Scores

Final

E Kentucky 7

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Cincinnati 40

(1-0, 1-0 home)

7:30 PM ET, August 28, 2008

Nippert Stadium, CINCINNATI, OH

1 2 3 4 T
EKY 0 0 7 07
CIN 6 20 14 040

Top Performers

Passing: D. Grutza (CIN) - 296 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: J. Goebel (CIN) - 9 CAR, 62 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Goodman (CIN) - 10 REC, 144 YDS, 2 TD

New QB Grutza tosses 3 TDs, rushes for one in blowout

Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Dustin Grutza made Cincinnati's quarterback transition go smoothly Thursday night, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another in a 40-7 victory over Eastern Kentucky that eased the Bearcats' biggest concern -- at least for now.

They didn't miss Ben Mauk on this night.

A few hours after Mauk appealed to an NCAA committee for another season of eligibility, his backup had a career night. Grutza set a career high with his three touchdown passes in the first half, helping Cincinnati (1-0) get off to a fast start.

The senior threw touchdown passes of 15 and 47 yards to Mardy Gilyard, who had never caught more than one in a game. The last one came off the same type of play that Mauk ran so well last year, a play-action rollout that let Gilyard get behind the coverage.

Eastern Kentucky (0-1), the defending Ohio Valley Conference champs, had trouble against a defense that was one of the nation's best last season. The Bearcats were missing tackle Terrill Byrd, suspended for the opener because of a marijuana citation.

Allan Holland, the OVC's offensive player of the year last season, was 12-of-17 for 141 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown pass to Cody Watts after the Colonels trailed 40-0. Sophomore running back Aaron Bradley hurt his right knee in the first half and didn't return.

Grutza was the starting quarterback in 2006, but lost his job late that season and never got it back. Mauk led the Bearcats to 10 wins and a No. 17 final ranking last year, then set about trying to gain one more season of eligibility. The NCAA has turned down his appeals four times so far.

Mauk talked to its reinstatement committee by phone on Thursday afternoon, his last chance for a reversal. Mauk, a graduate student, was on the sideline in jeans and a gray football T-shirt.

Grutza led the Bearcats to touchdowns on their first three drives. He left the game after directing a 20-play drive that culminated in his 2-yard touchdown run, making it 33-0 late in the third quarter. Grutza was 21-of-28 for a career-high 296 yards.

The game drew 26,913 fans to a 35,000-seat stadium, a disappointment for a program coming off a breakthrough year. The Bearcats drew 20,223 for their opener last season, a 59-3 win over Southeast Missouri State.

There was a momentary fright when the Bearcat mascot parachuted into the stadium before the kickoff. The parachute got tangled in the wire that holds up the net behind the goal post, leaving the costumed man dangling. The parachute slid loose after a few seconds, and the mascot landed feet-first, fell to his back and jumped up.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
EKY
CIN
1st Downs827
Total Yards195557
Passing147348
Rushing48209
Penalties3-2511-106
3rd Down Conversions2-124-11
4th Down Conversions0-03-3
Turnovers21
Possession25:5534:05

Passing Leaders

Eastern KentuckyC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Holland12/171418.311
CincinnatiC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Grutza21/2829610.630

Rushing Leaders

Eastern KentuckyCARYDSAVGTDLG
Walker9394.3013
Banjoman3134.308
CincinnatiCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson9798.8050
Goebel9626.9119

Receiving Leaders

Eastern KentuckyRECYDSAVGTDLG
Watts39732.3161
Sizemore6386.3011
CincinnatiRECYDSAVGTDLG
Goodman1014414.4226
Gilyard610116.8247

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTEREKYCIN
TD06:53Marshwan Gilyard 15 Yd Pass From Dustin Grutza (Pat Blocked) 06
SECOND QUARTEREKYCIN
TD12:48Dominick Goodman 21 Yd Pass From Dustin Grutza (Pat Failed) 012
TD08:57John Goebel 1 Yd Run (Brandon Yingling Kick) 019
TD01:49Marshwan Gilyard 47 Yd Pass From Dustin Grutza (Brandon Yingling Kick) 026
THIRD QUARTEREKYCIN
TD05:37Dustin Grutza 2 Yd Run (Brandon Yingling Kick) 033
TD01:38Dominick Goodman 15 Yd Pass From Tony Pike (Brandon Yingling Kick) 040
TD00:58Cody Watts 61 Yd Pass From Allan Holland (Taylor Long Kick) 740