New DC Mike Tressel lays out plan

Defense is something the University of Cincinnati football team does exceptionally well.

In fact, the No. 8/10-ranked  (Associated Press/Coaches) Bearcats have done it better than every other team in the American Athletic Conference over the past three seasons.

Cincinnati finished in the top 15 nationally in five categories last season, including tied for third in both interceptions (16) and pass efficiency defense. The Bearcats have been the top team in the American in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense in recent history.

When Cincinnati kicks off its 2021 season against in-state rival Miami University on Sept. 4 at Nippert Stadium, it will mark the start of Luke Fickell's fifth season at the helm of the Bearcats program. It also will be Fickell's first season at Cincinnati without defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman.

Freeman left Fickell and the Bearcats in January to take over the defense at Notre Dame. (Cincinnati is scheduled to play the Fighting Irish on Oct. 2 in South Bend.) Freeman had been the orchestrator of the Bearcats' defense since Fickell took over at Cincinnati in December 2016. That job now belongs to Mike Tressel.

More:Paul Daugherty: It's time to change MLB wild card format. Be quick about it.

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