Final score: Cincinnati (3-1, 0-0 BIG EAST) 17, Akron 15 (2-3, 0-0 MAC)
Cincinnati Captains: Khalil El-Amin (79), Lamonte Nelms (10). Akron Captains: Doug Williams (54), Brian Flaherty (15), Andrew Johnson (7), Merce Poindexter (83).
Tony Pike completed seven straight passes in the Miami (OH) game and continued his completion streak in the first quarter. Pike completed his first three passes of the game, extending his streak to 10.
Pike threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mardy Gilyard in the first half and has completed a touchdown pass in each of his games this season. In the third quarter, Pike connected with Gilyard for a career-long pass (67 yards) that resulted in a touchdown. Pike finished the game with a career high 320 passing yards, the second week in a row he has set a career high in passing yards and the first UC player since Ben Mauk to throw for 300+ yards in a game (Mauk, 344 passing yards vs. Southern Miss, Dec. 22, 2007). Pike left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury and did not return.
Mardy Gilyard has a touchdown in each of UC’s games this season (4), passing his season touchdown total of three in 2007. Gilyard has two games this season with two touchdown receptions (last against Eastern Kentucky (Aug. 28).
Drew Frey recorded his first start (at defensive back) while DeAngelo Smith and Brandon Underwood swapped starting roles with Smith starting at cornerback and Underwood starting at free safety. Frey was shaken up with a minute left in the first quarter and did not return.
Mike Mickens had a pass break-up in the first quarter and knocked down another pass in the same series, forcing Akron to settle for a 26-yard field goal.
John Goebel has a kickoff return in back-to-back games, starting the game with a 22-yard kickoff return. He added a 17-yard kickoff return late in the second quarter.
Kevin Huber had his first punt in 81 minutes, 46 seconds, booting a 45-yarder in the first quarter. Huber last punted with 4:05 remaining in the Oklahoma game. Huber had three punts in the game, with a 51-yard punt in the third quarter.
Isiah Pead had his first career carry, a 2-yard rush in the second quarter.
Dominick Goodman extended his reception streak to 24 games. He finished the game with six receptions for 91 receiving yards.
Cincinnati went for it on 4th and 12 in the second quarter and Pike completed a 26-yard pass to Gilyard for a first down. UC was stopped in the red zone on that series, only the second time this season the Bearcats have been stopped in the red zone (once at Oklahoma).
Curtis Young had his first career sack in the second quarter.
With the win, UC has come from behind at the half and earned a victory twice under a Brian Kelly coached squad. Last season UC won, 28-23, at Rutgers after trailing, 17-7, at the half. The Bearcats were behind, 9-7, at the half at Akron and pulled out the 17-15 win.
Corey Smith blocked Akron’s extra point attempt in the second quarter and the Bearcats stopped Akron’s two point conversion in the fourth quarter.
Marcus Barnett finished the game with a season high 66 receiving yards.
Zach Collaros stepped in for the injured Tony Pike in the fourth quarter, for his first snap at quarterback for the Bearcats. Collaros has played on special teams this season. He rushed for a five-yard gain on his first play and finished the game with 18 yards rushing and one completion on four pass attempts for two yards.
Jake Rogers connected on Cincinnati’s second field goal attempt of the season, landing a 48-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to give UC a 17-15 lead.
Brad Jones had his second career interception in the fourth quarter. With the interception, UC extended its streak to 18 games that the Bearcats have forced a turnover.