While he likely won’t go down in the all-time NCAA history books, Brendon Kay has had a memorable run as the quarterback of the Cincinnati Bearcats. The sixth-year senior has been a fixture on the Bearcats’ roster for what seems like forever and has stepped up when called on the last two years to lead Cincinnati to the bowl season. With a second straight trip to the Belk Bowl, Kay will finally wrap up his collegiate career where he hopes to end his time in Cincinnati on a high note.
Late in the 2012 season, Kay was inserted into the starting lineup for Cincinnati in place of an ineffective Munchie Legaux and sparked the Bearcats to a share of the then-Big East title. After getting another year of eligibility from the NCAA, Kay returned as the backup in 2013 but was called upon again to replace Legaux again after the starter suffered a gruesome leg injury in the second game of the season. Tommy Tuberville wasted no time turning the team over to Kay and was rewarded for it.
Kay stepped up and led the Cincy offense through the air, throwing for at least 299 yards in each of the Bearcats’ final six games, including back-to-back 400-yard performances in the games leading up to their season finale loss to the Louisville Cardinals. His performance sparked Cincinnati to a six-game winning streak as they won six of their last seven games of the season win nine games in the regular season. Now, he gets one last shot to lead the Bearcats and get them to the lofty heights of a 10-win season.
To do so, he’ll have to get Cincinnati past the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Belk Bowl. UNC has been a major disappointment in the ACC this season but still have an offense capable of getting up and down the field in a hurry. Kay will have to keep the Cincinnati offense on track and lead drives that result in points to keep the Bearcats ahead of the Heels. It will be Kay’s final game at quarterback for Cincinnati. Will he be able to go out on a high note?