Ridder throws 3 TD passes as No. 7 Cincinnati routs ECU
Desmond Ridder threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as No. 7 Cincinnati defeated visiting East Carolina 55-17 on Friday.
Ridder, who was 24 of 31 for 327 yards, accounted for three scores en route to a 35-10 halftime lead for the Bearcats (7-0, 5-0 American Athletic Conference).
He opened the scoring with a 10-play, 79-yard drive that culminated in a 33-yard TD pass to Michael Young on the Bearcats’ first possession.
East Carolina (1-6, 1-5) took its fourth consecutive loss.
The Bearcats, fifth nationally in scoring defense (11.7 points per game), struck on the first play of the second quarter when Jarell White made it 14-0 with a 26-yard interception return. He picked off a pass from Holton Ahlers (9 of 20 for 87 yards and three interceptions).
Keaton Mitchell cut the deficit in half four minutes later with an 18-yard rushing score on a three-play series that started with his run for 14 yards followed by his 26-yard catch.
Mitchell had 124 yards on 17 carries.
Cincinnati responded with Jerome Ford’s 24-yard run to go up 21-7. After Jake Verity’s 32-yard field goal made it 21-10, the Bearcats recovered an onside kick and Ridder threaded a 45-yard TD pass to Tre Tucker on the next play. Ridder’s 7-yard TD run with 1:32 left in the half put Cincinnati ahead by 25.
Ridder, who also rushed for 75 yards, padded the lead with 29 seconds left in the third quarter on a 12-yard throw to Jayshon Jackson. Ford added a 1-yard TD run with 5:41 left to make it 49-10, capping a drive kept alive by a fake punt.
East Carolina’s Rahjai Harris rushed for a 1-yard TD with 17 seconds remaining to mark the first time the Bearcats allowed more than 13 points in six games.
Cameron Young then ran for a 75-yard TD for Cincinnati with 10 seconds left.
Cincinnati extended its school-record home winning streak to 19 games, the fourth-longest active streak among FBS schools.
The Bearcats end the regular season with three straight road games beginning Nov. 21 at UCF.
East Carolina plays at Temple on Nov. 21.
–Field Level Media