Bearcats Earn Home Victory

Ryan Manalac (8 tackles on the day)

Homecoming weekend is always full of surprises and suspense, but Brian Kelly and the Bearcats football team made sure fans had a reason to stay in their seats until the final seconds ran off the clock in the teams first Big East win of the season over Rutgers.

An All-American Homecoming was the theme for the days game as several former Bearcats who enjoyed Olympic success made a return to campus. Not only did Nippert play host to Olympic medal winners they also saw a return of another Bearcat who has seen success away from campus as Miss America Kirsten Haglund was on hand for the homecoming events. (Photos to come)

But the action was on the field as the sixth largest crowd in Nippert Stadium history prepared for what they hoped would be the Bearcats first conference victory of the season.

Both teams would go toe-to-toe until the end of the game with the Bearcats taking the early advantage on a Jake Rogers field goal on the Bearcats third drive of the game. Rogers would connect on two field goals on the day with one being a 50-yard attempt in the third quarter that gave the Bearcats the points needed for the victory.

Chazz Anderson made his second career start and while the offense struggled at times the redshirt freshman went 21-29 for 239 yards and also posted the only Bearcats touchdown on a 8-yard run in the second quarter.

Penalties kept Rutgers in the game as they earned four first downs off the yellow flags. But the defense held when it needed to and only gave up 62 yards rushing on the day.

Ryan Manalac and Torry Cornett paced the defense in tackles and Connor Barwin and Lamonte Nelms provided three sacks between them as Mike Teel again struggled going 19-35 for 175 yards. Rutgers only touchdown came in the third quarter on a halfback pass from Kordell Young to Jack Corcoran.

Rutgers last chance came with 2:10 left in the game but ended as All-American Mike Mickens helped break up a Teel pass to Kenny Britt on 4-th & 2 to give the Bearcats the ball and their first Big East victory of the season.

The Bearcats head into an off week before taking on Uconn on the road.

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