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Miami RedHawks vs. Cincinnati Bearcats: Offensive line woes limit Miami in 27-20 loss

It turns out having 2.2 yards per rush and five sacks isn’t a recipe for success.

NCAA Football: Miami (Ohio) at Cincinnati David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Victory Bell went to the Cincinnati Bearcats for the 11th straight time in their rivalry with the Miami RedHawks Saturday in a contest where the latter was unable to sustain any offense and got gouged by the run on defense. Billy Bahl was the same player he’s been all season, going 13/24 for 248 yards, two touchdowns, an interceptions, and five sacks. Getting 65 yards on the ground didn’t help Bahl, nor did the 485 yards of total offense the defense gave up.

The RedHawks took an early 7-3 lead in the first quarter with a James Gardner touchdown reception that was set up by a huge 94-yard kickoff return by Maurice Thomas. After a rushing score from UC’s Ross Trail and field goal by Nick Dowd in the second stanza, the latest edition of the Battle for the Victory Bell was tied 10-10 at the half.

The ‘Hawks responded in the the third quarter with a 58-yard strike from Bahl to Jared Murphy, but the Bearcats answered back with a 12-play drive that was capped off with a 2-yard Mike Boone plunge. After trading field goals, Cincinnati put together another 12-play scoring drive with Tion Green taking it in from two yards out with 5:09 left in the final period. A three-and-out from Miami on the ensuing drive effectively ended the game, with UC milking the clock after taking the punt.

The RedHawk offense missed a lot of opportunities as it went 2/11 on third down and 1/4 on scoring touchdowns in the red zone. This was MU’s third loss decided by a single score, and this has to leave a bad taste in the mouths of Miami fans with how poorly the team played against arguably its most fierce rival. They have to find a way to regroup quick as their other rival in the Ohio Bobcats come into Oxford next week.