The Bearcats started the season 3-1 with a road win at Big Ten Conference program Purdue and picked up their 11th-straight win over longtime rival Miami (Ohio).
UC’s defense forced 24 turnovers (17 INT, 7 FR) and 19 sacks after forcing 14 turnovers (9 INT, 5 FR) with 13 sacks in 2015 season. The defense improved 15 spots in the NCAA FBS rush defense rankings, 16 spots in scoring defense, 58 spots in team tackles for loss and 24 spots in sacks.
LB Eric Wilson earned First Team All-American Athletic Conference honors after leading the Bearcats and American Athletic Conference in tackles, averaging 10.8 stops per game. He finished with 129 tackles, notching double-digit stops in eight games, including a season-high 16 tackles against East Carolina.
DT Cortez Broughton earned second-team all-league honors after tallying 42 tackles, five for a loss, two-and-a-half sacks, a pair of pass break-ups and his first career interception.
Ohio native Luke Fickell, the former defensive coordinator at Ohio State with 18 years of FBS experience, was tabbed as the 42nd head coach in program history on Dec. 10, 2016. In less than eight weeks after his hire, Fickell put together a veteran, talented staff and signed one of the top-rated recruiting classes in the AAC.
Former safety Mike Tyson was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2017 NFL Draft. Several other former players will enter training camp on NFL rosters, including Deyshawn Bond (Indianapolis Colts), Tion Green (Detroit Lions) and Wilson (Minnesota Vikings).