College football: No. 7 Cincinnati trounces East Carolina; Iowa routs Minnesota
CINCINNATI — Desmond Ridder threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to help No. 7 Cincinnati rout East Carolina 55-17 on Friday night.
Cincinnati (7-0, 5-0 American Athletic Conference) extended its school-record home winning streak to 19 games, the fourth-longest streak among Football Bowl Subdivision schools, and kept its hopes alive for a College Football Playoff berth.
Ridder has accounted for 17 touchdowns in the last four games, including nine rushing touchdowns.
“Once plays break down and I see a hole, I just go,” Ridder said. “The offensive line has done a great job. The preparation has been good.”
In Cincinnati’s three-point victory over East Carolina last year, the Pirates scored 43 points and piled up 638 yards. The Bearcats were motivated to prevent a repeat.
The offense got off to a fast start with Ridder’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Michael Young to cap a 79-yard drive on Cincinnati’s opening possession.
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The Bearcats had second and goal at the Pirates’ three-yard line but lost a fumble at the five. Six plays later, however, Cincinnati linebacker Jarell White returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown.
After punting on three of its first four possessions, East Carolina (1-6, 1-5) drove 58 yards in three plays, pulling to 14-7 on Keaton Mitchell’s 18-yard run.
Ridder’s 16-yard scramble on third and 12 set up Jerome Ford’s 24-yard touchdown run, and Tre Tucker’s 45-yard touchdown reception highlighted a 28-point second quarter.
After passing for 535 yards against the Bearcats last season, Holton Ahlers threw for 87 yards Friday with three interceptions. He was sacked four times.
“The defense had an edge, a chip on their shoulder,” said Cincinnati’s James Wiggins, a senior cornerback who had five tackles and his first interception of the season.
The Bearcats, up 42-10 in the fourth quarter, ran a successful fake punt that led to Ford’s second rushing touchdown.
With Cincinnati looking to run out the clock with 17 seconds remaining, Cameron Young burst through the hole for a 75-yard run to cap the scoring.
Iowa 35, Minnesota 7
MINNEAPOLIS — Tyler Goodson rushed for a career-high 142 yards and two touchdowns in 20 carries, and the Hawkeyes’ defense clamped down hard on the Gophers for a victory that gave Iowa possession of the Floyd of Rosedale trophy for the sixth straight season.
Jack Koerner and Riley Moss each picked off Tanner Morgan for the Minnesota quarterback’s first two-interception game in two years, and Zach VanValkenburg had three of the team’s four sacks. Iowa’s defense has a streak of 11 consecutive games with at least one interception.
The Hawkeyes (2-2, 2-2 Big Ten) had to wait to hoist the 98-pound bronze pig until they reached the locker room for virus protocols, but their 16th win in the last 20 games against their border-state rival to the north was just as sweet.
UCLA’s home opener against Utah scheduled for Saturday at the Rose Bowl was called off Friday because of COVID-19 issues involving the Utes.
Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 144 yards in 33 attempts, but the junior tailback who entered the evening with the highest rushing average in FBS didn’t come close to controlling the game like he did the last two weeks. Ibrahim rushed for 431 yards and eight scores against Maryland and Illinois, but the normally stout Iowa defensive line considerably narrowed his lanes.
Morgan finished 16 of 33 for 167 yards passing — hitting Rashod Bateman eight times for 111 yards and a touchdown with 14 seconds left that prevented the Hawkeyes from finalizing their first shutout of the Gophers since 2009.
Minnesota (1-3, 1-3) had seven penalties for 75 yards in the first half and just 110 total yards on offense. With his team trailing 14-0 in the third quarter, coach P.J. Fleck opted for a 39-yard field-goal attempt that was blocked — leaving a 17-play, 74-yard drive with no points. Goodson broke off a 45-yard run on the next snap.
Spencer Petras went nine of 18 for 111 yards passing and one touchdown to Ihmir Smith-Marsette, plus one interception, for Iowa.
Florida Atlantic 38, Florida International 19
MIAMI — Javion Posey ran for 140 yards and accounted for three touchdowns to lead the Owls past the Panthers.
Posey, a redshirt freshman from Greenville, Ala., also set the program’s single-game yards rushing mark for a quarterback. He had runs of 28 and 36 yards that led to scores and finished with 117 yards in just the first half.
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Posey’s 11-yard touchdown pass to LaJohntay Wester and a five-yarder to Brandon Robinson helped FAU (4-1, 4-1 Conference USA) build a 24-10 halftime lead. He added a two-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter and finished 10-for-16 passing for 80 yards.
Malcolm Davidson had a 37-yard touchdown run and James Charles ran for a 32-yard score for the Owls.
D’vonte Price broke loose for a 77-yard touchdown run for FIU (0-4, 0-2). Price carried the ball 26 times for a career-best 178 yards. Max Bortenschlager threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Rivaldo Fairweather with two minutes remaining.
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