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College Football Week 3: #13 Cincinnati Bearcats puts Austin Peay away early in 55-20 season-opening win

POSTGAME ZOOM VIDEO PRESS CONFERENCE:

Luke Fickell UC FTB coach Postgame Cinn 55 Austin Peay 20 9 19 2020 (14:33)

Luke Fickell UC FTB coach Postgame Part 2 Cinn 55 Austin Peay 20 9 19 2020 (2:35)

Gerrid Dokes UC RB Talks about teams 55-20 win over Austin Peay 9 19 2020 (5:31)

 

CINCINNATI (AP) — Gerrid Doaks scored four touchdowns, including a career-high three rushing TDs, and No. 13 Cincinnati beat Austin Peay 55-20 on Saturday in the Bearcats’ season opener.

Gerrid Doaks UC RB

Desmond Ridder passed for 196 yards and two TDs for Cincinnati in a game that originally was scheduled for Sept. 3. It was the latest start for a Bearcats season since 1968 when they played at Texas Tech on Sept. 21.

Cincinnati (1-0) has high hopes for this year after it went 11-3 last season and ranked No. 21 in the final AP poll. It quickly jumped all over the Governors.

Tre Tucker’s first career touchdown reception came on a 29-yard shovel pass from Ridder just 1:29 into the game. With 33 seconds left in the first quarter, Doaks took a direct snap on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line and ran it in for a 14-3 lead.

Ridder’s 38-yard run set up Cincinnati’s third touchdown, a 1-yard run by Doaks to put them up 21-3 in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, Doaks had a 32-yard touchdown catch on fourth-and-2, and Arquon Bush’s 31-yard interception return led to Jerome Ford’s 2-yard TD run and a 42-6 lead.

Backup quarterback Ben Bryant added a 40-yard TD run for the Bearcats early in the fourth quarter.

Junior QB Jeremiah Otsvall passed for 202 yards for Austin Peay (0-3), which allowed 55 points in each of its past two games, including last week’s 55-0 loss to Pittsburgh.

Desmond Ridder UC QB

Freshman running back CJ Evans Jr. had two rushing TDs for the Governors, including a 64-yarder in the fourth quarter.

No fans were allowed in Nippert Stadium on Saturday due to COVID-19 concerns, but immediate family members of players and coaches were permitted in the stands.

BIG PICTURE

Doaks has taken on a larger role in the Bearcats offense with the departure of Michael Warren II, who finished his career with 2,918 yards rushing. On Saturday, Doaks contributed to the passing game with four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown, to go along with his three rushing TDs. He had 84 all-purpose yards on 14 touches.

GENERAL NOTES

• UC has won 10-straight season openers and 17 of 18 since 2005. The Bearcats are 88-36-10 (.694) all-time in lid lifters. • UC has a 14-game winning streak at Nippert Stadium. • UC needed 5 plays, 74 yards and 99 seconds to get on the scoreboard when QB Desmond Ridder found WR Tre Tucker for a 29-yard pitch and catch to give UC a 7-0 lead. A year ago, the Bearcats did not score on an opening drive in the first three weeks of the season and accomplished the feat six times all season (5 TDs, 1 FGM). • UC scored on eight of its 10 drives, not counting the drives ending each half. • UC surrendered a field goal on Austin Peay’s opening drive, marking only the seventh time in the last 28 games an opponent has scored on its first drive. Following the Governors 62-yard effort, the UC defense held them to 41 yards for the remainder of the half. • Cincinnati was won five of its last seven games when wearing white jerseys and three of its last four while donning white helmets. • Cincinnati is 14-4 in its last 18 day games. • Cincinnati held a 260-140 edge over Austin Peay in the ground game Saturday, the 21st time in 24 games the Bearcats have out rushed their foe. They are 21-3 during that span. UC broke 200 yards on the ground for 14th time over the last three seasons and are 14-3 when rushing for 200 or more on the ground. • UC averaged 7.8 yards per play, it’s best chunk since averaging 8.2 ypp vs. ECU on Nov. 23, 2018. • After being flagged a school-record 123 times in 2019, UC was not whistled for a penalty and finished with five for the game for 45 yards. • Cincinnati’s 55 points was its most since score 52 at Marshall a year ago. It was the most points scored in Nippert Stadium since a 56-6 win over ECU on Nov. 23, 2018. • Cincinnati’s 509 yards of total offense was its most since totaling 525 yards at Marshall on Sept. 28, 2019. UC also had 507 yards vs. UConn on Nov. 9, 2019. • Head Coach Luke Fickell picked up UC win No. 27, moving him into a tie for fifth place all-time with Chuck Studley (1961-66) and Joe Meyer (1938-42). Fickell is 27-13 in 40 games as UC’s coach, a .675 winning percentage. • Seventy-seven players saw action for UC on the day, including 21 making their UC debuts: Will Adams, Todd Bumphis, Dalrone Donaldson, Jerome Ford, Zach Hummel, Cam Jones, Daved Jones Jr., Jordan Jones, Michael Lindauer, Deshawn Pace, Cayson Pfeiffer, Evan Prater, Jake Renfro, Tyler Scott, Payten Singletary, Jaheim Thomas, Jadon Thompson, Ethan Voelker, Ethan Wright, Cameron Young and Michael Young Jr. • Bryan Cook, James Hudson and Eric Phillips made their first in-game appearances at Nippert Stadium after making their UC debuts in the Birmingham Bowl. • Blake Bacevich, Jeremy Cooper, Charles McClelland, James Wiggins and Colin Woodside returned after missing all or parts of the 2019 season due to injury.

GAMEDAY WEATHER Sunny, 63 degrees, wind ENE, 10 MPH

CAPTAINS UC’s game captains were: 5 Darrick Forrest, 7 Coby Bryant, 9 Desmond Ridder and 37 James Smith. Due to 2020 coin-toss protocols, Forest was the only one at midfield for the toss.

COIN TOSS Austin Peay won the toss and deferred Cincinnati received in the north end zone.

THE SERIES UC leads the all-time series 7-0. All seven games in the series have taken place at Nippert Stadium.

LEADERS GERRID DOAKS, RB • 10 carries, 20 yards, 3 TDs • 4 receptions, 64 yards, TD DESMOND RIDDER, QB • 13-of-19, 196 yards, 2 TDs • 4 carries, 57 yards, 14.2 YPC JOSH WHYLE, TE 3 receptions 61 yards, first career TD JEROME FORD, RB 7 carries, 28 yards, TD BEN BRYANT, QB • 4-of-7, 53 yards, TD • 40-yard TD rush TRE TUCKER, WR 1 reception, 29 yards, first career TD AHMAD GARDNER, CB 8 tackles, 5 solo JAMES WIGGINS, S 6 tackles, 4 solo, PBU

 

 

GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF UC SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

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