Bearcats Down Miami to Retain Victory Bell Print E-mail
Written by Mike Smith   
Sunday, September 21 2008
Tag it:
Furl it!
Miami QB Daniel Raudabaugh / Photo: Mike Smith
CINCINNATI, OH - When a football team doesnt punt during the course of a game, its either doing very poorly or extremely well. It was a case of the latter for the University of Cincinnati Saturday as the Bearcats offense keyed a 45-20 victory at Nippert Stadium.

It was a night when Bearcat senior Tony Pike, a backup behind quarterbacks Ben Mauk and
Dustin Grutza over the last several years, made the most of his entry into the spotlight.
Connecting on 20 of 24 passes (with no interceptions), Pike effectively gave Cincinnatis stellar punter Kevin Huber the night off. The hosting Cats scored on all but one possession before running the clock to end the game.
Pike, who took over signal-calling duties when Grutza suffered a broken leg in the Bearcats 52-26 loss at Oklahoma two weeks earlier, is considered a strong-armed quarterback who might not have quite the running ability of his predecessor. However, the 6-6 junior showed more than enough mobility to keep his offense moving. Cincinnati converted 8 of 10 third downs and was 4-for-4 in the red-zone.
We didnt do a good job on third down tonight, Miami coach Shane Montgomery said. We missed a lot of tackles and werent very good assignment-wise.
 We didnt expect him to be as mobile as Grutza, but he was, RedHawks linebacker Joey Hudson said of Pike. I felt like I was chasing him around the backfield all night. I could just never get him. He did a very good job of getting out of the pocket when he needed to and delivering the ball. He made some great throws.
Hudson was also impressed with Pikes command of his offense. He did a very good job of leading them and getting them into the right sets, Hudson said.
Outside of a drive-ending fumble in the fourth quarter and its game-ending possession, the Bearcats scored on each of their other possessions.
After a field goal to open the scoring, the Bearcats offense scored five straight touchdowns in six drives.  A fumble halted one fourth quarter drive, but the hosts were able to add another TD before the game ended.
Miamis offense managed 301 total yards on the evening, but couldnt keep up with Cincinnati, which had 393 yards of offense while averaging 7.1 yards per play.

Miami WR Chris Givens hauls in a 34-yard TD catch.
Photo: Mike Smith

The Bearcats also took advantage of several big plays. The first occurred on the games opening play. Miami dropped a pooch kick to the Cincinnati 29-yard line. Sophomore running back John Goebel got out of some initial trouble and returned the kick 43 yards. Miami held to force a 38-yard field goal by Jake Rogers.
The RedHawks, who have struggled with offensive miscues during the opening stanzas of previous games, hurt themselves with a fumble in a third-and-three situation to start their opening drive. After a 55-yard Miami punt and 18-yard return, Cincinnati drove 62-yards in six plays for its first touchdown. Goebel ran five yards around the left side for the score and Rogers added the extra point to build a 10-0 Bearcat lead. Miami has now been outscored by a total of 44-3 in the first quarter of its four games
For the fourth game in a row, we just dug ourselves a hole, said Montgomery, who has tried changes during practice in an effort to avoid the flawed starts. We cant continue to keep putting ourselves in a hole like that.
The RedHawks were able to mount a long scoring drive on their second possession. They moved 76 yards to the Cincinnati one, but were unable to score a touchdown on three tries. Nathan Parseghians 19-yard field goal capped the 17-play drive, which consumed 8:40 on the clock, and the RedHawks trailed 10-3.
Pike completed four of five passes and rushed for a first down as Cincinnati covered 81 yards in eight plays for another score. Mardy Gilyard hauled in a 30-yard pass from Pike down the middle for the TD and Rogers added the extra point for a 17-3 lead.
Miami once again closed to within seven points on its next possession. Aided by three UC penalties, the RedHawks capped a 10-play, 71-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Raudabaugh to Armand Robinson. Parseghian converted the kick.
Each team scored once more before halftime. Cincinnati added John Goebel 20-yard touchdown run, and Miami got another field goal (41 yards) from Parseghian.
Miami immediately seized momentum in the second half when it covered 79 yards in nine plays for a touchdown. Raudabaugh rushed for 10 yards and was 5-for-5 passing (67 yards) in the drive. His final throw was a 34-yard connection to a leaping Chris Givens.
Now down 24-20 after Parseghians kick, Miami successfully executed an on-side kick.
Starting at the Cincinnati 46-yard line, Miami advanced the ball to the Bearcat 32-yard line. But on second and six, Raudabaughs short pass to the right sideline fell into the waiting arms of Mike Mickens, one of 11 seniors atop the two-deep chart this week. Mickens raced 72 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. With Rogers kick, the Bearcats suddenly had an 11-point cushion at 31-20 with 7:29 remaining in the third quarter.
I threw it into coverage, and thats my fault, Raudabaugh said. We were executing well and doing the right things, and then I go and shoot us in the foot.
 I thought Daniel played a pretty good game. He had one mistake, and that was a big one, said Montgomery, who told his quarterback after the pick, Keep your head up. Weve got a lot of football left. We had almost a quarter and a half left. I felt like we were moving the ball.
Overall, Raudabaugh completed 28 of 44 pass attempts (235 yards) with one interception.
 He had a lot of pressure on him. Thats a very good defense one of the top, if not the top, defenses well face all year. Montgomery said.
Running back Andre Bratton led RedHawk receivers in catches (9) and yard (54). Miamis running game, meanwhile, produced 66 yards on 30 rushes (2.2 per carry). Thomas Merriweather led the way with 54 yards on 17 carries.
Cincinnati is a good athletic team. They played well, said Raudabaugh, who noted the Bearcats used a variety of methods to get the job done. Theyre a dynamic defense.
Cincinnati added two passing touchdowns after Mickens interception return to close out the scoring. Pike hit Guidugli on a 24-yard strike in the final minute of the third quarter. He then found Kazeem Alli with an 8-yard TD pass at 2:32 of the final quarter.
The victory allows UC to keep the Victory Bell, awarded to the rivalrys winner, for a third straight year. The Bearcats travel to Akron for their next encounter, while Miami has a bye week before heading into conference play with a game against Temple at Oxford Oct. 4.
Weve got a long ways to go. I think we have a lot to work on this week, but I think we could be a pretty good football team, Montgomery said. We have not played anywhere as well as were capable of playing, and we cannot wait any longer. We need to get playing well by the time we play Temple.
You look at those guys in the locker room right now, Raudabaugh said as the team prepared for its trip home. It hurts right now. But theyre ready (to move on to the MAC schedule). I think they want to go out there and play Temple tomorrow.
< Prev   Next >


Will Ball State Qualify for a BCS Bowl?

Football - Latest News


Miami Sack Specialist

25.10.2008 | Football

Like all defensive ends, Joe Coniglio enjoys a good quarterback sack. Some, in fact, might say rushing the quarterback is Coniglios forte.     Read more

Basketball - Latest News


MAC Announces 2008-2009 Preseason All-MAC Squad

15.10.2008 | Basketball

CLEVELAND - Ten of the leagues top mens basketball players have been selected to the preseason All-MAC teams for the East and West Divisions as announced by the league office. Voting for the teams was…     Read more