CINCINNATI (AP) – Desmond Ridder threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns and ran for one more score to help Cincinnati No. 7 router East Carolina 55-17 on Friday night.
Mike Houston Postgame Zoom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORYepzJzURA
Cincinnati (7-0, 5-0, American Athletic) extended their home winning streak to 19 games, the fourth-longest among the FBS schools, and kept their hopes for a place in the college football playoffs alive.
Ridder has scored 17 touchdowns in the last four games, including nine roaring TDs.
In Cincinnati’s three-point win over East Carolina last year, the Pirates scored 43 points and piled 638 meters. The bearcats were motivated to prevent it from happening again.
The offensive began quickly with Ridder’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Michael Young to limit a 79-yard drive to her inaugural possession.
Cincinnati had the second goal in the Pirates 3 but lost a fumble in the 5. Six games later, Bearcat’s linebacker Jarell White returned 26 yards for a touchdown.
After encountering three of his first four possessions, East Carolina (1-6, 1-5) drove 58 yards in three games and moved to 14-7 on Keaton Mitchell’s 18-yard run.
Ridder’s 16-yard scramble in third and twelfth places set up Jerome Ford’s 24-yard touchdown run, and Tre Tucker’s 45-yard touchdown reception highlighted a second quarter with 28 points.
After playing 535 yards against the Bearcats last season, Holton Ahlers threw 87 yards with three interceptions on Friday. He was released four times.
The Bearcats, which rose between 42 and 10 in the fourth quarter, had a successful fake punt that resulted in Ford’s second touchdown.
With the Bearcats trying to run out of time with 17 seconds to go, Cameron Young stormed through the hole for a 75-yard run to limit the score.
East Carolina: Linebackers Bruce Bevins and Dre Terry were ejected for target in about five minutes in the second quarter. Both hits came on Cincinnati kickoff returnees.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats got the corners back from James Wiggins and Arquon Bush and recipient Alec Pierce after injury, but lost Elijah Ponder to a knee injury in the second quarter. Ponder was on crutches on the sidelines.
East Carolina: November 21st in the Temple.
Cincinnati: Central Florida on November 21.
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