Dec. 3, 2011
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CINCINNATI POSTGAME NOTES
No. 25 Cincinnati 35, Connecticut 27
Dec. 3, 2011 – Nippert Stadium - Cincinnati, Ohio
• Cincinnati Game Captains: Isaiah Pead, JK Schaffer, John Hughes, Alex Hoffman.
• Connecticut Game Captains: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Kashif Moore, Moe Petrus, Kendall Reyes.
• Connecticut won the toss and deferred. Cincinnati received and defended the north goal.
• Cincinnati leads the all-time series 6-2, including a 5-0 mark at Nippert Stadium.
• By defeating Connecticut, Cincinnati clinched a share of the BIG EAST title - its third in the last four seasons – and would be the league’s BCS representative with a final Bowl Championships Series ranking (to be determined Sunday) ahead of West Virginia and Louisville.
• The Bearcats finish the regular season 9-3 overall and 5-2 in BIG EAST play. UC will be making its 13th appearance in a postseason bowl, including its fifth in the last six seasons.
• With the win, head coach Butch Jones earned his third conference championship as a head coach (2007, 2009 at Central Michigan, 2011 at Cincinnati).
• Saturday’s contest with Connecticut marked the first UC football game at Nippert Stadium in 71 days when the Bearcats recorded a 44-14 win over N.C. State on Sept. 22. The Bearcats have also played home games against Louisville (W, 25-16 on Oct. 15) and West Virginia (L, 24-21 on Nov. 12) at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati.
• Prior to the game, the Cincinnati football program saluted 21 seniors who were playing in the final home game of their careers.
• Cincinnati’s six defensive touchdowns this season (three interception returns and three fumble returns) are the most since the 2002 Bearcats posted seven touchdowns via the defense (four interception returns and three fumble returns).
• The Bearcats have outscored the opposition 62-0 in the first quarter and 142-13 in the first half at Nippert Stadium this season. UC owned a 14-0 edge after the first quarter and a 28-6 lead at intermission against UConn on Saturday.
• The Cincinnati defense has allowed six first-half points in each of its last two games, leading Connecticut 28-6 at halftime on Saturday and Syracuse 10-6 at intermission on Nov. 26.
• The Bearcats defense recorded six sacks against UConn and has 40 sacks in their last 10 games. UC entered today’s game leading the NCAA FBS, averaging 8.6 tackles for loss and recorded 13 TFLs against the Huskies.
• Cincinnati grabbed a 7-0 lead at 10:38 in the first quarter when Walter Stewart was credited with a forced fumble and recovery in the end zone when he took the ball from UConn quarterback Johnny McEntee. It was Stewart’s first career touchdown.
• The Bearcats extended their lead to 14-0 at 1:13 in the first quarter when defensive back Drew Frey intercepted a McEntee pass and returned it 15 yards for his first career touchdown.
• UC pushed its lead to 21-0 at 13:13 in the second quarter when quarterback Munchie Legaux found Alex Chisum on a 22-yard touchdown toss. It was Chisum’s second TD reception of the season.
• David Teggert kicked a 35-yard field to pull Connecticut within 14-3 with 7:39 left in the second quarter.
• Wide receiver Anthony McClung caught a 13-yard touchdown reception from Legaux to give Cincinnati a 28-3 advantage with 1:45 remaining in the second quarter. It was McClung’s fourth TD reception of the season and the sixth of his career.
• UConn’s Teggert kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired at the half to trim UC’s lead to 28-6.
• Teggert connected on a 53-yard field goal at 9:13 in the third quarter to pull UConn within 28-9.
• Teggert converted a 43-yard field goal at 1:36 in the third quarter to cut UC’s lead to 28-12.
• Legaux threw his second touchdown pass of the day, a 31-yard toss to McClung with 30 seconds left in the third quarter to give UC a 35-12 advantage.
• UConn scored its first touchdown of the day when McEntee found Mark Hinkley for a 3-yard touchdown strike. The Huskies converted the two-point conversion when McEntee threw complete to Corey Manning, who ran into the end zone to make the score 35-20 with 9:58 left in the game.
• The Huskies continued to rally and pulled to within 35-27 with 5:46 remaining when Ryan Griffin caught a 25-yard touchdown reception from McEntee.
• Linebacker JK Schaffer recorded 11 tackles, one tackle for loss, a forced fumble and fumble recovery against Connecticut.
o Has recorded 103 tackles this season, becoming only the fifth UC player all-time to eclipse the 100-tackle plateau for three consecutive seasons (along with Hassan Champion, Phillip Curry, Brad Jackson and Karl Woods). Schaffer also becomes only the fourth player in BIG EAST history to reach that ledge, along with Dan Morgan of Miami-Fla. (1998-2000), and H.B. Blades (2004-06) and Gerald Hayes (2000-02), both from Pittsburgh.
o Has registered 328 career stops, ranking ninth all-time.
o Has forced three fumbles and recovered three fumbles this season. Schaffer owns six career forced fumbles and three career fumble recoveries.
• Defensive lineman Derek Wolfe recorded 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks and five tackles for loss against UConn.
o Moves into fourth place on the UC career sacks list with 19.5.
o Moves into 10th place on the UC career tackles for loss list with 35.0.
• Defensive lineman John Hughes set a career-high with 4.0 tackles for loss against UConn.
• Defensive lineman Walter Stewart registered first career touchdown when he forced a fumble and recovered the ball in the end zone for UC’s first score of the game.
• Safety Drew Frey recorded his first career touchdown when he intercepted a McEntee pass and returned it 15 yards for a score in the first quarter.
• Quarterback Munchie Legaux notched career highs in touchdown passes (three) and passing yardage (217) while completing 15-of-35 pass attempts.
• Wide receiver Anthony McClung caught a career-high two touchdowns and tallied his first career 100-yard receiving game, catching a career-best eight passes for a career-high 142 yards against UConn.
• Running back Isaiah Pead ran 23 times for 68 yards without a touchdown against UConn to move into seventh place on UC’s career rushing attempts list with 517.
• Kick returner Ralph David Abernathy IV had a career-high six kick returns for a career-high 169 yards against UConn.