Cincinnati benches QB Gunner Kiel in favor of Hayden Moore
The tumultuous college career of Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel took another turn on Monday, as the former top recruit has been benched in favor of Hayden Moore.
"Hayden was our most consistent quarterback from spring football all the way through camp," head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "He gives us the best chance to win right now. Gunner Kiel and Ross Trail will continue to battle for the backup QB spot, but it's important all three be ready to play when we kick this thing off in 10 days."
Kiel threw for 2,777 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in an injury-plagued 2015 season, but missed the team's bowl game for undisclosed personal reasons. Moore performed admirably in Kiel's absence, throwing for 1,885 yards with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Kiel originally enrolled at Notre Dame in 2012 as one of the top quarterback prospects in the country. His stay with the Fighting Irish was short, as he transferred to Cincinnati before ever playing a game with Notre Dame. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder starred for the Bearcats in 2014, throwing for 2,354 yards and an impressive 31 touchdowns.
It's likely Tuberville was thinking of the program's future when making the decision, as Moore is a redshirt sophomore with multiple years of eligibility remaining. 2016 will be the final campaign of Kiel's college career, as he is a fifth-year senior.
Cincinnati opens the season Sept. 1 against UT-Martin.