Desmond Ridder helps No. 8 Cincinnati topple Indiana
Demond Ridder connected with Alec Pierce on a 19-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to fuel No. 8 Cincinnati to a 38-24 win over Indiana on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.
Ridder completed 20 of 36 passes for 210 yards and Jerome Ford added 66 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Bearcats (3-0), who have won 12 of their last 13 games.
Ridder’s 7-yard touchdown run with 2:37 left sealed the win.
The Hoosiers (1-2) were done in by turnovers. Indiana turned it over four times, including twice in the red zone, with a fumble by running back Tim Baldwin Jr. at Cincinnati’s 2-yard line negating a potential go-ahead score midway through the fourth quarter.
Wide receiver D.J. Matthews sparked Indiana’s offense with five catches for 120 yards.
Indiana was dominant on defense early, cashing in on two Cincinnati turnovers to build an early 14-0 lead.
After Hoosiers defensive back Marcelino Ball intercepted a Ridder pass at midfield, Indiana scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Michael Penix to tight end Peyton Hendershot to take an early 7-0 lead.
Defensive end Ryder Anderson forced the Hoosiers’ second turnover of the second half, a strip sack recovered at the Cincinnati 7-yard line. Two plays later, Penix found Stephen Carr for a 5-yard touchdown pass.
Indiana had two more chances to score in the red zone in the first half, but Penix was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 from the Cincinnati 10-yard line. Penix also had a pass attempt in the end zone intercepted by defensive back Bryan Cook.
But Cincinnati regained momentum late in the first half when Indiana preseason All-American linebacker was ejected late in the second quarter for targeting.
The Bearcats put together a nine-play, 75-yard drive, cutting Indiana’s lead to 14-7 on 6-yard touchdown run by Jerome Ford with 1:33 left in the second half.
After Arquon Bush intercepted a Penix pass with 27 seconds left in the half, Cincinnati was able to drive into field goal range. Cole Smith connected on a 32-yard field goal with 3 seconds left in the first half, cutting Indiana’s lead to 14-10 at halftime.
Cincinnati took its first lead of the game, 17-14, on a 3-yard touchdown run by Ford. The Hoosiers answered with a five-play, 75-yard drive, with a Matthews 14-yard touchdown run on a reverse putting the Hoosiers back up 21-17.
Cincinnati’s Tre Tucker returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a TD, but the Bearcats missed the extra point. Charles Campbell put Indiana back up 24-23 with a 49-yard field with 41 seconds left in the third quarter.
–Field Level Media