Bearcats Shut Out Redhawks in Rival Game, 27-0|
Oct. 1, 2011
OXFORD, Ohio (AP)--Isaiah Pead ran for a pair of touchdowns Saturday, and Cincinnati's dominating defense opened the second half with a goal-line stand that set up a 27-0 victory over Miami of Ohio.
Cincinnati (4-1) has won the last six games in the nation's oldest nonconference rivalry, played 116 times since 1888. The Bearcats' defense made this one a reference point--Cincinnati's first shutout in Oxford since a 22-0 victory in 1898.
Miami (0-4) couldn't budge the Bearcats' defensive line, which put Cincinnati in control with the goal-line stand. The Bearcats then pulled away with three touchdowns in the third quarter, including Pead's pair of scoring runs.
The Bearcats overcame a season-high four turnovers, including Zach Collaros' two end-zone interceptions and his fumble at the Miami 12-yard line. Collaros was 16 of 30 for 251 yards and scrambled 15 times for 89 yards against a defense that emphasized pass coverage.
Miami's Zac Dysert was 19 of 33 for 252 yards with an interception at the goal line and four sacks. Sophomore Nick Harwell became only the second Miami player with three straight 100-yard games, one shy of Martin Nance's school record.
It was Cincinnati's first shutout since a 31-0 win over Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 2, 2006. The Bearcats' last shutout in the rivalry--played for the "Victory Bell" traveling trophy--was 17-0 in Cincinnati. Miami finished with minus-3 yards on 38 rushes.
Miami hadn't been shut out at home since 1983, the year Yager Stadium opened.
North winds gusting to 20 mph made it tough to pass and punt. The Bearcats made it even tougher on themselves by getting careless.
Cincinnati is one of the nation's leaders in turnover margin, losing the ball only twice in the first four games. The Bearcats had three turnovers in the first half alone on Saturday, including Collaros' interception and fumble in scoring range.
Miami had plenty of its own problems. An 11-yard punt set Cincinnati up at midfield, and tight end Travis Kelce got open behind the safeties for a 30-yard touchdown catch. The extra-point attempt was wide.
The RedHawks managed only 12 yards on 20 carries in the first half, which ended with the Bearcats up 6-0. Cincinnati's defense opened the second half with a goal-line stand that crushed Miami's chances of a comeback.
Dysert surprised Cincinnati with a 66-yard pass down the middle to Nick Harwell, who was tackled at the 1-yard line by safety Drew Frey. After two runs lost a yard, Harwell was called for pushing off to get open on a catch in the end zone. Mason Krysinski hooked a 34-yard field goal try, starting a celebration on the Bearcats sideline.
Three plays later, Collaros completed a 72-yard pass to tight end Adrien Robinson, who made a juggling at-the-knees catch while safety Pat Hinke interfered with him. Pead's 3-yard run made it 13-0.
Cincinnati then put it away with two touchdowns in an 89-second span. Pead scored on a 4-yard dive, and linebacker J.K. Schaffer returned the ball 17 yards for a touchdown off a bad snap on a punt attempt for a 27-0 lead late in the third quarter.
It was Cincinnati's third straight game with a dominating defensive showing. The Bearcats returned two interceptions and a fumble for touchdowns during a 59-14 win over Akron, and had six sacks during a 44-14 win over North Carolina State.