Scores

Final

Marshall 14

(0-4, 0-2 away)

Cincinnati 40

(4-0, 3-0 home)

7:30 PM ET, September 22, 2007

Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

1 2 3 4 T
MRSH 2 6 0 614
CIN 12 14 0 1440

Top Performers

Passing: B. Morris (MRSH) - 252 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: G. Moore (CIN) - 6 CAR, 70 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Barnett (CIN) - 6 REC, 77 YDS, 2 TD

Cincinnati 40, Marshall 14

Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Mike Mickens' interception and fumble recovery set up Cincinnati's first two touchdowns, and the unbeaten Bearcats defeated winless Marshall 40-14 Saturday night.

The Bearcats are 4-0 for the first time since 1954, revived by a defense ranked among the nation's best. It had two more tone-setting plays on Saturday.

During their attention-grabbing start, the Bearcats have 12 interceptions -- four by Mickens -- and seven fumble recoveries, setting up 79 points. The Bearcats have allowed only three touchdowns while outscoring opponents 180-30.

The Thundering Herd (0-4) couldn't put together a drive until late in the first half, when Cincinnati led 26-2 in front of a record crowd at Nippert Stadium.

Marshall is off to its worst start since 1969, when it lost its first six games. The Herd was coming off a 48-35 loss to New Hampshire, its first defeat to a lower-division team since it joined I-A in 1997.

Cincinnati's fast start under new coach Brian Kelly has renewed interest in a program largely ignored for decades. The capacity crowd of 35,097 was the largest at Nippert Stadium, which was expanded in 1992.

Fans saw a sloppy game that never got into a rhythm. Cincinnati put it away with Dustin Grutza's 7-yard touchdown pass and Jacob Ramsey's 42-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bearcats provided some intrigue at the outset. For the second game in a row, Grutza learned shortly before the kickoff that he would start in place of quarterback Ben Mauk, bothered by a tired arm.

Mauk, who broke his passing arm and dislocated his shoulder last season at Wake Forest, started warming up after Grutza threw the ball at a lineman's feet while under pressure in the end zone, a grounding call that resulted in a safety and a 2-0 lead for Marshall.

Mauk got into the game midway through the second quarter, with Cincinnati leading 19-2 behind Mickens' two takeaways. Mauk shook his passing arm after throwing a crisp 13-yard completion on his first attempt, then put the Bearcats up 26-2 with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Barnett.

Mauk was 6-of-7 for 77 yards before he was replaced in the fourth quarter by Grutza, who led a clinching, 72-yard touchdown drive. Grutza went 5-of-7 for 63 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown pass to Connor Barwin that made it 33-14.

Grutza, who was the Bearcats' starter for most of last season, was 14-of-20 for 142 yards overall with two touchdowns.

Marshall's Bernard Morris, playing despite a nagging case of turf toe, went 20-of-30 for 252 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Darius Passmore had seven catches for 106 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MRSH
CIN
1st Downs1922
Total Yards337436
Passing257219
Rushing80217
Penalties13-10610-80
3rd Down Conversions3-122-10
4th Down Conversions0-00-3
Turnovers20
Possession30:1729:43

Passing Leaders

MarshallC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Morris20/302528.421
CincinnatiC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Grutza14/201427.120

Rushing Leaders

MarshallCARYDSAVGTDLG
Marshall7639.0021
Morris11343.1011
CincinnatiCARYDSAVGTDLG
Moore67011.7130
Ramsey34816.0142

Receiving Leaders

MarshallRECYDSAVGTDLG
Passmore710615.1138
Slate6498.2011
CincinnatiRECYDSAVGTDLG
Barnett67712.8227
Gilyard44411.0016

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMRSHCIN
SF07:22Dustin Grutza Tackled By Byron Tinker In End Zone 20
TD05:29Greg Moore 17 Yd Run (Jake Rogers Kick)
Drive: 3 plays, 30 yds, :54
20
SF05:22- Team Tackled By In End Zone 20
FG02:27Jake Rogers 31 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 42 yds, 2:52
20
SECOND QUARTERMRSHCIN
TD14:55Marcus Barnett 10 Yd Pass From Dustin Grutza (Jake Rogers Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 46 yds, :59
219
TD04:16Marcus Barnett 27 Yd Pass From Ben Mauk (Jake Rogers Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 92 yds, 3:38
226
TD02:11Courtney Edmonson 4 Yd Pass From Bernard Morris (Pat Blocked)
Drive: 7 plays, 85 yds, 1:55
826
FOURTH QUARTERMRSHCIN
TD13:52Darius Passmore 33 Yd Pass From Bernard Morris (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)
Drive: 6 plays, 62 yds, 2:51
1426
TD11:19Connor Barwin 7 Yd Pass From Dustin Grutza (Jake Rogers Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 72 yds, 2:27
1433
TD08:08Jacob Ramsey 42 Yd Run (Jake Rogers Kick)
Drive: 4 plays, 67 yds, 1:54
1440