CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati football team downed Miami University 52-14 in the 117th Battle for the Victory Bell on Saturday night at Nippert Stadium. The win was the seventh consecutive in the series for the Bearcats and the 60th all-time.
The crowd of 35,097 on hand for the Homecoming game marked the first sellout at Nippert Stadium since Nov. 27, 2009 when the fifth-ranked Bearcats topped Illinois 49-36.
The 52 points scored was the highest total of the season for the Bearcats and the most scored in the series since a 52-42 victory at Miami on Oct. 30, 1999.
UC (4-0) put up a season-high 290 rushing yards, led by senior George Winn (Southfield, Mich./U. of Detroit Jesuit) with 131 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Junior Munchie Legaux threw for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior Danny Milligan (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) and freshman Tion Green (Sanford, Fla./Lake Brantley) both scored their first career touchdowns for the Bearcats. Milligan's came by way of an 11-yard reception from Legaux in the first quarter for a 14-6 lead. Green closed the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard rush to give the Bearcats the 52-14 advantage.
Defensively, Cincinnati picked off three interceptions, including senior Camerron Cheatham's (Kalamazoo, Mich./Central) 68-yard touchdown return to open the scoring for the Bearcats. It was his second career interception return for a touchdown. Junior Deven Drane (Plantation, Fla./Plantation) and senior Greg Blair (Pittsburgh, Pa./Lackawanna CC) also recorded interceptions for UC. The Bearcats also forced one Miami fumble when sophomore Camaron Beard (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) stripped the ball from Jamire Westbrook. Junior Arryn Chenault (Cincinnati, Ohio/Fairfield) recovered the ball for his first career fumble recovery.
The RedHawks drove the ball down the field on the first drive of the game, going 75 yards on seven plays. The touchdown was a 19-yard pass from Zac Dysert to Dawon Scott at the 11:31 mark to put Miami up 6-0. A bad snap forced a failure on the point after to keep the lead at six.
Winn added to the Bearcats lead at the 11:56 mark in the second quarter with a six-yard touchdown to put the bearcats ahead 21-6.
A 24-yard Miliano field goal at the 3:15 mark in the second quarter increased the Bearcat lead to 24-6.
The RedHawks' Nick Harwell caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Dysert with 2:05 left in the first half. Dysert ran in the 2-point conversion to bring the score to 24-14.
The Bearcats entered the half with a 24-14 lead and a 122 to 57 advantage in rushing yardage. Miami held a 203 to 80 advantage in passing yards and a 260 to 202 advantage in overall yards.
A 58-yard return on the opening kickoff of the second half by sophomore Ralph David Abernathy IV (Atlanta, Ga./Westminster School) started a five play, 39-yard scoring drive for the Bearcats. The drive was capped by a 19-yard touchdown pass from Legaux to senior Travis Kelce (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland, Ohio) to give UC a 31-14 lead. Kelce's touchdown reception was his first of the season and the third of his career.
Winn scored his second touchdown of the night with a 3-yard rush at the 6:57 mark in the third quarter to push the UC lead to 38-14. Legaux added to the scoring at the 1:11 mark in the third quarter with a 1-yard rush to give UC a 45-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Sat., Oct. 13 when they host Fordham at 7 p.m. at Nippert Stadium.