Bearcats rough up Rams
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Munchie Legaux threw for 262 yards with two touchdowns and also ran for another, as the 21st-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats rolled over the Fordham Rams, 49-17, Saturday at Nippert Stadium.
Travis Kelce had 101 receiving yards with a score and Danny Milligan also caught a touchdown pass for the Bearcats, who rang up 472 yards of total offense on the night.
"It is all about finding a rhythm in our offense," Legaux said. "It's about finding a rhythm, playing our tempo. We want to play fast."
R.D. Abernathy carried the ball five times for 51 yards and a score, while Jordan Luallen and Brendon Kay each had short touchdown runs for Cincinnati (5-0), which improved their win streak at home against non- conference opponents to 24 games.
George Winn had a game-high 75 rushing yards on 13 carries and on defense, Deven Drane staked the Bearcats to an early lead when he returned a fumble 76 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Rams quarterback Ryan Higgins completed 31-of-42 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown, and Carlton Koonce rushed 22 times for 72 yards for Fordham (4-3).
"When you play a team like this the margin of error is very small," Fordham coach Joe Moorhead said of the Bearcats. "We made enough mistakes that you're not going to overcome it."
Sophomore receiver Brian Wetzel caught nine balls for 121 yards and had the Rams' lone touchdown, and Patrick Murray was 3-of-4 on his field goal attempts, hitting a 55-yarder in the second quarter in defeat.
Cincinnati's defense put the Bearcats out to a quick 7-0 lead after Fordham received the opening kickoff and drove down to threaten inside the Cincinnati red zone.
After converting on 4th-and-1, Higgins dropped back to pass on first down, but was sacked by defensive lineman Dan Giordano. The ball came loose and Drane was able to scoop it up at the 24 and run it back for the game's first score.
Fordham bounced back, however, and immediately drove down the field again to get to the Cincinnati 28. But the Rams were unable to move the ball further, and settled for a 46-yard field goal from Murray that made it a 7-3 game.
It didn't take long for Cincinnati to respond, however, as Legaux hit Kelce in the flat on a 5-yard out three plays later, which the senior tight end managed to turn into a 78-yard touchdown reception.
After Murray missed a 48-yard attempt early in the second quarter, he connected on a 55-yard try with 43 seconds left in the first half to make it a 14-6 game.
The Bearcats' offense came to life after halftime, though, with Legaux leading them on a 9-play scoring drive to start the third quarter, which he ended with an 8-yard TD run.
After a three-and-out by Fordham, Cincinnati struck again on a 5-play, 81-yard drive, with Abernathy finding the end zone on a 36-yard run.
Luallen tacked on another score late in the third, getting the ball on 1st- and-goal from the 1-yard line on Cincinnati's next possession and putting the Bearcats ahead 35-6.
Fordham finally found the end zone at the 1:28 mark in the third, when Higgins hit Wetzel for a 12-yard TD throw to cap a 7-play, 68-yard drive.
Cincinnati tacked on 14 more points in the fourth quarter compared to just a field goal for the Rams, with Milligan catching a 29-yard throw from Legaux with 12:48 left and Kay rushing for a 1-yard score with under two minutes to play.
The game was the first meeting between two of the oldest programs in college football. Fordham (1881) and Cincinnati (1885) both trace their lineage over 125 years and have combined to play over 2,000 games (2,424) ... Fordham was 2-for-2 on 4th-down conversions ... The Bearcats finished with 262 yards on the ground and 210 through the air.
10/14 02:58:25 ET