Well, so much for an upset. And an improved defense.
Cincinnati went into Tennessee with high hopes of getting some national attention back with a powerful offense and better defense. Instead, the Bearcats were thoroughly beaten 45-23 and were never in the game past halftime.
Tyler Bray threw for 405 yards on 34-of-41 passing, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Justin Hunter had 156 yards receiving with a touchdown, and Da'Rick Rogers added 100 yards and two scores, their physical size advantage over the smaller Cincinnati defenders making it look easy.
It was the same old story for Cincinnati, which had problems in the secondary last season. It is not as if the Vols are one of the more highly rated teams in the SEC, either. But they converted 11 of 14 third downs and finished with 531 total yards of offense.
After getting out of the first quarter with the score tied at 14, Cincinnati managed just one more touchdown -- in the fourth quarter with the game already out of reach. Isaiah Pead had 155 yards rushing in the lone bright spot, and a really nice 65-yard touchdown run.
With the loss, the Big East is now 0-3 against FBS teams on the weekend, with losses for Louisville and Rutgers as well.