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(Saturday, September 19th)
Final Score: (17) Cincinnati 28, Oregon State 18
Corvallis, OR (Sports Network) - Tony Pike proved that Cincinnati's ranking was no fluke, as the senior quarterback threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns while adding one rushing score to help 17th-ranked Cincinnati grab a key road win over Oregon State, 28-18, at Reser Stadium.
"It's not an easy place to play," Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly said. "It's a tough trip to make and our kids fought through everything."
Pike completed 31-of-49 passes and had one pass attempt picked off for Cincinnati (3-0), which was coming off a dominating 70-3 performance over Southeast Missouri State. The Bearcats had historically struggled while in the top-25, improving their all-time record while ranked to 11-7-1.
Isaiah Pead was a dual threat, running for 46 yards and a score on 11 carries while catching three passes for 39 yards. D.J. Woods had seven receptions for 117 yards and a score, while Mardy Gilyard had nine catches for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Sean Canfield completed 29-of-45 passes for 240 yards with an interception for Oregon State (2-1), which had a 26-game non-conference home win streak snapped. Jacquizz Rodgers added 73 yards rushing and a touchdown on 20 carries, while James Rodgers had 67 yards on the ground and 90 yards receiving on 11 catches.
Oregon State took the early lead, as Justin Kahut connected on field goals of 46 and 39 yards, respectively, to give the Beavers a 6-0 lead after one quarter.
But Cincinnati came roaring back, outscoring the hosts, 21-2, in the second stanza to assume the lead.
When the first quarter ended, the Bearcats were in the middle of a nine-play, 80-yard drive that saw Pike run in from the seven-yard line to give Cincy a 7-6 lead about 30 seconds into the period.
The Beavers went back in front in unconventional fashion. They went three-and- out on their ensuing drive, and Johnny Hekker's punt went down to the one-yard line. Two plays later, Jacob Ramsey was tackled in the end zone for a safety and an 8-7 Oregon State lead.
The Cincy defense held firm on Oregon State's next drive, and the Bearcats answered with a nine-play, 61-yard march down the field that ended when Pead ran in from the one-yard line for a 14-8 advantage with 6:40 left.
In the final minute, Cincinnati expanded its lead heading into halftime when Pike hit Woods for a 45-yard touchdown, accounting for the 21-8 margin at the break.
Oregon State finally found the end zone in the second half, taking the opening drive 80 yards in six plays. Jacquizz Rodgers accounted for 35 yards on three rush attempts, with the final one a nine-yard touchdown for a 21-15 game.
Neither team scored again until the Beavers cut their deficit in half in the beginning of the fourth quarter on Kahut's 23-yard field goal.
Pike, though, had the answer. He hit Pead for a 14-yard pass play to the Cincy 34, and Pead ran for 13 yards two plays later to get into Oregon State territory. Facing 3rd-and-14 from the OSU 48, Pike completed a 16-yard pass to Gilyard for a first down, eventually finding him from 19 yards away for a touchdown and a 10-point lead with eight minutes to play.
The Beavers brought their next drive into Bearcats territory, but Canfield was intercepted by J.K. Schaffer at the Bearcats' 38 to end the drive and Oregon State's hopes of a comeback.
"They are a good team," OSU head coach Mike Riley said of Cincy. "They are talented on both sides of the ball. Their quarterback was extremely poised. He stepped out of a lot of trouble, made a lot of plays. They have some good athletes, and their quarterback made a lot of really good plays."
Oregon State's non-conference home win streak dated back to 1996...Cincinnati has won both matchups in the all-time series between the schools.
09/20 03:14:04 ET