The 115th “Battle For the Victory Bell” didn’t go as well as Miami would have liked on Saturday night, as they fell 45-3 to the Cincinnati Bearcats. The RedHawks came into the rivalry game on a high streak, defeating Kent State the previous weekend to improve their conference record to 2-0. But the Bearcats were just too tough of a team for the RedHawks to defeat, as Miami now drops to 3-3 on the season.
The defense for Miami struggled early and often in the game against the Bearcats, allowing a powerful Cincinnati offense to score on their first three possessions of the contest. Miami let up 28 points in the first quarter, the most in an opening quarter for the RedHawks since 2002. The RedHawks knew they were in trouble early when Bearcat wide out Armand Bins hauled in a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zach Collaros just 25 seconds into the game. Miami’s defense has been the strong point of the team all season long, but they couldn’t stop the Bearcat offense, which gained over 600 yards of total offense Saturday.
The Miami offense didn’t get much going either against the Bearcats on Saturday night. The RedHawks, who needed to establish the running game to have a chance to pull the upset, only gained 23 yards on the ground through four quarters. Sophomore quarterback Zac Dysert didn’t have a bad game, going 22-for-35 for 165 yards, but he couldn’t connect with a RedHawk receiver for a touchdown. Miami’s only points of the game came on a 48-yard field goal by senior kicker Trevor Cook, who is now 10-for-11 on field goals this season.
Miami did face a tough opponent in Cincinnati, but they would have liked to keep the game closer. Let’s not forget that Miami is still on top of their conference with a 2-0 record, but their two wins came at home against Eastern Michigan and Kent State. The good news is Miami is done with non-conference play, something they have not preformed well in over the last four years. The bad news is that Miami only has two home games left, meaning if they want to challenge for a conference title, they will have to win some games on the road. Miami has not won a road game since the 2008 season. There is no doubt it was a rough loss to UC on Saturday, but the RedHawks have a great chance to go 3-0 in the MAC when they play Central Michigan next weekend.
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Written by Michael Solomon