt in the Liberty Bowl.
Pead has been one of the most productive, yet very underrated, backs this season.
In fact, the Bearcats (now 10-3) have quietly had a very good season. The only real bad loss was early in the season to Tennessee, which finished the season 5-7. Then again, the Vols were playing better football then and had quarterback Tyler Bray.
But beating a solid Vanderbilt team can make up for that. James Franklin‘s done a nice job in his first season with the Commodores and his team is no pushover.
Anytime you can beat an SEC school with at least a .500 record, it’s a good win.
Having quarterback Zach Collaros back and healthy without a doubt helped Cincy. If Collaros hadn’t gone down with a fractured ankle against West Virginia, the Bearcats might be in the Orange Bowl right now instead of the Mountaineers.
Cincinnati loses Collaros and Pead, though, and it’ll be difficult for Butch Jones to replace the productivity of those two.
Vanderbilt looks like it could be on the upswing as long as Franklin is the head coach.