PROVO, Utah – The University of Cincinnati has yet to join the list of Big 12 newcomers to win a conference game.
The Bearcats won in several statistical categories Friday night but not the most important. BYU grabbed UCLA’s only lead late in the first half and never trailed again, winning 35-27 in front of 63,837 at Lavelle Edwards Stadium.
The Bearcats outgained the Cougars overall, outscored them, ran more plays and led in time of possession. Turnovers hurt them badly as BYU scored on an interception return in the first quarter and took advantage of a short field in the fourth quarter after a fumble penalty to regain a 15-point lead.
BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis didn’t have a banner night but led the Cougars on back-to-back drives to end the first half and start the second. Slovis finished 13-for-24 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. LJ Martin ran for 48 yards and two scores.
UCLA’s Emory Jones was 23-for-37 for 256 yards and three scores and also ran for 94 yards. Corey Keener ran for 77 yards while Myles Montgomery added 61. Xzavier Henderson had seven catches for 74 yards, Braden Smith four for 72 and a touchdown and Shamon Metair three for 59 and two touchdowns.
The first half is misleading
The first inning may be one of the strangest innings ever played. The Bearcats were driving on their first series until Jacob Robinson intercepted Jones who took it 42 yards to the house. In the second quarter, they finally scored their first touchdown since the University of Miami game on a pass to Shamon Metayer. They drove late in the half but settled for a Carter Brown 33-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead.
Then Slovis, who threw for just 2 yards, lofted a 69-yarder into the air in 30 seconds. A 22-yard pass to Darius Lassiter gave BYU an improbable 14-10 lead.
UC trailed in a game where they outrebounded BYU 254-107, outscored BYU 154-36 and led in time of possession 21:28 to 8:32.
BYU continued its newfound momentum into the third period. UCLA would close the gap to 28-20 on grabbing Metayer’s second touchdown, but Braden Smith fumbled a punt shortly after giving the Cougars prime field position. The result was another Cougar touchdown and an even bigger opening for the Bearcats.
BYU goes to 4-1 with UC falling to 2-3. Both teams have a bye week coming up. The Bearcats will next play on Saturday, October 14 against Iowa State at Nippert Stadium.
Final BYU 35, Cincinnati 27
:26 late TD by Braden Smith | BYU 35, Cincinnati 27
Eight plays and 80 yards in 1:10. Jones 31-yard touchdown pass to Braden Smith.
Transitions hurt. BYU backed up 15 in the fourth. | BYU 35, Cincinnati 20
Braden Smith fumbles a punt and BYU gets a short field. LJ Martin eventually scored and with 12:41 remaining, BYU led 35-20.
Bearcats claw back, down eight late in third quarter | BYU 28, Cincinnati 20
A five-play 75-yard drive by UCLA culminated in Jones hitting Shamon Metair for his second touchdown of the game on a 23-yard scoring pass. Jones threw for 186 yards, Slovis 184 yards.
Touchdowns are better than field goals. BYU extends lead | BYU 28, Cincinnati 13
There’s 2:53 left in the third quarter and Slovis avoids the sack and finds Chase Roberts who rushes away for a 59-yard touchdown. In the bottom 15, UCLA had its back against the wall in earnest as BYU found plenty of space in UCLA’s secondary. Slovis is 9-for-16 for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
5:27, 3rd Quarter, UCLA closes in on Brigham Young University but needs to stop its momentum | BYU 21, Cincinnati 13
The Bearcats get to the BYU 4-yard line and can’t score. Carter Brown kicked a 22-yard field goal and the Bearcats were down by eight.
BYU has found their offense. Cougars lead Bearcats in third quarter | BYU 21, Cincinnati 10
LJ Martin runs a 29-yard touchdown run to push BYU’s lead to 21-10. After UCLA fumbled on its opening series, Slovis took the Cougars five plays and 73 yards in 2:02.
First half statistics | BYU 14, Cincinnati 10
Oddly enough, UC is trailing in a game where they outrebounded BYU 254-107, outrebounded 154-36 and led in time of possession 21:28 to 8:32. Kedon Slovis is now 4-for-10 passing for 71 yards with 69 of those coming in 30 seconds late in the half. KJ Martin has 32 yards. BYU took advantage early by selecting Jacob Robinson pick six for the first score.
UCLA’s Emory Jones is 10-for-18 for 100 yards with Xzavier Henderson catching four balls for 51 yards. Shamon Metayer had the only touchdown. Corey Keener leads rushers with 55 and Myles Montgomery has 48 yards.
UCLA’s lead was short-lived, as BYU rose by half | BYU 14, Cincinnati 10
UCLA had Kedon Slovis down but once the Cougars got the ball he threw for 69 of the 71 yards in the half. BYU goes three plays and 82 yards at :30. Slovis hits Darius Lassiter for a 22-yard score.
:48 In the second quarter, UCLA takes the lead | Cincinnati 10, BYU 7
UCLA goes on a nine-play, 42-yard drive covering 2:49 but can’t get a second down. Carter Brown hits a 33-yard field goal. UCLA has outrebounded BYU 250-38 but leads by only three.
Breaking News! Bearcat landing! | Cincinnati 7, BYU 7
Unofficially after 18 possessions, the UC Bearcats had a touchdown when Emory Jones hit tight end Chamon Metayer for a 26-yard score. Carter Brown’s extra point is good. The 17-play, 90-yard drive covers 6:49. It is the longest drive of the season for the Bearcats and connects the most plays on the drive.
BYU maintains lead after one quarter, UCLA leads again | BYU 7, Cincinnati 0
Typical UC game so far. They outrebounded BYU 108-29, outrebounded 91-27, had six first downs to BYU’s two and trailed 7-0 thanks to a pick six by Jacob Robinson. Emory Jones is just 3-for-9 passing for 17 yards. Kedon Slovis is just 1-for-4 for 2 yards. Corey Keener leads all rushers with 43 yards, Myles Montgomery has 27, and BYU’s LJ Martin has 25.
4:18 First quarter | BYU 7, Cincinnati 0
After a UC-heavy drive reaches the BYU 37-yard line, a fourth-and-1 pass to Payten Singletary is called. Projection. Confusing for sure.
BYU strikes first with a defensive score in the first quarter | BYU 7, Cincinnati 0
On UCLA’s first drive runs by Corey Kiner (12 and 11) and Aaron Turner got the Bearcats to the BYU 42. On third down a pass from Emory Jones went into the hands of BYU’s Jakob Robinson who took it 42 yards to the house. 8:28 remaining in the first quarter.
The start of this game will be on ESPN News. Louisville and North Carolina State aren’t done.
PROVO, Utah – University of Cincinnati football has traveled 1,650 miles to Lavelle Edwards Stadium in search of its first Big 12 Championship win. Likewise, coach Kalani Sitake’s BYU Cougars will host their first game in the new league as they will run on the turf in royal blue uniforms against All-white road uniforms in Cincinnati.
The winner will be the first of the Big 12 newcomers to achieve victory. UCLA, Houston, UCF and BYU officially became members of the Big 12 on July 1.
The Bearcats hope to stay hydrated to compete at Provo’s elevation, which is 4,551 feet above sea level compared to Cincinnati’s elevation of 482 feet. Both teams are coming off losses and a short week of practice. BYU suffered its first loss at Kansas 38-27 last week as they threw the ball well but rushed for only nine yards. UCLA held No. 14 Oklahoma to a season-low 20 points but was unable to penetrate the end zone.
Emory Jones and company have now played their last 15 possessions without crossing the legendary goal line.
Montgomery is out for the Bearcats
Running back Ryan Montgomery, who ran for 104 yards against the University of Miami, is unavailable tonight. The carries should keep going to Corey Keener and Myles Montgomery who carried six times for 29 yards against Oklahoma.
Cincinnati Bearcats in BYU history
Coach Tommy Tuberville’s team was leading 24-17 over BYU in 2015 heading into the fourth quarter before the rally took its toll. The Cougars scored 21 unanswered points and won 38-24. UCLA’s last three possessions scored -13 yards.
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