CINCINNATI, OHIO — Desmond Ridder cashed in five touchdowns, Jerome Ford carried the rock for 121 yards and the Cincinnati Bearcats dashed to victory in a 49-14 route of Miami (Ohio).
Cincinnati Routes Miami in 125th Battle for the Victory Bell Game
A pitch perfect Saturday warranted the return of Cincinnati football in style. The No. 8 ranked Bearcats garnered an easy win over their cross state out of conference rivals through the arm of their quarterback Desmond Ridder.
Ridder, who enters his senior year at the helm of operations, went 20 for 25 with 295 yards and four touchdowns. The seemingly unstoppable Bearcats leader helped his team jump out to an early lead with three first quarter TD’s, one of which was an 81-yard completion to WR Tyler Scott. It qualified as the sophomore receiver’s first score of his college career, and arguably even more important, Ridder’s longest throwing play at UC. RB Ryan Montgomery and TE Josh Whyle also aided in the first period of play scoring.
“Here’s a guy who’s coming out for his fourth year, having played more football here than anybody,” Bearcats coach Luke Fickell said about Desmond Ridder a few weeks back to the media. “He came back for a reason. Not just to improve throwing the ball. He came back to hone his leadership skills, too. To run the locker room and be that guy.”
Quarter two saw Ridder continue his own success — alongside sharing the wealth — with himself and Jerome Ford each accounting for a score on 20+ yard carries. Ford, who has earned the reputation as the Bearcats leading back, tallied 121 yards and the 11th TD of his four year career in Southwestern Ohio.
His biggest adversaries — Keyon Mozee and Kenny Tracy — struggled against a nearly unstoppable Cincinnati defense (At least for three quarters that was the case). Mozee rushed for only 60 yards despite carrying the ball on 13 occasions. Tracy - aside from a single touchdown carry — didn’t do much better.
The Bearcats continued their success well towards the end period before finally taking the foot off the gas pedal. Leonard Taylor opened up the scoring immediately after halftime (11:46 to go in third quarter) with an 8 yard pass from Desmond Ridder.
What was left of the RedHawks in the fourth quarter couldn’t be salvaged despite the team’s last gasp for air. Miami cornerback John Saunders scored the only other pop for his team with a 32-yard pick six off Bearcats backup Evan Prater.
Speaking of Prater, UC’s backup signal caller got into the end zone through rushing the ball. Pretty ironic if you ask me. His actions, however, did receive some overshadowing from the the second-string QB on the other side of the football.
Filling in for the injured junior Brett Gabbert AJ Mayer completed 9 of 28 passes for 109 yards for Miami. He played pretty poorly overall, but on the bright side (for his team at least) he helped lead the charge in ending the Bearcats’ 20-game turnover streak on defense.
Did it alter the trajectory of the game? No. But it did end UC’s run in that category as the top dog in the FBS.
With Saturday’s unsurprising results, Cincinnati expands their streak to 15 over Miami (Ohio). The Bearcats and RedHawks are now officially deadlocked at 59 wins a-piece — seven ties as well — in one of football’s most elderly rivalries. Both schools are scheduled to battle it out again in the 2022 season
Cincinnati remains only four weeks away from the all important Notre Dame game vs Brian Kelly and co. Their next skirmish kicks off on Saturday, September 11th, against the FCS’s Murray State Racers.