Bearcats Lose to UNC in Belk Bowl

Dec. 28, 2013

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  1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH F
Purdue Recap Logo 16 7 13 3 39
Cincinnati Recap Logo 0 3 14 0 17

Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery

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First Downs
 20 23 
Rushing Att.-Yards
 36-168 46-175 
Passing Yards
 180 170 
Passing (C-A-I)  16-36-1 19-33-0 
Total Offense  348 345 
Punts-Avg.  5/36.4 4/44.0 
Fumbles-Lost  1-1 1-1 
Penalties-Yards  3-35 4-25 
Time of Possession  25:01 33:36 
3rd-Down Conversions  4
4th-Down Conversions  1

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Morris 2-yd run
(Moore kick) 
0 7
Team safety 0 9
Long 78-yd kickoff return
(Moore kick) 
0 16
 Miliano 34-yd field goal 3 16
Tabb 3-yd pass from Williams
(Moore kick) 
3 23
 Switzer 86-yd punt return
(Moore kick missed) 
 3 29
Abernathy 15-yd run
(Miliano kick)
10 29
Morris 1-yd run
(Moore kick) 
10 36
Washington 10-yd run
(Miliano kick)
17 36
Moore 40-yd field goal 17 39

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The University of Cincinnati was looking to become the Belk Bowl's first back-to-back champion, but the University of North Carolina snatched an early 16-0 first quarter lead en route to a 39-17 triumph at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

An injury plagued Bearcats' squad struggled to kick start the offense as last year's bowl MVP Brendon Kay was limited to just 181 passing yards and no touchdowns. With a pair of all-conference lineman sidelined for the game, Kay was unable to settle into the pocket and was sacked a season-high five times.

"They knew we were missing some starters on the offensive line, and they threw the kitchen sink at us," first-year head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "They twisted, they did all kinds of things up front, and our quarterback could never set his feet. He didn't have a chance." 

UNC scored another touchdown in the second quarter while UC got on the board with a 34-yard Tony Miliano field goal.

The start of the third quarter was rough for Cincinnati as Tar Heel freshman Ryan Switzer housed an 86-yard punt return, but the Bearcats didn't lay down.

The Bearcats reached the end zone on a 15-yard touchdown run by Ralph David Abernathy, which was set up by a career long rush of 52 yards by Shaq Washington, but the Tar Heels answered to make it 36-10.

After that Washington scored on a 10-yard run to cut the lead to 36-17, Cincinnati forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and recovered at the Tar Heels 6. But the Tar Heels mounted a goal-line stand and Kay's pass on fourth-and-3 fell incomplete, thwarting any comeback attempt.

Washington finished the game with 103 all-purpose yards and one rushing touchdown.

"This is not the way (the seniors) wanted to go out, by any means," Kay said. "It's tough. We've been through a lot this year - coaching changes, losing a teammate (in a deadly car accident), other ups and downs - but I wouldn't want to go to war with anybody else but this team, these seniors."