The Cincinnati Bearcats and Miami RedHawks hooked up for the 122nd Victory Bell game (aka The Battle for the Bell). The Bearcats have won the last 10 meetings and looked to extend that streak to 11 on a nice Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium.
During the first half the Bearcats didn’t capitalize on key opportunities a la the Houston Cougars game. Two key missed plays were quarterback Ross Trail over throwing a wide open Devin Gray for a play that would’ve been a touchdown unless the turf monster would’ve caught Gray and kicker Josh Pasley who is kicking for injured Andrew Gantz missed a 42 yard field goal. So technically they left at least 10 points on the board. Trail playing for an injured Hayden Moore threw 1 interception and fumbled. Defensive tackle Cortez Broughton had a huge interception of Billy Bahl in the red zone when he sniffed out a screen play.
The running game was a lot better in the first half as they ran for 86 yards on 16 carries and had a total of 226 yards.
In the second half the Bearcats started shaky allowing the RedHawks to take a 17-10 lead in the third quarter after a Trail interception. Billy Bahl hit Jared Murphy for a 58 yard touchdown and it seemed that the RedHawks were going to upset the Bearcats, but next drive Trail led the Bearcats down the field for a huge touchdown ran in by running back Michael Boone. With the game tied at 17, the RedHawks came down and scored a field late in the third quarter. After the field goal the boys from Clifton would go on a 10-0 run to secured their 11th win in the Victory Bell rivalry. Pasley hit a 23 yard field goal and Tion Green ran for a 2 yard touchdown.
The Bearcats won 27-20, but the key stat for the offense was the rushing attack got back on track running for 185 yards as a group after only tallying 30 yards last week. They were 8 of 16 on third down also, which isn’t a welcomed sight.
The defense held the RedHawks to 313 total yards and you could tell they had more energy on a hot day because of the ability of the offense to stay on the field for 36:29 minutes.
Next week the Bearcats will be staring USF in the face at Nippert Stadium on Saturday.