With Bryant out, redshirt sophomore Evan Prater will make his first career start for the No. 24 Bearcats in Friday’s game against the No. 19 Tulane (afternoon ET, ABC). Prater, who was an ESPN 300 prospect, is considered one of the most decorated recruits in the program’s history.
Prater finds himself in a dangerous situation. The Bearcats and Green Wave are both 6-1 in the American Athletic Conference game, and a win in Cincinnati would mean the Bearcats would host the Conference Championship game at Nippert Stadium next week. It would mark their third straight title game hosting. A Bearcats loss combined with a UCF to convince South Florida would knock the Bearcats out of the title game.
Bryant left last week’s game against Temple in the first half and was spotted down the sideline late in the game with a shoe on his right foot. He had started every game for Cincinnati this season after returning to the school Eastern Michiganthrowing for 2,732 yards, 21 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
The insertion of Prater will mean a very different dynamic on offense for Cincinnati. Prater, a former Mr. Football from Ohio, is six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds and brings real dual threat dynamics.
Prater has made a big impact on the Bearcats this season. He led a come-from-behind victory over South Florida in October and played most of the game against Temple after Bryant’s injury, finishing 12-for-17 for 127 yards.
In 2022, Prater has completed 72% of his pass attempts and has run for 113 yards and a touchdown. In his career, he has three rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns, while totaling 222 rushing yards and 276 passing yards in 15 games over three seasons.