Since 2005, when Cincinnati joined the Big East, only 5 “Power 5” conference schools have come to Nippert Stadium. The Bearcats are 5-0 in those games.
A look back at the recent losers who came in to Nippert with optimism and swagger, and left with an added loss on their record.
(Note - BYU played at Cincinnati in 2016 but they are not considered “Power 5” as an independent, who previously played in Mountain West)
2015 - Miami
Hayden Moore made his first career start, less than 2 weeks after his epic 557 yard performance against Memphis. Moore, a redshirt freshman, had a very weird 2015 season coming in to relieve start Gunner Kiel on several occasions including this start. Bearcats stunned The U on a Thursday night, in what proved to be the one and only bright spot of the Tommy Tuberville era. After losing 55-24, one year prior on the road, the Bearcats won 34-23 as fans celebrated by rushing the field.
2013 - Purdue
Bearcats blew out the Boilermarkers to open the 2013 season, winning 42-7. This game was the debut of Darrel Hazell as Purdue’s Head Coach.
Munchie Legaux started at QB, throwing for 145 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT. Sadly, he would suffer an injury the week after that would end his season and essentially his career (he was never the same after). Four different Bearcats ran for touchdowns, including Legaux plus RBs Hosey Williams (15/70), Ralph David Abernathy IV (15/52), Tion Green (6/29). Chris Moore and Max Morrison each had 58 yards receiving and TE Blake Annen caught the Bearcats only TD pass.
2011 - NC State
2011 was Butch Jones’ second season at Cincinnati, and his first with a winning record. They beat NC State 44-14 in week 4, to improve to 3-1. QB Zach Collaros was awesome, completing 25-34 passes for 263 yards, 2 TD (1 INT), and also ran for 2 TD and 52 yards rushing. Isaiah Pead was ran 27 times for 167 yards and a TD. Pead also caught a TD. The other TD pass was caught by Kenbrell Thompkins (5 catches, 72 yards). Anthony McClung led the team in receiving with 94 yards on 6 catches.
NC State starting RB Curtis Underwood carried the ball 6 times for 6 yards. As a team, NC State finished with 22 carries and -26 yards(!!). This was due to 9 sacks of QB Mike Glennon. Defense was completely dominant in this game.
2009 - Illinois
This was kind of an odd game. It was the week after winning against West Virginia and the week before the epic showdown with Pittsburgh. It was also played the day after Thanksgiving. Bearcats managed to stay focused long enough to win 49-36. QB Tony Pike played his first real action in 6 weeks (after suffering a broken arm earlier in the year) and threw a school record six touchdown passes. He completed 32-46 passes for 399 yards, not even missing a beat. Four different receivers caught exactly 7 passes and all 6 of Pike’s TDs went to those four - Ben Guidugli (2 TD, 149 yards), Mardy Gilyard (2 TD, 102 yards), Armon Binns (1 TD, 62 yards), DJ Woods (1 TD, 53 yards).
2007 - Oregon St
Oregon State is the last PAC-12 team to come to Nippert Stadium. Wake Forest QB transfer Ben Mauk led the Bearcats to a 34-3 statement win over the Beavers in week 2. The Bearcats would finish 10-3, first 10 win season since 1051.
More on that game can be found in a recent Throwback Thursday article.