Sun, 03 Dec 2023

BYU overcomes yardage disparity to defeat Cincinnati

Field Level Media
30 Sep 2023, 16:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)

Kedon Slovis threw for two touchdowns and LJ Martin ran for two more Friday night as BYU won the battle of Big 12 Conference newcomers, defeating Cincinnati 35-27 in Provo, Utah.

Slovis completed 13 of 24 passes for 223 yards, including a 59-yard scoring strike to Chase Roberts with 2:53 left in the third quarter for a 28-13 lead.

Martin added a 29-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and a 1-yard plunge with 12:41 remaining in the game that capped the scoring.

The Cougars (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) were outgained 498-295 but played cleaner football. They committed just four penalties and didn't turn the ball over, while the Bearcats (2-3, 0-2) were flagged seven times and coughed up 14 points off two turnovers.

Quarterback Emory Jones completed 23 of 37 passes for Cincinnati, good for 256 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. His 23-yard strike to Chamon Metayer with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter pulled the Bearcats within 28-20.

They forced a punt as the period ended, but Braden Smith fumbled it and BYU's Austin Riggs recovered at the Cincinnati 15. Martin scored his second touchdown five plays later.

Roberts caught six passes for 131 yards and recovered an onside kick with 25 seconds left after Jones' 31-yard touchdown pass to Smith.

BYU initiated the scoring when Jakob Robinson intercepted Jones on a third down throw at the 8:28 mark of the first quarter and returned it 42 yards. From that point, Cincinnati's ground game dominated most of the rest of the first half.

The Bearcats tied the score at 7 with 10:59 remaining in the half on Jones' 27-yard touchdown strike to Metayer, capping a 17-play drive that saw them run on 10 plays and eat up nearly seven minutes. A 33-yard field goal by Carter Brown put Cincinnati up 10-7 with 44 seconds left.

But the Cougars stole the halftime lead with Slovis' 22-yard scoring pass to Darius Lassiter to finished off an 82-yard drive with six seconds on the clock, giving them a 14-10 advantage.

--Field Level Media

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