<
>

Cincinnati 28, Eastern Michigan 26

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dustin Grutza threw for two touchdowns and
rushed for a third Thursday night, leading Cincinnati to a 28-26
victory over Eastern Michigan in the Bearcats' first game as a
member of the Big East.

Cincinnati erased a 20-14 halftime deficit on Grutza's 21-yard
TD run on the opening drive of the third quarter. Bradley Glathaar
scored on an 11-yard run to increase the lead to 28-20 with 13:13
left.

Eastern Michigan freshman Tim Connor scored his second touchdown
on a 33-yard run with 10:59 remaining. Matt Bohnet's pass for Eric
Deslauriers on the tying two-point conversion attempt fell short.

With the Bearcats trying to run out the clock, Grutza fumbled on
a hit by Daniel Holtzclaw and Steven Lewis recovered for the Eagles
on their 49.

Cincinnati's defense held at its 40, and Andrew Wellock's punt
stopped on the Bearcats' 2 with 6:18 to play.

The Bearcats managed to run the clock down to 21 seconds before
Butler Benton was stopped on a fourth-and-1 run at the Cincinnati
48.

The Eagles failed to pick up a first down and Grutza took a knee
to kill the last 14 seconds.

Grutza, a redshirt freshman making his first start, completed 17
of 26 passes for 176 yards without an interception. He threw
first-quarter TD passes of 10 yards to Antwuan Giddens and 38 yards
to Greg Moore.

Bohnet went 22-of-33 for 167 yards and a 27-yard scoring pass to
Deslauriers in the first. Bohnet also was the Eagles' leading
rusher with 65 yards on 10 carries.

Cincinnati gave away 5,000 Big East Bearcat bobbleheads,
commemorating its step-up in conferences.

Cincinnati went 7-5 in its last season in Conference USA.

The university's celebration of the move was overshadowed last
month by Bob Huggins' ouster as basketball coach.

The basketball team's success was a key factor in their
acceptance into the Big East. University President Nancy Zimpher
was booed by Cincinnati's bobblehead clutching fans prior to
kickoff.