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Cincinnati 35, Miami of Ohio 13

CINCINNATI - Michael Warren II scored three touchdowns and Cincinnati overcame a sluggish start for a 35-13 win over its oldest rival, Miami of Ohio, on Saturday, the Bearcats' 14th straight win over the RedHawks.

The Bearcats are now within one victory of drawing even in the series with Miami (1-2) that started in 1888. The RedHawks lead 59-58-7.

Warren, from Toledo, Ohio, and coach Luke Fickell, from Columbus, Ohio, were not aware of this rivalry until they arrived on the Cincinnati campus. The toughest thing Warren did all day was fight to get into the picture with the Victory Bell, a traditional, traveling trophy that the winner keeps until the next game.

"It is an honor to be in this rivalry. It was the first time I could get in the picture." Warren said. "My message to the team at halftime was it is zero-zero. We aren't done. Last week is over and done with."

Cincinnati (2-1) suffered a 42-0 loss to Ohio State last week and was scoreless against the RedHawks after the first quarter, falling behind 10-0.

`Wins are not easy to come by," Fickell said. "The final score doesn't look like it, like it was for sure in the first half. You have to enjoy this, especially in a rivalry week. Coming off of what happened to us last week, we were a little shook sometimes and it showed in the first half."

Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter, including a 51-yard strike to Thomas Geddis, and Warren sprinted 73 yards for the final score. He had two short touchdown runs in the second quarter. The Bearcats scored on four of five possessions between the 10-second mark in the second quarter through the third quarter.

Ridder was 14 of 30 for 186 yards passing. He threw one interception, the only turnover of the game.

Warren caught five passes for 45 yards and rushed 12 times for 113 yards.

Miami's Tyre Shelton scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 1-yard plunge to give the Redhawks the early lead.

Cincinnati outgained Miami 420-207 in scoring the most points in the series since a 37-33 win in 2015.

Miami's Brett Gabbard completed his first six passes but was sacked four times. He missed on his first six attempts in the second half when Miami only managed a field goal. Gabbard finished 10 of 18 for 143 yards.

"We came out a little slow after halftime, and they took advantage," Gabbert said. "We'll have to learn from the film and get ready for Ohio State. We lost the Bell. This is the 14th straight year, I think. That's unacceptable."

"I thought we played well in the first half - very solid and physical," Miami coach Chuck Martin said. "Our running game was effective. In the third quarter, we played lousy football and got what we deserved."

Injuries became a problem for the Redhawks

Miami senior offensive right tackle Mike Skibinski had to carted off the field with an injury early in the third quarter. Two other offensive linemen, left guard Pete Nank and left tackle Tommy Doyle, also were knocked out of the game.

"We lost three offensive linemen," Martin said. "That hurt us in the second half."

Cincinnati linebacker Bryan Wright sensed Miami's plight in the second half.

"I feel like summer workouts came into play. I felt that the mid-third quarter they were wearing down and we took it to them," said Wright, who has been at Cincinnati for five years and played in four wins over Miami.

Associated Press

September 14, 2019