Running back Michael Warren II scored two touchdowns and the University of Cincinnati football team trucked through the University of Connecticut Saturday, defeating the Huskies 48-3 at Nippert Stadium.
This one was never in doubt, as the Bearcats had the second stringers in throughout the second half and ended with 507 yards of total offense — their second game of the season with 500-plus yards.
“We hadn’t had one of these [dominating performances] in a while,” UC head coach Luke Fickell said postgame. “The opportunity to do some things early on and get ourselves into a situation where a lot of guys that haven’t had a lot of those opportunities to play and for these guys to get some opportunities tonight, I’m really happy for us and them.”
Sophomore quarterback Ben Bryant replaced starter Desmond Ridder after the first series in the third quarter, finishing 3-of-5 passing for 64 yards.
Ridder ended with 136 passing yards and two touchdowns and had his dual threat ability on display as well. He rushed for 94 yards on seven attempts and had a 34-yard run that set up a 6-yard Warren score.
Warren entered the top 10 for most career rushing yards in school history with 60 Saturday, and running back Gerrid Doaks finished with a season-high 123 rushing yards and a touchdown.
“We executed on both sides of the ball really well,” UC senior tight end Josiah Deguara said. “It’s great for us to be able to execute and be able to get [back-ups] in. it’s awesome for everybody.”
UC's defense surrendered a season-high 43 points at East Carolina last week but responded well against UConn allowing 127 yards in the first half and 218 for the game.
The Bearcats jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after they allowed 57 yards of offense to the Huskies and forced four straight three-and-outs.
UC allowed UConn’s quarterbacks to complete just 10 passes and came up with an interception before halftime — their eighth straight game with a takeaway.
“That’s just us every week coming out to a fast start,” Ridder said. “[Fickell] talks about starting fast and finishing fast. It was really good for us to come out and jump on them quick, then just keep rolling … It really shows a lot of maturity within the team, coaching staff and being able to bounce back [from last week].”
Along with the 45-point win, the Bearcats had their lowest game in terms of penalties committed (two for 20 yards) and scored on every trip to the red zone (7-for-7).
UC has a chance to at least share or outright win the American Athletic Conference East if they are able to win next week at South Florida — a place UC hasn’t won since 2010.