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NCAA Game Summary - Louisville at Cincinnati



(Saturday, October 24th)

Final Score: (5) Cincinnati 41, Louisville 10

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Zach Collaros filled in just fine for the injured Tony Pike, throwing for three touchdowns and 253 yards, as No. 5 Cincinnati handled Louisville, 41-10, in a lopsided Big East matchup.

Pike was sidelined with a left forearm injury he aggravated in last week's win over then 21st-ranked South Florida, but Collaros and the running attack solidified Cincinnati's highest ranking in school history.

Collaros completed a solid 15-of-17 passes and added 52 yards on the ground on 11 carries, helping the Bearcats (7-0, 3-0 Big East) to their best start since 1954, when they won their first eight contests.

"That's one thing with Zach, he can not only throw the ball, but he can also run the ball on designed quarterback runs," Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe said. "That was something they didn't do a whole lot of with Tony in the game. So I really felt that if Tony played, even if he hadn't been hurt, it would've been a lot better match-up for us. They're a little more one-dimensional with Tony in there."

Isaiah Pead racked up 88 yards and two touchdowns on six carries and scored another TD through the air, while Mardy Gilyard had 82 yards and a touchdown on four grabs for the victors.

Adam Froman started under center for the Cardinals (2-5, 0-3), throwing for 42 yards and a touchdown on 6-of-10 attempts. Justin Burke entered in the third quarter and was also ineffective, ending with five yards and an interception on 2-of-5 throws.

Louisville, which has dropped eight straight conference tilts, was outgained, 468-275.

Pead capped Cincinnati's 10-play, 78-yard opening drive with a one-yard plunge over the goal line.

Collaros completed 5-of-6 during the march and also added 11 yards on the ground. He continued to impress on the Bearcats' next drive, completing a 29- yard strike to Armon Binns, breaking off two straight 12-yard runs and finding Binns for a 24-yard score at the 5:21 mark.

"Our guys were on top of it right from the beginning," Bearcats head coach Brian Kelly said. "Offensively, we got into a good rhythm with Zach and a good mix of run and pass...No one was worried about where Tony was. Not that we don't want Tony in there. It is good early on when you can show you can be effective and efficient with our second-string quarterback."

It was 21-0 after Pead took a pass from Collaros 15 yards into the end zone early in the second quarter. Louisville came back with its first sustained drive, which Josh Chichester finished off with a four-yard TD reception.

Cincinnati's Jake Rogers missed a 51-yard field goal just before halftime, but countered Ryan Payne's 36-yarder with a 25-yard boot midway through the third to make it 24-10 contest.

Two Bearcats touchdowns in a span of 1:42 later in the frame all but sealed the win. Collaros led Gilyard into the end zone on a 31-yard toss at the 6:18 mark, and after another Louisville three-and-out, Pead took a handoff around the left end, cut it back inside and went 67 yards untouched for a touchdown.

Rogers was good from 45 yards out two minutes into the final quarter to account for the final margin.

Game Notes

Cincinnati has won 13 straight regular season games dating back to last year...Cincinnati holds a 28-20-1 edge over Louisville in the annual battle for the Keg of Nails and has won two straight following a five-game losing streak...Gilyard has eight scores this season...Darius Ashley led the Louisville running attack with 67 yards on 13 carries...Cameron Graham had 35 yards on three carries in the loss...Binns had 75 yards on three catches.

10/25 00:41:31 ET