Bearcats defeat Miami, Ohio at the season opener

The University of Cincinnati football team won the Battle for the Victory Bell again.

Bearcats senior quarterback Desmond Ridder made a total of five touchdowns, including a career-long 81-yard score through the air, and Cincinnati in 8/10 (Associated Press / Coaches) scored a 49-14 win against the state rivals of Miami University on Saturday in front of a sold out crowd at Nippert Stadium.

“It was a blessing to see the Nippert Stadium full,” said Ridder. “We take it for granted that all the fans are here, or even some fans are here, but it’s great to see all the fans come out. I think we had a sold out audience and we plan to all sell out.” other games. We’re excited, not just what you’ve been doing out there, but what you’re going to do in the future. “

The one-sided win marked the Bearcats’ 15th in a row over the RedHawks as UC knotted the nation’s oldest non-conference series with 59 wins all-time (59-59-7).

Miami hasn’t beaten Cincinnati since September 28, 2005. Ridder was 6 years old.

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) fisted a fan after the NCAA soccer game on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the Miami Redhawks 49-14.

“A rivalry is all about respect,” said UC coach Luke Fickell. “For me, the best way to respect the rivalry is to come out and play like we did.”

It took a full 45 seconds of the most anticipated season in programming history for Cincinnati to hit the board. Two games after Tre Tucker kicked off the opening kickoff, Ridder found second wide receiver Tyler Scott for an 81-yard touchdown to give the Bearcats an early 7-0 lead on the extra point.

The 81-yard strike marks the longest completion of Ridder’s five-year UC career, the longest passing game for the Bearcats since 2016, and the fastest result for Cincinnati since 2014.

Ridder got his second score of the day with an 8-yard pass for the junior, which brought Ryan Montgomery back from the backcourt. The touchdown gave Cincinnati a 14-0 advantage with 8:01 in the first quarter.

“I see things a lot better,” said Ridder. “We have a lot more player meetings where it slows down for a lot of other players too. They see things a lot easier.”

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder, 9, will be sacked by Lonnie Phelps, 47, of Miami Redhawks defensive lineman in the second half of NCAA soccer game on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.  The Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the Miami Redhawks 49-14.

UC took the lead 21-0 after Ridder scored a 23-yard score with tight end Josh Whyle at the end of the first frame.

Former Alabama running back Jerome Ford came on in the second quarter. Ford raced 21 yards for a touchdown to 28-0. Ford finished with 121 yards on 12 carries.

“You can get used to seeing 2-4 carry the ball,” Ridder said of Ford. “This is a great player … He will be a great player for us.”

Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Tyler Scott (21) celebrates after a pass from Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) for a touchdown in the first half of the NCAA football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Miami Redhawks on Saturday September 4th.  2021 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.

Ridder added another roaring touchdown from 25 yards to give UC a 35-0 lead at halftime. The 2020 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year completed 14 of 16 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns before the break.

After finding a tight end Leonard Taylor for an 8 yard score in the fourth quarter, Ridder took his seat. He finished his day 295 yards with 20-of-25 passes and no loss of the ball.

More:Q&A: The Enquirer sits down with Desmond Ridder, senior quarterback for the Cincinnati Bearcats

On Saturday, Mike Tressel was introduced to the UC fans again. After 14 years in the state of Michigan, Tressel, who served as linebacker and trainer of the Bearcats’ special teams from 2004 to 2006, replaced Marcus Freeman as defensive coordinator in January after Freeman left for Notre Dame.

More:What the Bearcats defense will look like under new Defense Coordinator Mike Tressel

Under Tressel, the Cincinnati defense, which had been one of the top units in the country for the past three seasons, was just as dominant.

The Bearcats kept the RedHawks, who could do without the injured quarterback Brett Gabbert (2019 Mid-American Freshman of the Year), to a total of 278 yards offensive (130 yards in the first half). But UC’s streak of consecutive games with forced sales ended at 20 games. It was the longest active streak in the FBS.

“We always want to have sales,” said linebacker Darrian Beavers. “We believe that losing the ball changes games. We were lucky today that we could still win the game without losing the ball. I know that’s a big part of our defense. But winning is the most important thing. As long as we’re winning, it is not so subject. “

Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Darrian Beavers (0) will tackle Miami Redhawks running back David Afari (11) in the second half of the NCAA soccer game on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.  The Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the Miami Redhawks 49-14.

Miami backup quarterback AJ Mayer completed 9 of 28 passes for 109 yards.

Miami scored both touchdowns in the final quarter. Running back Kenny Tracy scored one on a 19-yard scamper while cornerback John Saunders collected a tipped pass from UC backup quarterback Evan Prater and sped 32 yards into the end zone.

Prater scored Cincinnati’s final touchdown with a flip into the end zone 23 seconds to go after running from 14 yards.

“I think Coach Fick could tell me a few little words when I try to jump into the end zone like that, unless it’s about a conference championship or something,” said Ridder of Prater’s acrobatic airborne score. “But good for him.”

The reigning AAC champion Bearcats extended his winning streak at Nippert to 21 games. Cincinnati, which is expected to attend the Big 12 Conference, has remained undefeated at home in each of the past three seasons.

After winning the eleventh straight season opener, Cincinnati welcomes Murray State on September 11th. The Racers are members of the FCS’s Ohio Valley Conference.

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