The 2022 Defense Looks A Lot Like The 2018 Defense


UH football has come a long way since 2018, but unfortunately, three right turns led us right back to where they started: 5-3 in the conference and tied for the 4th best record.

The more things change:

2018 AAC Standings

SchoolAAC RecordOverall Record
Cincinnati 6-211-2

2022 AAC Standings

SchoolAAC RecordOverall Record
Cincinnati 6-29-3

The similarities don’t end there. After seeing the defense improve year over year, culminating with a dominant defensive season in 2021, it collapsed to the D’Onofrio level in 2022.

UH has done everything possible for four years to improve the defense from 2018. They have attacked the portal to find as many players as possible to fill significant holes. The offensive philosophy was even changed to protect the defense. In 2018 UH averaged 25:03 in time of possession which was one of the worst in the country. In 2022 UH averaged 29:55, which was middle of the pack. The defense could not get teams off the field.

Everything was falling into place last year. The defense was restocked with talent and depth, and they popped off. That defense finished the year #6 in total defense, #19 in scoring defense, and was the #1 3rd down defense in the country. And then, 2022 happened. Or maybe 2018 happened again. Out of 131 teams nationally:

Scoring Defense117106
Total Defense110126
3rd Down D117111

UH was expected to take a small step back in defensive production this year, but that’s all. And how could it not? Defensive lineman Logan Hall was taken in the 2nd round, cornerback Marcus Jones in the 3rd round, and Damarion Williams in the 4th round. This defense wasn’t expected to be a top-10 group this season, but there’s no justification for being a bottom-20 defense, either.

But the stats don’t lie:

1st Down D115127
Pass Yards Allowed126129
Rushing Defense5899
Red Zone Defense130124
Red Zone D130124
Passing Efficiency D11760
Turnover Margin11831
Turnovers Gained12452
Fumbles Recovered11742
Passed Intercepted9421
Team Sacks3580
Team TFL 832
Time of Possession63128

That 2018 staff was unceremoniously swept out, and the current regime was put in its place. And after four years, they need to win a bowl game to equal the terminated staff.

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