Sept. 22, 2011
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CINCINNATI - After a dominating defensive performance, the University of Cincinnati football team (3-1) defeated the NC State Wolfpack (2-2), 44-14, at Nippert Stadium in front of 28,431 fans on Thursday evening. Two of UC's touchdowns came from takeaways, while the defensive held NCSU to -26 rushing yards. Senior running back Isaiah Pead lit up the offense, recording his second 100-yard rushing game of the season with 167 yards, while senior quarterback Zach Collaros went 25-of-34 for 263 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to two rushing touchdowns.
Following one scoreless possession each, junior Pat O'Donnell kicked a 76-yard punt - the second longest in Bearcat history - pinning the ball at NC State's 3-yard line. Just as the Wolfpack was gaining yardage, junior defensive back Drew Frey made his first pick of the year, which eventually allowed Pead to continue his streak, putting Cincinnati's first points on the board for the fourth-consecutive game.
Forced to punt after a three-and-out, Cincinnati took over in its own territory and began its march down the field. However, after Collaros was sacked, UC found itself in a third-and-17 situation. But junior wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins kept the drive alive with a 44-yard reception and the Bearcats found themselves in the endzone a second time to give the hosts the 14-0 lead with 8:34 remaining in the first quarter.
Senior linebacker J.K. Schaffer continued the defensive domination when he grabbed an interception with one minute remaining in the first quarter and then, as if by second nature, Collaros and company brought it in for another touchdown to make it 21-0.
On the Wolfpack's next drive, Cincinnati got its third turnover of the evening when sophomore defensive back Deven Drane recovered a fumble at the NCSU 28-yard line. UC's scoring efforts were halted when David Amerson picked off Collaros and T.J. Graham made an 87-yard run to put NC State on the board, 21-7, with 4:30 left in the half.
The Bearcats made their way down the field, yet again, and freshman kicker Tony Miliano capped a nine-play, 54-yard drive with a 26-yard field goal to give Cincinnati the 24-7 edge heading into the locker room.
UC didn't show any signs of letting up in the second half, as sophomore wide receiver Anthony McClung single-handedly gave the Bearcats 57 yards on the drive and allowed for a 48-yard field goal by Miliano to increase the lead, 27-7.
After a scoreless NCSU drive, Cincinnati began its longest drive of the evening, which was highlighted by a 25-yard touchdown pass to Pead.
NC State answered on its ensuing drive when it went 67 yards in less than three minutes and recorded its second touchdown to narrow the margin, 34-14. But it didn't last long for the Bearcats to put the points back on the board, as Pead recorded his first rushing touchdown of the night.
Miliano put the final points on the board with a 22-yard field goal to make the final score 44-14.
The Bearcats will travel to Miami (OH) on Saturday, Oct. 1 for a 1 p.m. matchup before their bye week.