Bearcats win Thriller in D.C.

Cincinnati won a wild one in our nation's capital, beating Virginia Tech 27-24 in the final minute.

Cincinnati may have been the home team on the schedule, but looking in the stands at FedEx Field, there was a lot more maroon and orange than red and black due to the closer proximity of Blacksburg, Virginia to Washington D.C. No matter, as UC took care of business in thrilling fashion with a 27-24 win over the Hokies from Virginia Tech.

The game started well for the Bearcats as quarterback Munchie Legaux came out throwing, hitting Anthony McClung for a 13-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage. The drive stalled after that and UC was forced to punt. The defense played incredibly well in the first half, holding Virginia Tech to just one late touchdown in the second quarter. Senior linebacker Maalik Bomar led the way with 11 tackles in the first half. One of the stories of the first two quarters, from an offensive perspective, was the play of senior wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins. UC has been looking for a go-to receiver all season, and Thompkins stepped up in a big way, finishing the game with seven catches for 134 yards and a touchdown.

The second half was a shift in game play for both teams. After they showed their defensive prowess in the first half, the offenses came out to play in quarters three and four. UC got the party started with a 29 yard pass from Legaux to Thompkins, puttng the score at 13-7, UC. After a long drive by Virginia Tech, they scored what appeared to be the go ahead touchdown. However, the run was called back by a holding penalty, and on the very next play Logan Thomas had his pass tipped, then intercepted by Arryn Chenault in the red zone, thwarting a solid drive by the Hokies. The rest of the quarter was a battle of field position, as punter Pat O'Donnell placed three punts inside the five yard line. The fourth quarter began with a Virginia Tech field goal, putting the score 13-10 Cincinnati. The Bearcats led another solid drive, but came away empty handed when kicker Tony Miliano pulled the kick wide left. After that missed field goal, the touchdown barrage came in full force.

Virginia Tech got it started with a four yard rush by Michael Holmes, putting the Hokies up 17-13. UC responded with a long, 76-yard touchdown pass from Legaux to Ralph Abernathy IV, making it 20-17 UC. Not to be outdone, the Hokies drove down the field and gave themselves the lead with a 59 yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Kory Fuller, making the score 24-20 Virginia Tech with a little over a minute left. However, UC had just enough left in the tank to finish the game. After a long drive that started at their own 15 yard line, including multiple third down conversions where Munchie showed off his running and passing prowess, Cincinnati put the final nail in the coffin in the form of a 39 yard touchdown pass from Munchie Legaux to Damon Julian with 11 seconds left, making the final score 27-24 in favor of the Bearcats.

Games like these are why we are college football fans. It was back and forth all game, with no team feeling comfortable with a lead until triple zeros were on the game clock. It was a game we won't soon forget, and one that will go down as one of the greatest in Cincinnati football lore. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon, eh?

Inside The Bearcats Top Stories