No. 23 Cincinnati destroys Southeast Missouri State
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Mardy Gilyard caught two touchdown passes, ran for a score and returned a punt to the end zone, as the 23rd-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats opened the home portion of their schedule with a 70-3 shellacking of FCS foe Southeast Missouri State.
Tony Pike completed 17-of-23 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns for the Bearcats (2-0), who were coming off a lopsided victory over fellow Big East opponent Rutgers. Pike also ran for a score.
"It was a difficult transition for us. Five days to prepare after playing very well against Rutgers," said Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly. "My concern all week was to make certain our team was mentally ready to play. Physically we matched up very well. All week we worked on the mental end of things to set a standard of how to play every week regardless of how many days you had to rest. I thought our guys did a pretty good job."
Gilyard finished with 111 yards on six receptions, while Armon Binns caught four balls for 77 yards.
Matt Scheible connected on 15-of-27 attempts through the air and was intercepted three times, while Henry Harris gained 41 yards on 10 carries for the Redhawks (1-1), who have dropped nine straight games to FBS teams. SE Missouri State will open Ohio Valley Conference play next week at home against Eastern Illinois.
SE Missouri State went three-and-out on the game's opening series and Gilyard returned the subsequent punt 53 yards for the touchdown.
A 23-yard Doug Spada field goal put the Redhawks on the board, but Pike and Jacob Ramsey hooked up for a 19-yard score and a one-yard plunge by the Cincinnati signal-caller increased the lead to 21-3 with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bearcats continued to pile on the points. Gilyard had a one-yard scoring run and hauled in a eight-yard TD pass five minutes into the second frame. Marcus Barnett grabbed a 14-yard reception and a 37-yard pass play between Zach Collaros and Gilyard gave Cincinnati a 49-3 edge at the break.
Darrin Williams returned the opening kickoff of the second half 100 yards for a touchdown. Collaros threw a 43-yard scoring strike to Charley Howard to give Cincinnati a 60-point cushion with nine minutes to go in the third quarter.
A 33-yard TD run by Scott Johnson in the final frame capped the offensive onslaught.
Cincinnati outgained the Redhawks, 578-176, and limited the inferior opponent to a meager seven first downs...SE Missouri State is 1-14 all-time against FBS clubs.
09/13 00:41:19 ET