Sunday, September 19, 1999

BEARCATS NOTEBOOK


Kenner passes his test

The Associated Press

        The statistics that generally measure a quarterback's play might not be flattering to Cincinnati Bearcats junior Deontey Kenner.

        Saturday against No.9 Wisconsin, he competed 14-of-27 passes for only 90 yards and no touchdowns. By UC coach Rick Minter's gauge, though, Kenner was nearly perfect.

        No interceptions. No sacks. No obvious blunders.

        On UC's second touchdown drive, Kenner perfectly executed a third-down option play that led to a 14-yard gain by tailback Robert Cooper. Kenner then scored on a quarterback draw.

        “I think Deontey is a major-league quarterback right now,” Minter said.

        Kenner left Cincinnati immediately following the game to fly home to Florida. His grandmother suffered a seizure Saturday morning and required emergency surgery. His family elected not to tell him about it until the game was over.

        “I hope the fans enjoy this. I hope the team enjoys it,” Kenner said. “When I get a chance to enjoy it the way I should, I will.”

        BACK AT BACK: UC senior tailback Robert Cooper returned to the lineup after missing the loss to Troy State because of the death of his aunt. He gained 143 yards on 20 carries, an average of 7.2 per carry.

        “This was an emotional week for me,” Cooper said. “I knew I had to stay positive, because we had a tough loss last week. By me being negative and showing all my pain — I tried to be upbeat, laugh, smile, joking. I was focused on the game, because this was a big game for us.”

        The 100-yard game was the fourth of his career; he's had one in each season at UC. It was his second against a Big Ten school. Last year's was 161 yards against Indiana.

        “We really missed him against Troy State,” Kenner said. “We missed his leadership on the field and off the field.”

        BANGED UP: Minter said it's possible tight end Nate Hice was lost for the year when he was injured covering a punt return. Hice, a junior, tore two ligaments in his knee and will be examined Monday.

       



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