EditorsNote: fixed “but” in final graf
Second-year starting quarterback Desmond Ridder threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns as host Cincinnati defeated UCLA 24-14 in both teams’ season opener Thursday.
Michael Warren II rushed for 92 yards and a TD on 26 carries, and Gerrid Doaks ran for 53 yards as the Bearcats outrushed the Bruins 175-62. Warren also caught a touchdown pass.
Cincinnati opened the scoring when Ridder hit Josiah Deguara for a 16-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
After the Cincinnati defense forced a three-and-out on UCLA’s next possession, the Bearcats drove inside the 20 before Sam Crosa missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt. Crosa got some redemption when he nailed a 44-yard field goal on the next possession.
The Bruins got on the scoreboard soon after when sophomore quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson hit Demetric Felton for a 75-yard touchdown on third-and-10. Felton evaded one defender and took the ball to the house to make the score 10-7.
The Bearcats needed only five plays — all of them runs by Warren — to go 30 yards and reach the end zone on their first second-half possession to take a two-possession lead. Warren scored on a 12-yard carry.
The Bruins closed the deficit to three again when Chase Cota caught a 7-yard toss from Thompson-Robinson late in the third quarter. At the start of the fourth, Warren caught a third-down screen pass and dashed 21 yards into the end zone to extend the lead to 24-14.
With under five minutes left in the game, UCLA faced fourth-and-2 on the Cincinnati 23. Thompson-Robinson’s pass was incomplete, but the Bearcats were offside, giving the Bruins a second chance.
Thompson-Robinson was only 8-for-26 for 156 passing yards and also had a net gain of -20 yards on the ground.
Two plays later, Thompson-Robinson fumbled the football and Cincinnati’s Curtis Brooks picked up the football
On the ensuing drive, Warren fumbled on a run up the middle on third down, and UCLA’s Krys Barnes scooped it up and scored. However, the referees ruled that Warren’s knee was down before the fumble, negating the touchdown.
The Bruins got the ball back but were unable to do anything.
—Field Level Media