SOUTH BEND, IND (WNN) – Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes and ran for the score late in the fourth quarter as No. 7 Cincinnati took advantage of their big opportunity and beat No. 9 Notre Dame 24-13 in a game on Saturday defeated. Hope could be the centerpiece of college football playoffs resume.
Cincinnati (4–0) wanted to use their first Top 10, regular-season matchup as a statement game, going into their American Athletic Conference schedule. No team from outside the Power Five conferences has ever reached the playoffs. Never even came close.
The Bearcats almost certainly needed to go undefeated to break that barrier and this trip to Notre Dame (4-1) was the toughest test on the schedule. Not to mention the biggest stage they’ll be on this season.
The Bearcats weren’t impressive enough, but they were good enough to break Notre Dame’s 26-game home winning streak on their first visit to South Bend since 1900.
When told how crowded the Notre Stadium could be this week, Ridder quipped that it wouldn’t be around for long.
Senior delivered, scoring 19 for 32 for 297 yards. He hooked six times for 144 yards with Alec Pierce, and was at his best after cutting Notre Dame’s lead to 17-13 with an 8:20 in the fourth quarter.
Ridder, 3 for 3, went on the ensuing drive, to Leonard Taylor with a shot in the middle from 36 yards. He closed it with a 6-yard TD run around the left end, making it 24-13.
Cincinnati took advantage of Notre Dame’s three turnovers in the first half to take a 17-0 lead. Abortions performed by the Irish were killers.
Jacques Coen’s pass was intercepted in the red zone when Ahmed Gardner fouled under pressure, ending Notre Dame’s best first-and-half drive.
The Irish tried new Tyler Buchner at quarterback for a coup of the series, hoping his dynamism could spark the ongoing game. But DeShawn Paes removed Buchner’s pass when he was hit and Paes put Cincinnati in the red zone.
Ridder gave Taylor a one-yard pass and took a 7-0 lead at the start of the second quarter.
Chris Tyree threw the ensuing kickoff back to Cincinnati and the Bearcats converted a 23-yard field goal by Cole Smith.
Ridder and the Bearcats did their best late in the second quarter, reaching 80 yards for a touchdown. Ridder was 3 for 4 on the drive, each completed for over 20 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown to Trey Tucker who defeated Irish All-America safety Kyle Hamilton.
The Bearcats were up 17-0 with 40 seconds in the first half and for the third time Cincinnati fans, decked out in red at the top of the south end, chanted “Let’s go Bearcats!” were chanting.
Cincinnati: The defense closed out Notre Dame for most of the game, receiving a shut-down game from All-America cornerback Gardner and good pressure from Maizai Sanders and Darien Beavers.
Notre Dame: Drew Paine, who took charge in the second half against Wisconsin last week when Jack Coen was out with an ankle injury, came off the bench again for the Irish in the third quarter – this time with just a spark. to do.
Paine was fine, showing some Ian Book-ish dynamism and deflecting the ball a bit more quickly than Cone. Sophistication was 9 for 22 for 143 yards and a 32 yard touchdown pass to Braden Lenzi, left with 8:28 in the fourth quarter and took a 17–13 lead. Jonathan Doerer missed after this point.
Cincinnati: Host Temple on Friday.
Notre Dame: Saturday at Virginia Tech.
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