With beautiful weather on the campus of Miami, Bearcats and RedHawks gathered for the 110th battle to claim the Victory Bell. With a senior laden squad, RedHawks Head Coach Shane Montgomery entered the game confident his team would be ready to reclaim the bell. But while Montgomery fielded a team made up of seniors and juniors, Bearcats Head Coach Mark Dantonio knew his squad was entering uncharted waters with a great number of "True" freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores playing key positions.
As things settled before the game both teams looked to enjoy the atmosphere. Receiving good luck greetings from his wife and older daughter, Coach Dantonio displayed a relaxed calm about the game at hand. That smile soon became the look of a coach ready to battle and as the game progressed the tension of a team learning its way soon became apparent.
The early goings saw both teams battle back-n-forth until Miami hit a 34 yard field goal with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter as they saw a 12 play 81 yard drive stall. The Bearcats weren't able to answer the score, with Miami posting two touchdowns in the second quarter before the Bearcats could post their first points of the game on a Kevin Lovell 34 yard field goal as time expired to end the half.
Halftime brought adjustments and the Bearcats looked to have done a very good job. Miami looked ready to drive the field but the defense held as the RedHawks could only score on another field goal making the score 20-3.
But that soon changed as the Bearcats offense found a spark and reeled off a 10 play, 80 yard drive ending with a Bradley Glatthaar 1-yard touchdown run along with a Lovell extra-point.
Just as Bearcat fans felt a chance of seeing their team get back into the game, Miami struck again. This time defense would hold again and Miami would settle for another field goal making the score 23-10. That would be as close the Bearcats would come on this night. RedHawk quarterback Josh Betts found his two main targets during the fourth quarter with Martin Nance scoring on a 21 yard pass and Ryne Robinson scoring on a 35 yard reception. The RedHawks didn't settle for that as their backups came in and posted a score with 1:16 left on an Andre Bratton 4 yard run and extending the lead to 44-10.
Bearcats backup quarterback Nick Davila would enter the game and put together an 8 play, 65 yard drive ending in a Dominick Goodman 4 yard touchdown reception. It was Goodman's first career score and gave Bearcat fans a look at another freshman learning his way this fall.
With such a young team Coach Dantonio didn't stop coaching. Working on each aspect of the game as it allowed didn't go over well with fans wanting to leave, but was a must if his team is to improve in the weeks to come. With only a few seconds left on the clock, the Bearcats went to work on their on-side kick drill. The first attempt was good but a flag was thrown and they were made to kick again. The next attempt didn't go the Bearcats way as Miami recovered and the game ended.
As the Bearcats players exited RedHawk players rushed to the Cincinnati sidelines to claim the Victory Bell. Coach Dantonio and Coach Montgomery meet at midfield and soon the Bearcats head coach wasted little time in getting his players off the field.
While the end results are not what Bearcat faithful or the coaching staff was looking for, it will prove to be another step in the process of this team becoming one of more experience.
Bearcat Insider will have more UC-Miami coverage during the next day and start our complete coverage of the Bearcats as they prepare for their first battle in the Big East.