UT vs Cincinnati Game RecapWritten by Nate Pentecost | | email@example.com
Before the Bearcats trip to Toledo, head coach Butch Jones cautioned his No. 21 Cincinnati squad of the perils that await at the Glass Bowl.
The Rockets made certain Jones’ warning rang true, knocking off previously unbeaten UC 29-23 in front of a frenzied crowd of 24,124 to improve to 5-1 at home against ranked teams.
In what now appears to be only a minor upset, Toledo (7-1, 4-0 Mid-American Conference) scored in every phase of the game but offense, moving to 7-11 overall against Top 25 schools and 7-3 when a BCS member visits UT.
The Rockets seventh-straight win snaps a run of eight in a row by the Bearcats.
Reserve cornerback Jordan Haden’s interception with 23 seconds left sealed the biggest of first-year head coach Matt Campbell’s eight victories.
“Our football program is getting better,” Campbell said. “We’ve been in these football games so many times. We’ve been in big games year in and year out. You can go back to Syracuse, Ohio State and Boise State. We’ve been in these games and so close to winning them but we haven’t been able to win and take the next step.”
Since 2000 the Rockets have knocked off BCS conference foes Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue and No. 9 Pittsburgh.
Including the 2001 Motor City Bowl, Toledo has beat Cincinnati (5-1, 1-0 Big East) twice in that span, though the Bearcats lead the all-time series 4-3.
Toledo opened the contest on defense, forcing a three-and-out with the backing of an electric crowd.
On the Rockets first series junior wide receiver Bernard Reedy made a 22-yard catch for a new set of downs to set up Jeremiah Detmer’s 43-yard field goal.
The sophomore kicker finished the day with five field goals, including his longest of the year — 47 yards. His 25-yarder with 42 seconds to go ensured that Cincinnati would need a touchdown to tie the contest .
Detmer is 18 of 23 on the year and has made good on his last 11 attempts.
“I thought we played really well offensively from the 20 to the 20. We kept getting into the red zone and fortunately or unfortunately had to kick field goals,” Campbell said.
The following drive, Bearcats junior quarterback Munchie Legaux heaved the ball deep, into the waiting hands of Jermaine Robinson. Toledo’s senior safety took his fourth interception of the season 75 yards to give the Rockets a 10-0 lead with 7:50 left in the first quarter.
“We practiced disguising coverages all week and we knew we could confuse [Legeaux] with some of our shift and calls,” Robinson said. “Once I had the ball in my hands, I just tried to make a play and fortunately it worked out.”
Cincinnati responded with a 75-yard drive capped off by a two-yard shuffle from Legaux which made the score 13-7 in favor of the home team.
A 44-yard run by junior tailback David Fluellen, who finished with 161 yards on 25 rushes, set up Detmer’s 47-yarder midway through the second quarter.
Detmer and his counterpart Tony Miliano traded field goals to make the score 19-13 Toledo with just less than nine minutes left in the third quarter.
Cincinnati took its only lead of the night late in the third frame as Legaux completed three passes in as many attempts for 70 yards. A 25-yard touchdown toss to wideout Julian Damon closed out the series, giving the Bearcats a 20-19 advantage.
Back-to-back MAC West Special Teams Player of the Week Bernard Reedy returned the ensuing kick 91 yards to paydirt to give the Rockets the lead for good.
Miliano hit a 41-yarder with 11:30 to go for the Bearcats last score of the game.
“I thought Cincinnati played hard and it was a great battle, but I’m really proud of our senior leadership and our coaches,” Campbell said. “Hopefully this win gives us great momentum as we continue on through the rest of the season.”
Toledo returns to conference play next Saturday at Buffalo. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m.