Looking Back at UC Football: Bearcats win 16th straight vs. Miami Redhawks with 31 unanswered points

(courtesy UC Sports Communications)

September 17, 2022

CINCINNATI – Behind 337 yards and two touchdowns from redshirt senior quarterback Ben Bryant and a second-half shutout, Cincinnati used 31 unanswered points to run away from Miami (Ohio) 38-17 in the 126th Battle of the Victory Bell.
Cincinnati won its 16th consecutive game in the rivalry to take the lead in the historic series, 60-59-7, for the first time since 1915.
“I am going to give them a lot of credit,” head coach Luke Fickell said. “It was a hard-fought battle.”
“We are figuring out what “us” looks like. I think there’s us a little bit more of a calm nature than last year. I think, offensively, that’s what Ben (Bryant) is…I think the calm nature of him is a little bit more of maybe where we are headed towards. I think that we are figuring that out and handling things in a different way, but I give a lot of credit to our guys. They handled it really well.”
With the win, Fickell now has 50 victories at Cincinnati, tying him with Sid Gillman for the second-most wins in program history. He is only three wins shy of Rick Minter’s program record of 53.
Wide receivers Tyler Scott and Tre Tucker each went over 100 yards receiving on the afternoon – marking the first time since 2016 a Bearcat duo accomplished that feat.
Senior running back Charles McClelland tallied his third career 100-yard game with 101 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Ivan Pace, Jr. led the defense that limited Miami (OH) to 67 total yards in the second half with eight tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
Bryant completed his first 12 pass attempts, but the Bearcats suffered two costly turnovers early in the first half to help Miami (OH) jump out to 17-7 second quarter lead.
Cincinnati roared back behind pinpoint passing from Bryant, while the BlackCats defense settled in and forced consecutive three-and-outs and redshirt senior cornerback Arquon Bush recorded his eighth career interception on a tip-toe grab in the second quarter.
Trailing 17-7 at the start of the second quarter, Cincinnati closed the gap to 17-14 with a seven-play drive that was capped off by sophomore running back Corey Kiner finding the end zone on a one-yard dive. He has now recorded a touchdown in all three games this season.
After a third down pass breakup from Deshawn Pace, the Bearcats used another seven-play drive to tie the game at 17 all on a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Coe with six minutes left in the first half.
Bryant connected with senior wide receiver Nick Marder for a 10-yard touchdown on a fade in the back of the endzone to give Cincinnati its first lead of the afternoon, 24-17, with 13 seconds remaining before the break.
Bryant found Scott for his second touchdown of the game on a 41-yard pass at the 9:03 mark in the third quarter to extend the margin to 31-17.
Miami (OH) failed to convert a third down on its first seven tries and did not convert one until the fourth quarter.
Early in the final frame, the Bearcats stopped the RedHawks on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line to preserve the 31-17 advantage.
McClelland added the final tally of the game when he found paydirt from 15-yards out to make it 38-17 with 5:33 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats erased early 10-point deficits twice after falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter and 17-7 in the second quarter on a pair of touchdown passes from Aveon Smith.