RedHawk upset bid runs out of gas
By MIKE SMITH
CINCINNATI, OH -- Miami (1-2) built an early 10-0 lead, but the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-1) used strong defense and a potent passing game to come back for a 38-17 win over MU Saturday at Paycor Stadium. It was the 16th straight win in the series for UC, which retains the Victory Bell trophy and now leads the series (60-59-7) for the first time since 1915.
Quarterback Ben Bryant, who spent last year starting at Eastern Michigan before returning to UC, completed 26-of-35 passes for 337 yards with two TDs and one interception to lead the Bearcats offense. Meanwhile, former RedHawk Ivan Pace Jr. topped UC defenders with eight tackles as Cincinnati limited Miami to 183 yards of total offense and 1.9 yards per rush.
Miami freshman Aveon Smith, again starting in place of . . .
injured junior Brett Gabbert, completed 9-of-21 passes for 116 yards with two TDs and one interception. Meanwhile, the RedHawk ground game was limited to 67 yards on 34 carries (1.9 ypc).
As they did at Kentucky in Week One, the RedHawks struck early, moving down the field to score on their first possession. Smith connected with MAC Hippenhammer on a 36-yard pass to complete the drive. Graham Nicholson's PAT put Miami up 7-0.
Cincinnati had barely started its first drive when MU forced -- and recovered -- a fumble. Eight plays later, Nicholson kicked a 36-yard field goal to make it a 10-0 game. The Bearcats would fumble five times -- losing two -- on the day. Both set up scores.
Cincinnati's second drive resulted in a touchdown and UC then forced a Miami punt. However, three plays into the following drive, the 'Cats again fumbled. Given another short field, MU added another touchdown. This time Smith found Jack Coldiron for two yards near the right pylon.
With 12:39 left before intermission, MU led 17-7, but the RedHawks would be unable to score after that. Meanwhile, Cincinnati put 17 more points on the board before halftime. Corey Kiner scored on a 1-yard run at 9:54 and Ryan Coe tied the game with a 26-yard field goal at 6:11. After intercepting a Miami pass with just over two minutes left, the 'Cats drove 88 yards to take the lead. Bryant lofted a pass to Nick Mardner for the 10-yard TD.
Defense dominated the second half, but Cincinnati managed to put up one touchdown in each of the final two periods.
>> Ryan McWood led the Miami defensive effort with 13 tackles. JacQuez Warren and Matthew Salopek recorded nine apiece, with the former also picking off a pass. Caiden Woullard had two TFL.
>> Punter Dom Dzioban averaged 47.1 yards per boot, with a long of 55.
>> Mac Hippenhammer led MU with four catches for 62 yards with one score. Kevin Davis (7 carries, 30 yards) was the top RedHawk rusher.
>> Cincinnati owned 232 rushing yards against Kennesaw State the previous week, but totaled 122 against Miami.
>> The RedHawks registered three sacks in the game and generally had more pressure on Bryant in the second half. Cincinnati was credited with four sacks of Smith.
Editor-Publisher Mike Smith
Mike grew up in Mid-American Conference football and basketball territory and returned there after military service. He has been covering MAC football and men's basketball for much of the last several decades.