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(Thursday, September 6th)
Final Score: Cincinnati 34, Pittsburgh 10
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Munchie Legaux threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns while adding 117 yards on the ground to lead the Cincinnati Bearcats past the Pittsburgh Panthers, 34-10, on Thursday.
Legaux completed 14-of-28 passes for the Bearcats, who were coming off a 10-3 season in which they tied for the Big East crown and earned a 31-24 victory over Vanderbilt in the Liberty Bowl.
George Winn added 95 yards and two scores on 11 carries for Cincinnati (1-0, 1-0 Big East).
Tino Sunseri went 24-for-37 through the air for 278 yards, a touchdown and an interception for Pittsburgh (0-2, 0-1), which dropped its season opener to Youngstown State, 31-17, on Saturday.
Ray Graham had 103 yards on 19 carries for the Panthers, while Mike Shanahan and Devin Street each caught five balls for 59 and 54 yards, respectively, in defeat.
After Pittsburgh was forced to punt on the opening possession of the game, Winn broke a 58-yard run up the middle for a touchdown on Cincinnati's first offensive play.
Walter Stewart stripped Sunseri during a sack on the Panthers' next touch and Cincinnati's Camaron Beard recovered the ball at the Pittsbugh 38-yard line. Four plays later, Ralph Abernathy caught a swing pass to the left and raced 15 yards down the sideline for a score, giving the Bearcats a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
The teams traded punts from there until an 18-yard return by Cameron Saddler gave Pittsburgh the ball at the Cincinnati 39 with 9:02 remaining in the second quarter.
Sunseri kept the drive alive on a 3rd-and-8 by flipping the ball to Graham for a 31-yard gain while falling to the ground as he was being wrapped up by a defender, but after the Panthers had a touchdown overturned because of a holding penalty, Greg Blair intercepted a pass in the back of the end zone to give the ball back to the Bearcats.
Legaux's 26-yard run highlighted the ensuing nine-play, 58-yard drive that Tony Miliano capped with a 39-yard field goal.
Pittsburgh then marched all of the way down to the Cincinnati 2-yard line, but Sunseri's pass as time expired in the half fell incomplete to keep it a 17-0 game at the break.
The Panthers were able to get on the board on their first touch of the second half with a 12-play drive, which included a 50-yard run by Graham and a fourth-down conversion, but the march stalled at the Cincinnati 20-yard line and Pittsburgh had to settle for a 37-yard field goal by Kevin Harper.
It took the Bearcats just two plays to answer, though, as Legaux's 77-yard run set up Winn's nine-yard rumble into the end zone to give Cincinnati a 24-3 lead with 6:05 left in the third quarter.
Following Pittsburgh's fifth punt of the contest, Cincinnati pulled further away with a nine-play, 99-yard drive that Abernathy finished off with a 12- yard touchdown reception just over a minute into the fourth quarter.
After Miliano's 46-yard field goal later in the frame gave the Bearcats a 34-3 lead, Sunseri found Drew Carswell for a nine-yard score to cap a 10-play drive with less than a minute remaining in the game.
09/06 23:55:33 ET
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