River Rivalry Beat Down

The 125th season of Cincinnati football got off to a bit of a shaky start as the opening kickoff was called back after an offsides penalty against the bearcats. After that, the only thing shaking was Nippert as the bearcats cruised to a 34-10 win against Pittsburgh in the River Rivalry.

After forcing a three and out on Pittsburgh's first drive of the game, Cincinnati showed just what type of game this was going to be as Bearcats running back George Winn took The Opening handoff and rushed 58 yards for a touchdown. It's the second consecutive year the Bearcats have scored on their first offensive play of the year. The first quarter was an absolute clinic by the Bearcats. On Pitt's next possession, quarterback Tino Sunseri dropped back, sacked, and had the ball stripped away by UC defensive end Walter Stewart. Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux took advantage of the Pitt turnover and hit sophomore running back Ralph Abernathy IV on a swing pass for a touchdown to put UC up 14-0 in the first quarter.

The second quarter was much of the same for the Panthers. They were able to put together some longer drives, but UC was playing bend but don't break defense. Once Pitt passed the 50 yard line, the Bearcats clamped down. One of the bigger momentum changing plays of the game occurred when Pitt had the ball inside the 20 halfway through the second quarter. Sunseri dropped back on third down, faced some pressure and threw the ball into coverage in the end zone. Instead of finding a Panther receiver, the pass fell into the hands of Bearcats linebacker Greg Blair. Pitt never threatened again.

The real story of the game was Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux. After being named the starter a little over a week ago, Legaux showed that Coach Butch Jones is a wise, wise man. 117 rushing yards, including 77 on one play, and 205 passing yards to go along with two passing touchdowns made Legaux the clear cut player of the game. If Legaux was the headliner of the game, then sophomore running George Abernathy IV was the opening act. Abernathy showed his versatility throughout the game, finishing with 4 receptions for 71 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for 20 yards on five carries.

Cincinnati's fans showed up in a big way throughout the game, constantly cheering and dancing for all four quarters. The environment was big time, and the game was a reflection of that. After a meaningless Pitt touchdown late in the fourth quarter, it was over. Final score? Cincinnati 34, Pittsburgh 10. Senior defensive end Walter Stewart summed it up best with a chant I believe all the Bearcats faithful can appreciate, "Give me that trophy!". It was well earned, boys.

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