No. 7 Cincinnati stomps Memphis
Junior quarterback Desmond Ridder accounted for a career-high five touchdowns and the Bearcats’ defense smothered visiting Memphis throughout as No. 7 Cincinnati rolled to a 49-10 win on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium.
The Bearcats (5-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) avenged a pair of losses last season to the Tigers (3-2, 2-2 AAC) and snapped a five-game skid against their AAC rivals. It was Cincinnati’s first home win against Memphis since 2004.
Ridder was exceptional as he completed 21 of 26 passes for season-highs of 271 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. Ridder also rushed for 41 and a pair of touchdowns. Backup running back Jerome Ford added 116 yards rushing and two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Memphis entered averaging 38.8 points per game this season but couldn’t find any traction. The Tigers gave up six sacks, converted just 4-of-16 third downs and were 0-of-3 mark on fourth down.
Cincinnati outgained Memphis 513-321, including a mammoth-sized gap on the ground. The Bearcats rushed for 242 yards while the Tigers were held to five rushing yards on 29 carries.
Memphis quarterback Brady White completed 18 of 35 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown, and wide receiver Calvin Austin had seven catches for 121 yards. Freshman flanker Tahj Washington added two catches for 104 yards and a score
The Bearcats put the game away in the third quarter. Trailing 21-10, the Tigers failed to convert a fourth-and-two from the Cincinnati 10-yard line. UC responded with a nine-play, 90-yard drive that Ridder finished with a 9-yard touchdown on a scramble.
Memphis failed on another fourth-down conversion, again in Cincinnati territory, on its next drive. Five plays later Ridder found a wide-open Tre Tucker down the left side for a 21-yard touchdown and 35-10 lead with 1:29 left in the quarter.
James Wiggins’ sack, and forced fumble, of White set up Ford’s 38-yard touchdown run on the next snap midway through the fourth quarter. Ford busted loose again for a 48-yard touchdown with 1:30 left.
Cincinnati led 21-10 after setting the terms throughout the first half.
Ridder was sharp, hitting on 16 of 20 throws for 170 yards, and accounted for all three touchdowns. The Bearcats snapped a 7-7 tie when Ridder kept a zone-read and scooted 13-yards with 13:58 left in the half. Cincinnati made it 21-7 with 4:04 left after Ridder drilled a 6-yard touchdown to Michael Young Jr.
Cincinnati took a 7-0 lead on its second possession when Ridder dropped in a 43-yard touchdown to Alex Pierce.
Memphis was held to 155 yards in the first half, and most came on one play. Washington took a short screen pass, popped through a phalanx of blockers and rocketed 92-yards for the score and a 7-7 late in the first quarter.
The Tigers added Riley Patterson’s 42-yard field goal 28 seconds before halftime.
–Field Level Media