AD / Communication Associate
ESPN last week also selected the defensive back 6-3 for their mid-season squad.
Gardner, who is rarely tested and starts in the limit, has two interceptions to go with 16 tackles and two PBUs to lead the second-placed Bearcats to a 6-0 start in 2021.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Detroit, Mich. Native has given FBS an efficiency rating of 44.2 this season. Quarterbacks made just 8 of 18 passes for 47 yards while targeting him. He’s never allowed a touchdown pass in his three-season career.
Gardner is the leader in Cincinnati’s top-ranked pass defense. The Bearcats lead the nation in defense of passing efficiency (87.9) and allow opposing quarterbacks to complete just 49.5% of attempted passes. Cincinnati has the best red zone defense in the country and the third scoring defense (13.7 points per game).
At No.9 Notre Dame, Gardner intercepted quarterback Jack Coan in the end zone in the first quarter to give UC a 17-0 lead en route to a 24-13 victory – the first-ever win for Cincinnati on a Top 10 team on the road.
In addition to Gardner’s honors, the junior running back Jerome Ford was named to The Athletic’s All-America midseason second team. Ford leads the AAC on rushing (118.2 yards per game) and is second in the country in touchdowns (12). He has won the AAC Offensive Player of the Week award for the past two weeks.
Cincinnati heads to the Navy for a Noon ET AAC contest on ESPN2.
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