Cincinnati 52, Miami (Ohio) 14
Camerron Cheatham returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown, and Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux had a hand in three more touchdowns Saturday night, leading the Bearcats to a 52-14 victory over Miami (Ohio).
Cincinnati (4-0) has won the last seven in the oldest nonconference series in the nation. The Bearcats' defense starred last year in a 27-0 win, Cincinnati's first shutout in Oxford since 1898, and got them going again on Saturday.
Cheatham's interception put the Bearcats ahead to stay. The RedHawks (3-3) had four turnovers, including a season-high three interceptions thrown by Zac Dysert.
Legaux played three quarters and went 12 of 23 for 157 yards. He had touchdown passes of 11 and 19 yards, and ran 1 yard for a score. Cincinnati's George Winn also ran for a pair of touchdowns against one of the nation's lowest-ranked defenses.
Miami has given up 56, 52, 49, 39 and points this season. Cincinnati's 52 points matched the most by either team in the series history - the Bearcats won 52-42 in 1999.
Both quarterbacks were coming off their best games.
Legaux led the first game-winning drive of his career for a 27-24 win over Virginia Tech last Saturday, throwing for a career-high 376 yards. Dysert set school records with six touchdown passes and 624 yards of offense in a 56-49 win at Akron.
The biggest difference tonight, though, was that Legaux had a defense to back him up. Miami came into the game ranked 117th nationally, allowing 517 yards per game, including 237 on the ground. The Bearcats piled up 343 yards - 186 on the ground - while pulling away to a 45-14 lead after three quarters, then rested their starters.
Dysert got the RedHawks off to an encouraging start, throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Dawan Scott on the opening drive. A bad snap foiled the extra-point attempt.
Things then unraveled quickly for the RedHawks.
Cheatham anticipated a sideline throw, picked it off and outran Dysert to the end zone for a 68-yard touchdown, the second of his career. Deven Drane picked off Dysert's deflected pass on the next possession, returning it 31 yards. Legaux threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered Danny Milligan for a 14-6 lead.
Winn took advantage of Miami's weak run defense. He went 6 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter, and saved the Bearcats after a punt pinned them at their 2-yard line. Winn broke a 57-yard run, hurdling a defender to get into the clear. After Legaux missed an open receiver in the end zone, the Bearcats settled for a field goal and a 24-6 lead.
Dysert led a 75-yard touchdown drive that culminated in his 10-yard pass to Nick Harwell, then ran for the 2-point conversion that left it 24-14 at the half. He finished 25 of 49 for 303 yards.
Cincinnati dominated the second half. Ralph David Abernathy IV returned the kickoff 58 yards, and Legaux's 19-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce made it 31-14. Cincinnati kept it on the ground for a 62-yard touchdown drive culminating in Winn's 3-yard run that put it away.