Bearcats’ defense leads the way in win over Army
Fueled by a stingy defense that continually rose to the occasion, No. 14 Cincinnati posted a 24-10 victory against No. 22 Army on Saturday at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
The Bearcats limited Army’s vaunted rushing attack to 182 yards and also benefitted from a pair of turnovers. The Black Knights failed to score an offensive touchdown.
Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder overcame two first-quarter turnovers to throw for two touchdowns.
Ridder hit running back Gerrid Doaks on a 60-yard touchdown play courtesy of Army’s broken coverage with 6:55 to play to give the Bearcats (2-0) a much-desired cushion.
Ridder was 18-for-33 for 258 yards in the air.
Army’s defense came up with the first big play on the game’s opening possession. Jabari Moore, who didn’t play in the first two games for the Black Knights (2-1), knocked down Ridder’s pitchout and secured the ball on one bounce and ran unimpeded 41 yards for a touchdown.
Moore intercepted Ridder later in the quarter. But Army was denied on a fourth-and-3 inside the Cincinnati 20.
Cincinnati’s first points came on Cole Smith’s 33-yard field goal with 10:50 left in the first quarter. Ridder connected with Michael Young for a 12-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter for a 10-7 lead.
The Bearcats had a chance to build on that lead late in the first half. But on fourth down inside the Army 1-yard line, Ridder was stuffed on a quarterback sneak. That scoring chance came after Ethan Tucky blocked an Army punt.
Jerome Ford scored on a 4-yard touchdown run at the 8-minute mark of the third quarter following an Army fumble.
The Black Knights closed within 17-10 on Landon Salyers’ 36-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Army quarterback Christian Anderson picked up 81 rushing yards on 22 carries. He threw for 94 yards on 9-for-21 passing with an interception.
Army competed in its first road outing after a postponement a week earlier in what would have been a home game vs. BYU.
Army was trying to win for the first time in a matchup of ranked teams since 1958. It had been 24 years since Army was involved in a game with two ranked teams, while the Black Knights haven’t defeated a ranked team since conquering Air Force in 1972.
Cincinnati leads the series 4-3 after the first encounter since 2004. This meeting was added to the schedule when teams made summer revisions to their schedules.
The game was played without fans other than limited family members of players and coaches.
–Field Level Media