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CINCINNATI - Following a stellar performance by the defense, the University of Cincinnati football team defeated Akron, 59-14, on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium. Senior wide receiver DJ Woods led the offense with two catches for 62 yards, while freshman linebacker Clemente Casseus paced the defense with five tackles.
Senior quarterback Zach Collaros went 10-of-16 for 157 yards as one of four quarterbacks who saw action against the Zips.
The Bearcats got off to a quick start with the help of senior running back Isaiah Pead, who touched the ball multiple times before capping a nine-play, 60-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown. It marked the third-straight game he recorded a rushing touchdown and was the third-consecutive game UC scored on its opening drive.
The Zips attempted to follow suit, but senior defensive lineman Derek Wolfe got to quarterback Clayton Moore, knocking the ball loose and subsequently allowing junior linebacker Maalik Bomar to run it back 54 yards for a touchdown with 8:21 remaining in the first.
Down by 14, Moore committed his second turnover of the day after junior defensive lineman Dan Giordano forced and recovered a fumble with 2:15 left in the half, but the Zips' defense stood tall and blocked the Bearcats' field goal attempt to keep the score at 14-0 at the end of the quarter.
On Akron's second possession, senior defensive back Dominique Battle intercepted a pass from Moore and scored his first-career touchdown on a 36-yard run, giving Cincinnati the 21-0 advantage.
After the Zips were forced to punt, the Bearcats marched down the field, yet again, on its next drive, which was highlighted by a 50-yard reception by senior wide receiver DJ Woods. Collaros pitched in another rushing touchdown - his first of the season - to make the score 28-0.
The Bearcats kept clawing their way into the end zone, this time by way of senior tight end Adrien Robinson, who caught a 15-yard pass and gave the hosts a 35-point advantage.
UC continued to shut down Akron's offense, as it allowed just 10 yards before senior linebacker JK Schaffer made an interception to put the ball on Akron's 43-yard line. Junior running back George Winn capped the five-play, 29-yard drive with his first-career rushing touchdown.
The defense recorded its third touchdown of the day when junior defensive back Camerron Cheatham picked off Moore and ran it back 53 yards to make the score 49-0 heading into the locker room.
Akron threatened to score on the opening drive of the second half, but sophomore defensive back Deven Drane denied any Zips' points by catching his first-career interception in the end zone with 10:38 left on the clock.
Following a field goal by freshman kicker Tony Miliano, the two teams traded two possessions each before freshman running back Jameel Poteat ran in his first-career touchdown - a seven-yard rush - to make the score 59-0.
The Zips avoided a shutout when Keith Sconiers caught a 51-yard pass from Moore and finally got Akron on the board. The visitors added one more touchdown in the last minute to make the final score 59-14.
Cincinnati has a quick turnaround for a Thursday, Sept. 22 matchup with N.C. State at Nippert Stadium at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN/ESPN3D/ESPN3.