I wasn't able to catch the Rutgers game as it occurred Saturday night. Most of it was due to me having other plans and not thinking UC would be playing on 7:30. Some of it was indifference. Hey, I couldn't get excited about the team after the back to back stink bombs they put out. Boy was I wrong to sleep on this one. The Bearcats and Scarlet Knights set a Big East record for points in a game. And yes, I watched thanks to the glory of ESPN3. It's not the same though, but it was still better than reading the box score. It was a fun, exciting game. Let's dive in friends.
UC got the ball to start the game, but had a penalty on the kick that placed the ball at the 7. In a rare feat, the Bearcats went incompletion, no gain, incompletion. The punt went back to the Rutgers 49. The Knights wasted zero time scoring though. The first play, Mohamed Sanu lined up in the wildcat. He faked a run, which the whole UC defense bought, stepped back and threw deep to Jordan Thomas for a 51 yard TD. Rutgers 7-0.
That's just a good picture. Thanks to the AP for all photos linked to in this post. DJ Woods brought the kick out to the 34. Zach Collaros connected with Anthony McClung for 4, followed by a Pead run for 5. On 3-1 Collaros went deep for Adrien Robinson, who hauled in a 23 yarder. With the ball on the Rutgers 34, Pead lined up wide and went deep. He burned the corner, and Collaros put it right on the money. Jake Rogers had the extra point blocked. Rutgers 7-6.
Rutgers started with the ball at their 27, but the Bearcats defense held to 1 yard, forcing the Knights to punt. Kyle Sullivan kicked UC to the 25. Collaros hit Pead for 2 yards, but Rutgers had a personal foul that added 15. Collaros hit Ben Guidugli for 9, followed by a Pead 4 yard run for the first. Collaros connected with DJ Woods for 21 yards down the Rutgers 24. From there, Pead took a handoff around the right side and went untouched. The second TD of the day for 23, and Cincinnati took the lead. Cincinnati 13-7.
Rutgers returned the kick for their next drive to the 20. Chas Dodd immediately went deep on the UC zone, connecting with Mark Harrison for 30 yards. After a 1 yard run by Thomas, Dodd hit Keith Stroud for 10 yards. Jeremy Deering went wildcat for 5 yards, and no gain, but Derek Wolfe was hit with a personal foul that moved the ball to the 19. Following an incompletion and a 2 yard pass, Mark Harrison caught a 14 yarder to give Rutgers first and goal. A pair of Deering runs netted a yard, but Rutgers lost 5 on a false start. Dodd went to throw on 3rd down, but Brandon Mills wrestled him down for a sack. San San Te was good from 28, making it Cincinnati 13-10.
The Bearcats started at the 26. Collaros ran for 5 yards, and Pead immediately lost those 5 yards. Collaros shook off the 3-10 by hitting McClung for 14. The Bearcats went end around to DJ Woods, and around he went for 40 yards to the RU 16. Robinson hauled in a 7 yard pass on first down. On second, the Bearcats ran a reverse to Woods, who went untouched from 9 yards out. Look at the picture, you can see it for yourself. Cincinnati 20-10.
Rutgers got a big return to the 35. Dodd hit Thomas for 8 yards as the first quarter ended. After a no gain, Dodd converted the third down with a pass to JT Tartacoff for 7. But, he was stripped by Wes Richardson. But, the ball went out of bounds. That would be very bad for the Bearcats. Dodd went play action, throwing deep to a wide open Harrison, who absolutely toasted Reuben Johnson, for 52 yards. Cincinnati 20-17.
The Bearcats had good field position, the 35, but went nowhere. A sack by Alex Silvestro didn't help matters. I mentioned that Rutgers was good at blocking punts, and guess what, they got a piece of this one. The ball went 15 yards to the UC 43. The Scarlet Knights immediately got 14 yards on a Sanu pass to Harrison. The defense would make a play. Dodd went deep down the left sideline, but Wes Richardson knew what was going down, and intercepted the pass at the 6. Two INTs in two weeks for Wes.
The Bearcats lost 2 on first down, but gained 31 on second, as Collaros threw deep for Armon Binns. Pead ran for 6, Collaros hit Woods for 14, and Pead ran for 3. UC took back to back false start penalties to add a degree of difficulty. Collaros accepted the challenge, and took off on what looked to be a draw or scramble, for 21 yards to the Rutgers 31. The Bearcats stayed on the ground, as Pead exploded up the middle for 30 yards, not getting touched until the 5. One play later, Collaros went 2 yards on a QB run out of the shotgun. Turnovers into points for UC for a change. Cincinnati 27-17.
Rutgers started at the 30, and on first down went back 8 yards thanks to Brandon Mills blowing up the wildcat. On second down, Derek Wolfe got in the backfield and brought down Dodd for 6 yard loss. Rutgers got 8 yards on 3rd before they punted to the UC 27. Pead lost a yard on 1st, but Collaros hit Woods for 18, and Binns for 31. The ball was quickly at the Rutgers 25. Pead got 6, followed by an incompletion. Collaros was complete on 3rd, hitting Binns for 10. On first and goal, Pead walked in from 9 yards out for his 3rd TD of the game. He had 2 coming into the game. Cincinnati 34-17.
Rutgers took over at the 26. Things looked bleak after an incompletion, and a sack by JK Schaffer, when UC overwhelmed the Rutgers line. Dodd hit Stroud for 18 to convert, and 3 on 1st. Dodd ran for 4, and hit Stroud again for 8, getting the ball to the UC 43. Dodd hit Deering, who got 25 yards to the UC 18. After an incompletion, Dodd hit Harrison for 13 yards to the 5. On 2nd down, Dodd threw a fade to Harrison, who easily hauled it in. Cincinnati 34-24. Harrison had a career high in catches, yards and TDs just in the first half.
Rutgers kicked a squid kick that was taken to the UC 38. Rutgers should have known better, it left 38 seconds on the clock. Collaros immediately went deep to Binns, who hauled in a 35 yard pass to the 27. After a spike and incompletion, UC drew a pass interference on Casey Turner on a pass to Binns. Collaros was sacked by Alex Silvestro for a 4 yard loss, causing UC to call timeout with 16 seconds left. Collaros threw to Binns, who was clearly out of bounds at the 1, but UC challenged the play and lost their last timeout with 10 seconds left. On 3rd down, a down in which UC didn't convert last week, Collaros threw to DJ Woods, who was running a flag route, for a TD pass. The 16 yarder put UC over 40 points for the second time in a half this season. Cincinnati 41-24.
Rutgers got the ball to start the second half, and got the kick to the 34. First play, they decided to go deep. Chas Dodd reared back and threw a bomb to Mark Harrison, who absolutely burnt Deven Drane, for a 66 yard TD pass. Two first drive plays, two TDs by Rutgers. And yes, another bomb on the UC defense. Cincinnati 41-31.
UC got good field position to start their drive, the 35. After 2 carries for a yard by Pead, Collaros went deep for Binns, who caught a 22 yard pass. Pead ran for 1, Woods 8, and Pead 9 to get the ball to the RU 24. Pead took the handoff on the next play, and went the other 24 yards pretty easily. It was like a playstation game. Cincinnati 48-31.
Rutgers took over at the 24, and were held to just 6 yards by the Bearcats defense on a 3 and out. The Knights got a 52 yard punt, and a block in the back on UC, totally flipping field position to the 14. Pead ran for 4, and 16, but Collaros threw 3 incompletions, leading to a UC punt. Rutgers once again did nothing with the ball. A 3-11 scramble by Dodd was stopped by Mills after 3 yards. Sullivan hit another 52 yard punt that DJ returned 4 yards to the UC 23.
Collaros started the drive by running for 1, and throwing incomplete on second down. However, he threw deep for Woods to get 22 yards. Pead ran for 17 to the Rutgers 37. Collaros found Adrien Robinson again for 9 yards. Robinson's time in witness protection must be over. Collaros had 2 passes broken up. Facing 4-1, Butch Jones decided to go for it. He called a run for Pead, who converted. After an incompletion, Collaros hit Woods for 6, and McClung for 10. On 1st and goal at the 10, Collaros rolled right, throwing and completing to Ben Guidugli, who muscled his way into the end zone. The third passing TD of the game for Collaros. Cincinnati 55-31.
Rutgers started at their 19, and went back, thanks to a 7 yard loss on a sack by Maalik Bomar on 2nd down. Dodd hit Stroud for 18 to convert. He hit Stroud for 6 on 1st. The UC defense didn't like that. Brandon Mills got pressure on Dodd, missed the sack, got up, and chased Dodd down for a 4 yard loss on his second sack of the game. Schaffer got pressure on 3rd to force an incompletion. UC took over at the 36 following the punt. Pead went for 6 as the third quarter ended. A run for Woods got stuffed a 7 yard loss. Facing 3-15, Collaros got pressure up the middle. He rolled right and made a bad throw that was nowhere near a UC receiver and picked off by Brandon Bing, who returned it to the UC 44. Chas Dodd went right back to Harrison, hitting him for 8. Dodd went back to throw, pump faked, which the UC safety absolutely bit on, and fired to a wide open Harrison for the 4th time. The 33 yard score made it Cincinnati 55-38.
I have written about how DJ Woods is not good at returning kicks. He read the blog and decided to show me a thing or two. He returned the following kick 47 yards to the RU 37. Isaiah Pead thought scoring in two plays looked fun, so he tried it. He got 11 on the first play, and went up the middle for the next 26, only hitting his foot touched on a dive by a Rutgers player. It was the 5th TD of the game for Pead, his 4th on the ground to match Harrison's efforts in the air. It also put UC over 60. Cincinnati 62-38.
Rutgers started at the 26. UC was not in the mood for more yards. Brandon Mills got his 3rd sack of the game a play after forcing Dodd out of bounds for no gain. JK Schaffer got his 2nd sack of the game on 3rd down. Kyle Sullivan hit a 66 yard punt, that was returned 4 yards by McClung. Sullivan was very good Saturday. The UC offense mustered a 10 yard pass to Binns on a 3-6, but couldn't do much more besides run clock. O'Donnell punted to the RU 18, where there was a 1 yard return. Dodd went to throw, and got pressure in his face, causing his pass to flutter. Drew Frey was in excellent position to pick off the pass and return it to the UC 24.
UC went to Pead, who had runs of 3,12,3 and 2. On 3rd down, UC went play action, which left Anthony McClung open in the end zone for his first career TD grab from 4 yards out. Cincinnati 69-38. The teams ran the ball the last 5 minutes.
Cincinnati exploded for 661 yards. They had 366 in the air, and 295 on the ground. The Bearcats were 10-16 on 3rd, and 1-1 on 4th. Zach Collaros was 23-39-366-4 TDs-1 INT-1 rush TD. Isaiah Pead had 31-213-4 TDs-36 receiving-1 TD. Amazing. Armon Binns had 6-139, DJ Woods 6-97-1 TD, Anthony McClung 4-36-1, Adrien Robinson 3-39, and Ben Guidugli 2-19-1 TD. Brandon Mills had 10 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3 sacks. JK Schaffer had 7 tackles-2 sacks.
Rutgers had 391 yards, 400 passing, -9 rushing. They had 27 real rushing yards, but Dodd lost 33 in sacks. Still, 27 is very stout defense. Chas Dodd was 19-29-335-4 TDs-2 INTs. Mohamed Sanu was 2-3-65-1 TD. Mark Harrison had 10-240-4 TDs. Wow. Keith Stroud had 6-63, and Jeremy Thomas 2-58-1 TD.
Let's do a real quick 3 positives, 3 negatives.
- Isaiah Pead was flat out unstoppable. He did whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. That's a huge credit to the offensive line, which bullied Rutgers all day. Pead gets the glory, but the line did the dirty work.
- Brandon Mills was the Isaiah Pead of the defensive line. He bullied the Rutgers line all night. Just a bang up job by Mills. If Pead didn't have a huge game, Mills would be the one everyone would be talking about.
- The run defense as a whole was flat out great. Rutgers had nothing going at all. Which brings me to the
- Rutgers didn't have to run the ball, because they abused the UC secondary all night. It's like beating a dead horse who has already been beaten many, many times, but good god the UC secondary is awful. If they weren't blowing coverage, they were getting burnt. If they weren't getting burnt, they were being exploited in the zone. Unreal.
- In fact, it's so unreal, that they are all three negatives.
- That's how bad they are. We still have Jon Baldwin coming to town too. He's probably licking his chops after what Harrison did.