No. 17 Cincinnati stifles Oregon St. comeback
Tony Pike threw for 332 yards and hit Mardy Gilyard with an 18-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter as No. 17 Cincinnati stopped a second-half Oregon State comeback bid for a 28-18 victory on Saturday.
The Bearcats (3-0) snapped Oregon State's streak of 26 straight nonconference victories at Reser Stadium, dating back to a 67-28 win over Northern Illinois on Nov. 16, 1996.
Tony Pike completed 31 of 49 passes and two touchdowns and Gilyard had nine catches for 65 yards.
Sean Canfield completed 29 of 45 passes for 240 yards and an interception for the Beavers (2-1). Jacquizz Rodgers' 9-yard scoring run to open the second half was Oregon State's lone touchdown.
Cincinnati built up a 21-8 halftime lead but didn't score again until Gilyard's TD catch.
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Last week Gilyard scored four touchdowns in a 70-3 victory over Southeast Missouri State, becoming the first Bowl Subdivision player to score on a punt return, a run and a catch in the same game since UCLA's Maurice Drew (now Jones-Drew) did it in 2005.
Oregon State's Rodgers appeared bothered by a sore ankle that lingered from last weekend's 23-21 victory over UNLV last weekend. Quizz, as he is known, insisted all week his ankle was fine.
But his 31 yards rushing in the first half raised questions. Then he came out in the second half with his usual elusiveness for a 9-yard touchdown run that narrowed Cincinnati's lead to 21-15,
Quizz was the Pac-10's offensive player of the year last season as a freshman. He and big brother James Rodgers, a flanker, had scored six of Oregon State's seven touchdowns through two games this season, and accounted for 597 yards in total offense.
Against Cincinnati Quizz had 73 for the game. James Rodgers ran for 67 yards and caught 11 passes for 90 yards.
While propelled by its offense, Cincinnati's defense passed its first major test.
Playing under new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, the Bearcats returned only one starter on defense. But they shut down Rutgers in a 47-15 season-opening victory and allowed only a field goal to Southeast Missouri State.
Oregon State appeared to find weaknesses in the second half. Senior linebacker Keaton Kristick's first career interception shifted the momentum until Gilyard's reception snuffed it.
Oregon State went up 6-0 in the first quarter on a pair of field goals by Justin Kahut from 46 and 39 yards.
The Bearcats went ahead 7-6 on Pike's 7-yard run, but Oregon State responded with a safety and regained the lead.
Cincinnati went ahead 21-8 before the half on Isaiah Pead's 1-yard scoring run and Pike's 45-yard touchdown pass to DJ Woods.
Rodgers' scoring run opened the second half and Kahut's 23-yeard field goal to open the fourth quarter narrowed it further for Oregon State.