The University of Cincinnati football team suffered its first loss of the season, 42-0, Saturday to the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium.
The Bearcats were dominated from the beginning, surrendering 356 yards on defense in the first half to the Buckeyes and total of 508 for the game.
UC head coach Luke Fickell took responsibility for the team’s struggles.
“I didn’t do a good job preparing our guys,” Fickell said postgame. “These guys weren’t prepared and I’m the one who had to make sure they’re prepared … We have ways to go. We have a lot of things we can get better at — big stages you have to play your best ball whether its big plays, handling the adversity, It's back to the grind for us … I believe we can pull out of this and use it as a humbling experience.”
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Desmond Ridder briefly left the game after awkwardly landing on his left shoulder in the second quarter but returned to the game. He finished with 166 yards passing and an interception.
Junior running back Michael Warren II struggled mightily, gaining just 15 yards on 10 attempts (1.5 yards per attempt). The total is his lowest with at least 10 attempts since rushing for 40 yards against Temple University in November 2017.
“They’ve got a lot of guys in the box,” Fickell said. "We didn’t do a great job even last week [against UCLA]. It took a while to get things going. We like to try to think wear people down but that just didn’t happen … They’re stout up front. Their linebackers are big and physical as well. It made it difficult for [Warren] and everybody all day.”
The Bearcats had three trips to the red-zone, but had a field-goal attempt blocked, the interception from Ridder and a fumble at the goal-line by sophomore running back Tavion Thomas late in the fourth quarter.
UC couldn’t stop the OSU duo of quarterback Justin Fields and running back J.K Dobbins.
Fields completed 20-of-25 passes for 224 and four total touchdowns (two passing), while Dobbins rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He had the longest run of the day on a 60-yard score in the second quarter.
Fields and Dobbins have been a part of all 12 OSU touchdowns through two games.
“We come back with another in-state rival next week with Miami of Ohio and were trying to make it 14 wins in a row, but we’re going to come out prepared just like any other game [and] any other team. Hopefully the hard work pays off" said Ridder.
The Bearcats will return home for a matchup with the Miami (OH) University RedHawks Sept. 14. Kickoff is set for noon.
Records: UC 1-1, OSU 2-0