‘Nothing’s done’: No. 2 Cincinnati, unbeaten so far, faces Navy

Cincinnati rose to No. 2 in The Associated Press poll, the highest ranking in program history, following its 56-21 victory over UCF last Saturday.Senior quarterback Desmond Ridder said he asked his coaches after Sunday night’s practice how they felt about that latest achievement.”They kind of stopped me and were like, ‘Hey, nothing changed. The job’s not finished. Nothing’s done,'” Ridder said. “I was like, ‘OK. As long as you guys are there, we can be there, too.’ “So this Saturday’s visit to Annapolis, Md., is little more than the next business trip for Cincinnati (6-0, 2-0) as the Bearcats prepare to face Navy (1-5, 1-3) in an American Athletic Conference game.”There’s no one who’s out here jumping around in their boots that we’re No. 2 or that’ll go out on the weekend wearing a No. 2 chain or something,” Ridder added with a grin.The long-term goal is still unspoken this early in the season: The Bearcats are shooting to become the first Group of Five team to earn a College Football Playoff berth, and they’ll likely need to stay perfect to make it.Last season’s 8-0 regular-season record and then a win in the AAC title game weren’t enough for the Bearcats to crack the field of four, but their 2021 resume so far looks stronger thanks to a 24-13 road win over then-No. 9 Notre Dame on Oct. 2.The last time Cincinnati visited Navy was in 2017, Luke Fickell’s first year coaching the program. The Midshipmen ran for 569 yards that day and won 42-32.”That’s something you never forget,” Fickell said. “The triple option stuff’s always gonna be unique. I think every year, you’ve got to have some wrinkles and you’ve got to be sound in what you’re doing. But I think it’s always, as soon as you think you’ve got something a little bit figured out, it can get really ugly really quick.”

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