CINCINATTI, OHIO — Jerome Ford posted a career high rushing total, Desmond Ridder threw for three touchdowns and the Cincinnati Bearcats dashed to victory in a 52-3 blowout over the Temple Owls.
The Cincinnati Bearcats kept the charge on Friday night with their first in-conference win over the Temple Owls. Temple, who was just coming off an upset victory over Memphis, came into the Nip’ at a record 3-2. The Owls applied pressure early, but the UC offense eventually found its groove and blew the roof of the house.
“First time really playing a complete game,” Bearcats coach Luke Fickell said. “Not saying perfect by any means, but a complete game. We talked about keeping that pressure on.”
Friday’s duel saw the home team jump out to a 10-0 lead in the late first quarter after failing to punch it in on their opening drive. The scoring started off when Cole Smith — the Bearcats kicker — avenged his performance last week thanks to a 30-yarder through the uprights with 7:15 left in the opening period of play.
The earned opening lead received reinforcement only a few minutes later, when the Bearcats marched down the field and Desmond Ridder found his receiver Alec Pierce in the endzone for a nine-yard TD in the closing stages of the opening period.
Pierce tallied six receptions for 93 yards and a score on the night. He leads his team on the season in both catches and yards with totals of 21 and and 387.
Among the other versatile weapons for Ridder were Tre Tucker, Ethan Wright, and of course, Jerome Ford.
A career-high performance, Ford moved the rock for 149 yards and two TD’s. The junior back charged it past the pylon for UC’s only points of the second quarter for an eight-yard score, continuing to keep the pressure on the primary play from scrimmage in the third when he rolled down the right side of the field for a 75-tally crowd-pleaser.
“It was an inside zone play,” Ford said. “I saw a lot of space, then nobody around and it was just a foot race. The O-line was moving guys around tonight.
Temple’s ever-demoralized defense would later give way to a continuous Bearcat onslaught in the third. First after Ford came Tyler Scott, who secured a 38 pass from Ridder a little over three minutes later. He scored, and the Bearcat offense expanded the advantage to 28.
Charles McClelland and Ethan Wright subsequently exchanged turns in taking the ball the distance on their feet, with McClelland going for a 28 yard cash in and Wright turning on the jets for 58 and his first TD of the season.
Temple’s defense did hold firm in the fourth, but the damage had already been done.
Final Score: Cincinnati 52, Temple 3
Now with Temple in the trunk, Cincinnati holds a date with arguably their fiercest rival — UCF — next Saturday. The Knights enter today at 2-2 with defeats to Louisville and Navy and triumphs over Boise State and Bethune-Cookman. They are set to take on East Carolina in their fifth duel at 6:00 PM ET.
Cincinnati Key Stat Leaders
Passing: QB Desmond Ridder, 22-30, 259 yards and three touchdowns
Rushing: RB Jerome Ford, 15 carries, 149 yards and two touchdowns
Receiving: WR Alec Pierce, six receptions, 93 yards and one touchdown
Tackling: LB Deshawn Pace, eight total tackles, three solo tackles
Temple Key Stat Leaders
Passing: QB D’Wan Mathis, 16-27, 120 yards
Rushing: QB Justin Lynch, three carries, 29 yards
Receiving: WR Jose Barbon, five receptions, 45 yards
Tackling: S Tyler Amir, 11 total tackles, nine solo tackles
Full remaining Cincinnati schedule:
UCF Knights, Saturday, October 16th
@ Navy Midshipmen, Saturday, October 23rd
@ Tulane Green Wave, Saturday, October 30th
Tulsa Golden Hurricane, Saturday, November 6th
@ USF Bulls, Friday, November 12th
SMU Mustangs, Saturday, November 20th
@ East Carolina Pirates, Saturday, November 27th