Cincinnati Falls to Miami, 31-24, in Overtime

By: Ryan Roberts

Coming in to Saturday night's 127th edition of the Battle for the Victory Bell, the Bearcats had won 16 consecutive games against the Redhawks by an average margin of victory of 21 points. 

In last season's match up, Miami jumped out to an early 17-7 lead before the Bearcats ultimately came back to claim a 38-17 victory.

In front of a sold out Nippert Stadium crowd, Miami didn't waste any time trying to quiet the home fans. On the first play of the game, Miami quarterback Brett Gabbert found wide receiver Gage Larvadain for a 79 yard touchdown. Fifteen seconds in to the game, Cincinnati trailed 7-0. It would end up being his only catch of the game. Larvadain had 8 catches for 279 in last week's win over UMass.

Scott Satterfield and his team weren't rattled by the quick strike. 

The offense would respond with a 6 play, 75 yard drive in 2:58, capped off by a 4 yard Corey Kiner touchdown run. On the second play of the drive, Emory Jones found his tight end, Payton Singletary, for a 32 yard connection. Two plays later, Jones found Xzavier Henderson for a 22 yard completion. As we've seen through the first two games, this offense has big play capability and it was once again shown early in this game.

When Miami's offense came back on the field, it wouldn't take the Cincinnati defense long to let the Redhawks know that the first play of the game may have been a fluke,

Brett Gabbert tried to find a receiver across the middle that resulted in a Bryan Threats interception and return to the Miami 8 yard line. It was Threats' fourth interception of his career and second of the season.

The Bearcats offense was unable to capitalize on the turnover. After getting to the one yard line on an Emory Jones keeper on second down, the Bearcats were stuffed on back to back plays for a turnover on downs. Corey Kiner lost 2 yards on the 4th down attempt.

With 6:28 remaining, UC and Miami were tied at 7 as neither team could capitalize on the momentum created by their defense.. 

Cincinnati was able to get some momentum on the ensuing drive with Emory Jones going 4-6 through the air for 44 yards. Jones two incompletions came on 1st and 3rd down after driving to the Miami 11. The Redhawk defense tightened up when they needed to and ended the 11 play, 72 yard drive by forcing a Carter Brown 28 yard field goal. 

At the end of one quarter, Cincinnati led Miami 10-7. Emory Jones completed 7 of 9 passes for 101 yards with Xzavier Henderson hauling in 4 of those completions for 46 yards.

Miami looked to be gaining momentum on their next drive, picking up 25 yards and converting a 3rd and 4 to the UC 47. On the next play, senior defensive lineman Malik Vann came off the edge for a 7 yard sack on quarterback Brett Gabbert. Gabbert got 10 of those yards back with a 10 yard rush on 3rd and 15 and then picked up 26 yards on a 4th and 5 attempt to get to the UC 15 yard line.. 

Two plays later, Miami found themselves in a 3rd and 12 scenario and Brett Gabbert completed a pass to receiver Javon Tracy for a 17 yard touchdown strike. Miami took 7:12 off the clock as they went 69 yards on 12 plays to take a 14-10 lead with 9:22 remaining in the 2nd quarter. 

Cincinnati took over on their own 16 after the Miami kickoff. A hold that resulted in a half the distance to the goal penalty pushed the Bearcats back to their own 8 yard line. After a short pick up by Kiner up the middle, Jones found Henderson for a 21 yard completion to give the offense some breathing room, After picking up 14 yards on rushes by Corey Kiner and Ryan Montgomery, Jones once again found Henderson for a chunk play as the duo hooked up for a 16 yard completion to advance to the Miami 19.

On the very next play, disaster almost struck as a failed reverse attempt resulted in a 7 yard fumble recovery by Montgomery.. Emory Jones picked up 13 yards to set up a 3rd and 4 and then found Henderson again for gains of 6 and 10 to put the Bearcats inside Miami's 10 at the 7 yard line. A failed pass attempt on 3rd and 5 forced the Bearcats to settle for a field goal as Carter Brown came on and connected from 23 yards out to put UC within 1, 14-13, with 1:52 remaining in the half. The scoring drive: 16 plays, 79 yards, 7:23

The Bearcats offense had a chance to put some points on the board before the half after forcing a Miami punt, but Emory Jones overthrew Dee Wiggins on a wide open go route and was picked off by Miami's Corban Hondru on the next play. Hondru returned the interception 25 yards to the UC 22 yard line with one minute remaining in the half. Two plays later, Miami turned the ball back over to the Cincinnati offense as Taj Ward forced a fumble on Gage Larvadain and was recovered by Dorian Jones.

Emory Jones closed out the half with a sack as Cincinnati went in to the locker room trailing Miami 14-13.

Jones finished the half 13-19 for 180 yards and an interception. Xzavier Henderson had 9 of those completions from Jones for 105 yards.

With UC receiving the second half kickoff, they were in serious need of a jump start and some momentum as the offense ran for just 79 yards on 21 carries in the first half. 

The second half almost started with another Emory Jones third down interception, but an illegal substitution on the defense prevented the play from holding up. Disaster avoided, but the Bearcats offense continued to struggle. Three plays later Mason Fletcher came on to punt from the Bearcats own 29 yard line. 

Cincinnati's defense was able to hold once again and the Cincinnati offense would get another opportunity to get things going to swing momentum back in favor of the red and black.

Enter Ryan Montgomery.

After an Emory Jones 13 yard keeper to get the drive going, Montgomery picked up gains of 9, 26, 7, and 7 on his next four rushing attempts to get the Bearcats down to the Miami 6 yard line.

As we saw earlier in the game, Miami's defense tightened up and the Cincinnati offense, again, could not convert. A loss of 2 on 2nd and 4 and incompletion of 3rd down forced Scott Satterfield to send his kicker out for a field goal attempt. Carter Brown knocked down a 23 yard field goal to cap the 11 play, 62 yard drive that lasted 4:21. With 7:23 remaining in the 3rd quarter, UC regained the lead, 16-14.

Miami used big plays on their next possession to march right down the field. Gabbert's first pass of the drive was a 15 yard completion to Joe Wilkins Jr. The next play was a completion to Miles Marshall for 8 yards and Kenny Tracy rushed up the middle for 7 yards to get Miami to UC's 45. Two plays later on 3rd and 7, Gabbert completed a pass to Javon Tracy for 22 yards. On 1st and 10 from the Cincinnati 20, Gabbert avoided pressure for a 19 yard gain down to the Cincinnati 1 yard line. 

Kevin Davis took an end around in for a touchdown 3 plays later as Miami capped off a 9 play, 75 yard drive that lasted 4:22. With 3:01 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Cincinnati trailed 21-16 and looked like they may be in trouble with the offense struggling to convert inside the redzone.

The third quarter ended with the Bearcats trailing 21-16. Despite the deficit, UC was outgaining Miami 385-264.

Cincinnati would start the 4th quarter at Miami's 20 yard line after picking up 55 yards on 8 plays. The key plays of the drive were a 16 yard completion to Henderson and 13 yard keeper by Jones. With Cincinnati facing a 3rd and 9 from the 17 yard line, Emory Jones called his own number and took a delayed QB draw 17 yards for a touchdown. Scott Satterfield elected to go for 2 and Jones found tight end Chamon Metayer for a 2 point conversion to give UC a 24-21 lead. The scoring drive: 11 plays 75 yards 4:09

Rashod Amos started the next Miami drive with a 13 yard gain to push Miami out to their own 38 but the Cincinnati defense stepped up in a big way. Jack Dingle tackled Amos in the backfield for a 3 yard loss on 2nd down and after a false start, Bryan Threats sacked Gabbert for a 5 yard loss on 3rd and 15 to force a Miami punt. 

Facing a 3rd and 4 from their own 15 on the next drive, Emory Jones found Braden Smith for a 37 yard completion that was the result of Smith diving and laying out for a spectacular catch that will probably land him on ESPN's Top 10 plays. 

Despite the momentum from the play, Cincinnati was unable to convert another 3rd and 4 three plays later from the Miami 41 and were forced to punt with 8:26 left in the game.

Punter Mason Fletcher was able to pin Miami on their own 10 yard line with the UC student section behind the offense but on the first play of the drive, Cincinnati was called for a defensive passing interference to move Miami out to the 25. On the next play, Miami looked the same way and Gabbert found Miles Marshall for a 39 yard gain to the UC 37. 

After a false start that resulted in a 5 yard penalty, Dorian Jones picked up a tackle for loss to push the Miami offense back to the 42 yard line. Another defensive pass interference call moved Miami 15 yards closer to the end zone and Gabbert found Javon Tracy on the next play for a 23 yard gain to the UC 4. 

The Cincinnati defense held strong and forced Miami to kick a game tying field goal after a massive pass break up by Taj Ward on 3rd and 2. Miami drove 88 yards in 7 plays but the 3 minute 9 second drive resulted in just 3 points.

With 5:10 remaining in the game, Cincinnati and Miami were tied at 24..

The stage was set for Scott Satterfield and his offense. Tie game. Nip at Night. Sold out crowd. The Bearcats needed the offense to step up and make some plays to bring home a W.

Unfortunately for the Bearcats, they were unable to get anything going as Miami forced a 3 and out after sacking Emory Jones on 3rd and 3.

The Bearcats were going to have to rely on the defense one more least that's what everyone in the stadium was thinking. 

 Scott Satterfield made what will probably be the biggest call of the season. Facing 4th and 3 from his own 32, a fake punt was called and Chamon Metayer took the snap 27 yards to the Miami 47. With 2:44 left, the Bearcats offense still had a chance to go down and win the game. 

After a Ryan Montgomery 3 yard carry, Jones found Xzavier Henderson for a 15 yard completion to the Miami 29. Ryan Montgomery picked up 11 yards on his next two carries and UC had 1st and 10 at the Miami 18 with 1:15 left in the game.

Miami defense held strong and forced Scott Satterfield to turn to his kicker one last time. Carter Brown came on with 19 seconds remaining to attempt a 35 yard field goal for the win. 

Brown's attempt was blocked by Yahsyn McKee and Miami elected to take a knee and run out the clock to force overtime. 

Cincinnati won the toss and elected to play defense first in the overtime period.

Miami's Gabbert took the first play of overtime 17 yards to the UC 8 on a scramble. On the next play, Gabbert found Joe Wilkins in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Just like that, Cincinnati trailed 31-24 and needed a touchdown to avoid their first loss to Miami since 2005.

Cincinnati's offense got themselves behind the chains with a false start on 3rd and 7 and found themselves in a 3rd and 12 situation.

Emory Jones completed his next pass to Dee Wiggins for 13 yards to pick up the first down and a passing interference was called on Miami on the next play to give UC a 1st and goal at the Miami 2 yard line. 

On  the next play, Cincinnati was called for an ineligible man downfield and were moved back 5 yards to the 7 yard line. Emory Jones took a keeper 5 yards back to the original line of scrimmage but the offense was called for a hold on the next play for a 10 yard loss to push the offense back to the 11 yard line. Emory Jones, again,  scrambled 9 yards to the to the original line of scrimmage to set up a 4th and 2.

With the game on the line, Emory Jones threw an interception and Miami claimed the Victory Bell for the first time in 17 meetings. In the post game, Jones mentioned that his receiver fell and that is why nobody was in the area of the throw.

Cincinnati falls to 2-1 through the first 3 games after the 31-24 overtime loss to Miami.

Final Notes and Stats

-Emory Jones: 18 of 35 Passing 265 yards  20 rush 101 yards

-Ryan Montgomery: 20 Rush 104 yards (career high)

-Xzavier Henderson: 12 Catches 140 yards

-Jack Dingle- Led the team with 7 tackles

-UC outgained Miami 507-335

- Attendance- 38,193

- Series is now tied 60-60

- Bearcats are now 7-10 all time in overtime games

Key Stat:

Miami quarterback Brett Gabbert finished with 132 yards on 9 carries.

 Up Next:

Cincinnati will host Oklahoma Saturday September 23rd in the Big Noon Kickoff Game of the Week. The Big Noon Kickoff Crew of Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Mark Ingram, Brady Quinn, Urban Meyer, and Rob Stone will be on campus Saturday to discuss the top games of the day and preview the match up between the Bearcats and Sooners. 


Photos by; Ryan Luster

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