Cincinnati Ben Bryant Ben Bryant (6) and the rest of the quarterbacks talk during the first day of preseason training camp at the University of Cincinnati s Sheakley Athletic Complex in Cincinnati on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. Bearcats Football Camp

One of the surprise teams of last college football season was the Cincinnati Bearcats, who were able to make the College Football Playoff led by star quarterback Desmond Ridder.

Now that Ridder was drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, the Bearcats will need to replace him to have a successful upcoming college football season, and they have made their decision just hours before their top-25 matchup against Arkansas on Saturday.

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell has named senior transfer Ben Bryant the team’s starting quarterback on Saturday, according to Chad Brendel of

Bryant started his college career at Cincinnati, where he sat behind Ridder from 2018-2020 before transferring to Eastern Michigan to be their starting quarterback, only to transfer back to Cincinnati after Ridder departed for the NFL.

While the team is expected to take a bit of a step back considering the loss of Ridder among many others Cincinnati departures for the NFL, hopes are still high from Cincinnati fans that they can have another impressive year.

Luke Fickell spoke very candidly about his team’s quarterback situation when asked during fall camp, saying that he feels comfortable about either Bryant or backup quarterback Evan Prater under center.

“I don’t worry about the quarterback position. I think we’ll be in really good shape and we’re in a really good position,” said Fickell.

Cincinnati’s first matchup against Arkansas will certainly be a big statement as to how the rest of the season may go for both teams.

Even though Cincinnati is coming off a College Football Playoff birth, it is Arkansas that is favored by 6.5 points coming into Saturday’s game, putting Cincinnati in a familiar situation as the underdog on Saturday.

[247 Sports, Chad Brendel]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.