Cincinnati instantly made a statement with a touchdown pass received by Jayshon Jackson during the first drive of the game. From that point on the Bearcats never looked back.
When the dust settled the game ended with a final score of 56-6, a big victory for the Bearcats making the team bowl eligible for the first time since 2015.
Cincinnati’s defense was strong and held East Carolina University most of night in their own territory. Desmond Ridder quickly completed a pass to Kahlil Lewis for 57 yards, ending the first quarter with a lead of 21-0 over the Pirates.
During the second quarter, Cincinnati forced a fumble which led to yet another Bearcat touchdown from Charles McClelland.
On ECU’s next drive, quarterback Holton Ahlers came up big for the Pirates with a pass to Mydreon Vines for 71 yards and an ECU touchdown. The Pirates chose to go for 2 points but were ultimately stopped by the Bearcats.
It didn’t take long for Ridder to once again find the hands of Kahlil Lewis for another Cincinnati touchdown with 3:53 left in the half, Cincinnati led ECU 42-6.
At the end of the first half, Bearcats’ quarterback, Desmond Ridder, was 20-29 passing with 335 yards.
Pirate’s quarterback, Holton Ahlers was 6-15 passing with 168 yards. The Bearcats dominated the first half with 454 total yards to the Pirate’s 185 total yards.
ECU received the ball to start the second half and showed great improvement. The Pirates battled their way into Bearcat territory but were unable to earn points after Cincinnati Arquon Bush intercepted a pass at the 2 yards line.
ECU struggled against the Cincinnati defense most of the night.
Bearcats head coach, Luke Fickell, spoke after the game. Coach Fickell stated that the most gratifying part of the 2018 season is not the record but the growth of the team. Coach Fickell spoke highly of the seniors, stating he “owes them everything”. Coach Fickell made it clear that it is not the 56-6 score that he is proud of, it’s his players.
Seniors, Garrett Campbell and Cortez Broughton both spoke about the bond and closeness of the team. Campbell and Broughton both stated that the freshmen have gone above and beyond for the program and they are anxious to see what the future holds for this team.