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Bearcats beat Syracuse 30-13

Cincinnati 30, Syracuse 13
November 26th, 2011
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY

Summary

The Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the Syracuse Orangemen on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 30-13. The win, which keeps the Bearcats BCS hopes afloat, comes on the heels of last week’s drubbing at the hands of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights that all but put an end to the Bearcats’ championship dreams.

Just a week later, a Rutgers loss and a Cincinnati wins has fans buzzing once again. They’ll still need some help to reach the BCS, but their win on Saturday keeps things interesting for at least another week.

The Bearcat offense got off to a slow start against Syracuse, failing to find their way onto the scoreboard in the first quarter. Isaiah Pead had it going early, but Munchie Legeaux and the rest of the offense couldn’t find ways to extend drives.

The second quarter began with much of the same, and things didn’t appear likely to improve until the Bearcats’ final drive of the second quarter. The drive, which featured a good mix of run and pass, culminated on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Munchie Legeaux to Travis Kelce which gave the Bearcats their first lead of the game at 10-6.

As the second half got underway, the Bearcats seemed to finally find some sort of rhythm on offense with Munchie Legeaux under center. Legeaux performed well, but it was the play of senior tailback Isaiah Pead that got the offense rolling.

On the Bearcats opening drive of the second half, Pead was excellent. His impressive 24-yard scamper to end the drive gave the Bearcats a 17-6 lead and set the tone for the remainder of the game.

Syracuse was able to cut the lead to as low as 10 heading into the fourth quarter, but another Isaiah Pead touchdown, this one 69 yards through the air, put the game on ice.

In all, Isaiah Pead finished with 17 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. He also caught 9 passes for 112 yards and another score. His quarterback, Munchie Legeaux, performed admirably in the win. The sophomore threw for 169 yards and two touchdowns on13-of-22 passing, while avoiding any key mistakes through the air.

With the win, the Bearcats move into a tie for the Big East lead. They no longer control their own destiny, but a win next week against Connecticut paired with a West Virginia loss to South Florida would put the Bearcats back in Miami, Florida on January 4th.

Key Numbers

0. The number of times the Bearcats turned the ball over against Syracuse on Saturday. Munchie Legeaux performed as well as anyone could have hoped following the team’s loss to Rutgers last week. The true freshman didn’t have gaudy numbers, but he avoided the dreaded interception and allowed Isaiah Pead to carry the team to victory.

244. The number of all-purpose yard accounted for by senior tailback Isaiah Pead. Pead rushed for 80 yards and a score on Saturday, and caught 9 passes for 112 more yards and another score. But he also assumed punt return duties for the Bearcats and performed well. He retuned just two punts, but averaged 27 yards per return on the day.

Turning Point

The turning point in Saturday’s game came when the Bearcats mounted a touchdown drive to end the first half with the lead. The drive seemed to give the Bearcats’ offense the confidence they needed coming out of the locker room. On the Bearcats’ next possession, the first of the second half, they found the endzone once again and Syracuse never recovered.

Medic Minute

The Bearcats escaped Saturday afternoon’s game without what appeared to be any significant injuries.

Final Thoughts

The Bearcats got the win they needed to keep their season alive. It wasn’t always pretty, but they got the win and they did so in convincing fashion with a big second half from the offense.

Isaiah Pead, down to just two regular season games left in his Cincinnati career heading into Saturday’s game, did everything in his power to make sure the final regular season game of his career would mean something to the team. His 244 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns were exactly what the Bearcats needed to get over the hump and end their losing streak at two.

The Bearcats nearly regained the top spot in the Big East this week, but fell just shy of that goal when West Virginia pulled off a stunning comeback against Pittsburgh on Friday night to come away with a one-point win. Still, Rutgers fell to Connecticut on Saturday afternoon, reducing the number of teams the Bearcats need to lose to just one.

West Virginia, the one team standing in between the Bearcats and a BCS berth, will take on the South Florida Bulls this week. A West Virginia loss would turn Saturday’s senior day showdown against Connecticut into the game of the year, as the Bearcats would clinch a spot in the BCS with a win.

  • I don't think Munchie is a true freshman

  • A few game notes..

    With his fourth carry of the game, RB Isaiah Pead became the third UC player all-time to eclipse 3,000 career rushing yards. He joins Reggie Taylor (1983-86/4,242) and DeMarco McCleskey (1998-02/3,487).

    Pead broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second-straight season late in the second quarter. He is the first UC player in 25 seasons (Reggie Taylor/1984-86) to break the 1,000-yard plateau in back-to-back seasons.

    Pead scored his BIG EAST Conference leading 13th TD of the season on UC’s first offensive play of the third quarter, a 24-yard run for the score. He added a 14th in the fourth quarter.

    Pead added a career-best nine receptions for a career-best 112 receiving yards, including a 69-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. It was Pead’s first career 100-yard receiving game.

    Pead has 1,042 rushing yards for the season and 3,071 for his career.

    UC returns home to historic Nippert Stadium on Dec. 3, 2011 to face Connecticut on Senior Day. It will mark UC’s first game in Nippert in 71 days (NC State, Sept. 22) after playing two straight home games at Paul Brown Stadium. UC will honor 21 seniors in a pregame ceremony. Kickoff is set for noon with the game being televised on either ESPN or ABC.

    This post was edited by Todd Cunningham 3 years ago

  • Todd Cunningham said... (original post)

    A few game notes..

    With his fourth carry of the game, RB Isaiah Pead became the third UC player all-time to eclipse 3,000 career rushing yards. He joins Reggie Taylor (1983-86/4,242) and DeMarco McCleskey (1998-02/3,487).

    Pead broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second-straight season late in the second quarter. He is the first UC player in 25 seasons (Reggie Taylor/1984-86) to break the 1,000-yard plateau in back-to-back seasons.

    Pead scored his BIG EAST Conference leading 13th TD of the season on UC’s first offensive play of the third quarter, a 24-yard run for the score. He added a 14th in the fourth quarter.

    Pead added a career-best nine receptions for a career-best 112 receiving yards, including a 69-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. It was Pead’s first career 100-yard receiving game.

    Pead has 1,042 rushing yards for the season and 3,071 for his career.

    UC returns home to historic Nippert Stadium on Dec. 3, 2011 to face Connecticut on Senior Day. It will mark UC’s first game in Nippert in 71 days (NC State, Sept. 22) after playing two straight home games at Paul Brown Stadium. UC will honor 21 seniors in a pregame ceremony. Kickoff is set for noon with the game being televised on either ESPN or ABC.

    I was there. It appeared the turning point was when Coach put the Luallen package in when UC was down 3-0 and tied it up with a field goal. Yes??L

  • I watched ESPN's online recap of the game a second ago- stunning breaking news here from their crack reporting department: With the victory today this seals Cincinnati's first NINE WIN season since 1953. Yes, that was the statement that the woman breaking down the highlight made at the end. I'll leave it to all of you to figure out the multiple things incorrect in that statement. lol yikes.

    signature image signature image signature image

    Now is the time. This is the place.

  • I'm sure Tim will be weighing in soon with his recap. I'll be curious to see which way he goes with his Special Teams Player of the Game pick. Orion Woodard just continues to be stellar in his coverage duties, while Pead had a 30-yard punt return out of nothing that seemed to electrify our team. Of course, you also have Abernathy with his 74-yard kick return to start the second half.

    But I would still have to lean to Pat O'Donnell, who had one of his best kickoff days and also averaged 54 yards per on four punts. His last two were 61 and 57 yards, respectively, burying Syracuse in field position when they were faced with trying to mount a comeback. The 61-yarder left them at their own 6-yard line right after they had scored to pull within 10 points and we had just made an ugly quick 3-and-out on offense. That one ranks right with the 70-yard punt he had against N.C. State in terms of changing the momentum at a critical moment.

    The good news was, though, after two subpar special teams weeks, we really gained a major overall advantage in today's game with our special teams.

    Offensive player is obviously going to be Pead. Defensively, it's interesting that two of our leaders, Schaffer and Wolfe, had relatively quiet days. I wonder if Rutgers figured something out that Syracuse followed up with in terms of how to run away from those two? Our leading tackler, then, was Devin Drane, and he also had the defensive play of the game, IMO, with the sure-handed open field tackle on fourth down early in the fourth quarter, which turned Syracuse over on downs inside our 30-yard line. As only a true sophomore, I think Drane is going to be a star before he's done with his Bearcat career.

  • I'm sure Tim will be weighing in soon with his recap. I'll be curious to see which way he goes with his Special Teams Player of the Game pick. Orion Woodard just continues to be stellar in his coverage duties, while Pead had a 30-yard punt return out of nothing that seemed to electrify our team. Of course, you also have Abernathy with his 74-yard kick return to start the second half.

    But I would still have to lean to Pat O'Donnell, who had one of his best kickoff days and also averaged 54 yards per on four punts. His last two were 61 and 57 yards, respectively, burying Syracuse in field position when they were faced with trying to mount a comeback. The 61-yarder left them at their own 6-yard line right after they had scored to pull within 10 points and we had just made an ugly quick 3-and-out on offense. That one ranks right with the 70-yard punt he had against N.C. State in terms of changing the momentum at a critical moment.

    The good news was, though, after two subpar special teams weeks, we really gained a major overall advantage in today's game with our special teams.

    Offensive player is obviously going to be Pead. Defensively, it's interesting that two of our leaders, Schaffer and Wolfe, had relatively quiet days. I wonder if Rutgers figured something out that Syracuse followed up with in terms of how to run away from those two? Our leading tackler, then, was Devin Drane, and he also had the defensive play of the game, IMO, with the sure-handed open field tackle on fourth down early in the fourth quarter, which turned Syracuse over on downs inside our 30-yard line. As only a true sophomore, I think Drane is going to be a star before he's done with his Bearcat career.

    Wow, that is a heck of a recap! Tim, no stealing WTBE's notes!

  • Great win today for the Bearcats.

    This post was edited by aabernathy 3 years ago

  • aabernathy said... (original post)

    Great win today for the Bearcats.

    I assume you are RDA4's parent. Welcome!

    He's doing great here so far!

  • I'm sure Tim will be weighing in soon with his recap. I'll be curious to see which way he goes with his Special Teams Player of the Game pick. Orion Woodard just continues to be stellar in his coverage duties, while Pead had a 30-yard punt return out of nothing that seemed to electrify our team. Of course, you also have Abernathy with his 74-yard kick return to start the second half.

    But I would still have to lean to Pat O'Donnell, who had one of his best kickoff days and also averaged 54 yards per on four punts. His last two were 61 and 57 yards, respectively, burying Syracuse in field position when they were faced with trying to mount a comeback. The 61-yarder left them at their own 6-yard line right after they had scored to pull within 10 points and we had just made an ugly quick 3-and-out on offense. That one ranks right with the 70-yard punt he had against N.C. State in terms of changing the momentum at a critical moment.

    The good news was, though, after two subpar special teams weeks, we really gained a major overall advantage in today's game with our special teams.

    Offensive player is obviously going to be Pead. Defensively, it's interesting that two of our leaders, Schaffer and Wolfe, had relatively quiet days. I wonder if Rutgers figured something out that Syracuse followed up with in terms of how to run away from those two? Our leading tackler, then, was Devin Drane, and he also had the defensive play of the game, IMO, with the sure-handed open field tackle on fourth down early in the fourth quarter, which turned Syracuse over on downs inside our 30-yard line. As only a true sophomore, I think Drane is going to be a star before he's done with his Bearcat career.

    Agree '85. He pretty much posted Tim's article before Tim did. Great minds think alike.

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