Gunner Kiel‘s debut as a collegiate quarterback couldn’t have gone any better. Kiel was nearly perfect as the Cincinnati Bearcats lead the Toledo Rockets 41-14 through two quarters of play.
The drama that once surrounded Kiel is finally gone, and he can just play. And play he did. Kiel is 16-of-19 passing for 294 yards and four touchdowns against the Rockets.
The performance comes after a two-year wait. Kiel was considered a five-star recruit and the No. 1 rated high school quarterback in the 2012 recruiting class. Kiel originally gave the Indiana Hoosiers a verbal commitment before he flipped to the LSU Tigers. Kiel realized LSU wasn’t for him and decided to attend Notre Dame University. The young signal caller then transferred to Cincinnati after a year at Notre Dame.
Kiels decision didn’t bring out the best in LSU’s Les Miles at the time when the coach questioned Kiel’s ability to lead a program. Kiel is now getting the last laugh.
Gunner Kiel seems to have plenty of chest.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 13, 2014
As impressive as Kiel’s first-half performance was, the sophomore quarterback had plenty of help. Junior wide receiver Mekale McKay caught eight passes for 148 yards. Nine different receivers caught at least one pass during the first half.
As halftime approached, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville decided to pull Kiel and allowed senior Muchie Legaux to lead the offense for a series. Legaux will likely continue to play in the second half.
Cincinnati’s goal for the rest of the game should be to finish strong, while Toledo will want to build some momentum for next week’s contest against a MAC rival in the Ball State Cardinals.