From 2010 to 2011 turnover problems flipped 180 degrees. And UC proudly touted their newfound ball security. Battling Saturday for the Victory Bell old habits cropped up.
Cincinnati shot their proverbial foot thrice early. Individual mistakes curtailed both the first and second drives. The first drive stalled after a personal foul. The second and fourth drives ceased after the ball left Zach Collaros' generally sure handed palms. First Collaros threw his second interception of the season. As the second quarter opened Collaros fumbled.
Truthfully UC and Miami looked similarly matched through one quarter. The Bearcats moved the ball more successfully, but bungled twice.
Despite entering the contest as the nation's leader in turnover margin UC allowed the elements to disrupt them.
Cincinnati scored at least fourteen points every game in September. The first date of October spun a different yarn. Neither UC nor Miami managed a single point for 23:24 minutes of game action. Cincinnati can blame themselves while Miami felt some stifling from the Bearcat defensive line.
UC was finally able to break the gridlock as Miami's punter horrifically failed. Again. A 12-yard punt in the first quarter met a neighbor when Anthony Kokal flubbed a 11-yard kick midway through the second.
Bearcat ball on the Miami 41 set up very manageable field position. On the second play of the drive Zach Collaros hit Travis Kelce for his first career touchdown reception. Kicker Tony Miliano missed the ensuing PAT.
Averaging 33.5 points per half entering the battle UC exited the field with a mere six points.
The last time Miami was scoreless at halftime was October 2009 against Northwestern.
Does the scoreboard work? We think.
Collaros found plenty of running room though it was not his first choice. After seeing covered receivers Zach slipped through his line to greener pastures. In the first half Collaros accumulated a season high 66 rushing yards.
He nearly eclipsed his passing total of 82 yards and easily outdid Isaiah Pead, who many consider the most accomplished running back in the BIG EAST Conference.