Big 12 football’s inaugural season begins Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium when new coach Scott Satterfield leads his University of Cincinnati Bearcats onto the field against Eastern Kentucky. The game is the first of three non-conference games before UC’s actual Big 12 opener against Oklahoma on Sept. 23.
The Bearcats have won 21 straight home openers. Two of these opening victories came in 2006 and 2008 against the EKU Colonels.
Scott Satterfield has a 76-48 record as a head coach, but he is just 2-8 in home openers at Appalachian State and Louisville. However, several of those games came against Power Five opponents such as Michigan (2014), Tennessee (2016), Georgia (2017), Penn State (2018/OT), Notre Dame (2019), Ole Miss (2021) and Syracuse (2022 ) instead of ). Now the Bearcats find themselves in a Power Five conference.
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1:39 p.m., third quarter, UC 59, EKU 10
It’s Brady Lichtenberg’s first touchdown run as he reaches the black turf from the 4-yard line. The drive was initiated by an interception by Justin Harris.
2:42, third quarter, UC 52, EKU 10
Aaron Turner’s third catch as a Bearcat is a 6-yard touchdown as UC takes a 52-10 lead. Emory Jones is now 19 of 23 for 345 yards and five touchdowns, as well as two rushing scores for seven, a career high. Corey Kiner also now has 105 yards, his second 100-yard game of his career.
8:12, third quarter, UC 45, EKU 10
After a sack of Parker McKinney by Eric Phillips, EKU settled for a 42-yard field goal from Patrick Nations. UC leads by 35, but the score is 3-3 in this half if the Colonels want to look on the bright side.
13:31, third quarter, UC 45, EKU 7
Carter Brown’s first field goal as a Bearcat is a good one from 46 yards. In the interest of special teams love, Cayson Pfeiffer was the snapper and the defending quarterback was Bryce Burton. Brown is a transfer from Arizona State. A sack-and-fumble recovery by Utah State transfer Daniel Grzesiak set up the scoring.
HALFTIME: UC 42, EKU 7
Emory Jones has thrown for 326 yards with touchdowns to Xzavier Henderson, Dee Wiggins, Payten Singletary and Braden Smith. Corey Kiner leads the way with 69 rushing yards, Jones has 34. Henderson has seven catches for a career-high 149 yards, Smith has three for 59 yards. Deshawn Pace leads with six tackles and he and Taj Ward shared a sack (of the quarterback, no chips).
EKU’s Parker McKinney is 8 of 13 for 114 yards for a touchdown and was sacked once and picked off once.
:49, second quarter, UC 42, EKU 7
Braden Smith’s first UC touchdown reception comes before halftime. Emory Jones now has four touchdown passes, this one coming from 48 yards. Jones is 17 of 21 for 326 yards. Early Big 12 Player of the Week candidate. This is his second 300-yard passing game of his career and it takes less than a half.
5:08, second quarter, UC 35, EKU 7
The Colonels get on the field as Parker McKinney drives them downfield and hits Hunter Brown with a 17-yard pass to thwart UC’s shutout attempt. The extra point is good.
7:17, second quarter, UC 35, EKU 0
Emory Jones’ second career rushing touchdown comes from 12 yards out and shows him evading a tackle on a so-called pass play and finding his way into the end zone. He has 36 yards on the ground and is 13 of 16 passing for 245 yards, 136 of which go to Xzavier Henderson. Former Gator Henderson has already set a personal record in receiving yards.
11:47, second quarter, UC 28, EKU 0
Emory Jones with a third touchdown pass, this one for a yard to tight end Payten Singletary. Corey Kiner put the Bearcats in position with a 54-yard run and another gallop to the 1-yard line. Jones 11-for-12 for 207 yards and three scores.
END OF FIRST QUARTER, UC 21, EKU 0
UC outscored EKU 251-57. They outscored the Colonels 206-53 and outrebounded them 45-4.
:12, first quarter, Sammy Anderson Jr. injured
The redshirt junior was briefly on the ground, but left the field alone. Head athletic trainer Aaron Himmel took his helmet, so we’ll see if he gets it back.
1:41, first quarter, UC 21, EKU 0
Emory Jones’ 16th career rushing touchdown is his first in Cincinnati. On 4th-and-1, Jones was pushed inside from the 1-yard line. He now leads UC in rushing with 19 yards and is 10 of 11 passing for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
6:52 first quarter, UC 14, EKU 0
Emory Jones is still perfect for the season, 7 of 7 for 143 on a 39-yard shot to Dee Wiggins. Wiggins is a Louisville transfer and the previous score came from Florida transfer Xzavier Henderson, who already has 98 yards in receptions. “Pump It Up” begins to play.
11:45 first quarter UC, 7, EKU 0
On 4th and 5, UC pounces from midfield and Emory Jones connects with Xzavier Henderson for a 49-yard touchdown. Jones went 4-for-4 for 71 yards on a drive through the air.
3:00 p.m: I went to the field for a bit. UC Basketball had practice today at noon. I can confirm that 2024 four-star point guard Labaron Philon was in attendance and is here for the football game.
Viking sighting: Also here is Ivan Pace Jr., who recently made it to the Minnesota Vikings. They open against Tampa Bay on Saturday, September 10th.
Minnesota Vikings LB Ivan Pace Jr. returns to Cincinnati
Minnesota Vikings LB Ivan Pace Jr. returns to Cincinnati
Scott Springer, Cincinnati Enquirer
2.30: What are the chances you ask? Depending on which site you look at, UC is between -21.5 and -24 versus EKU. In their last meeting in 2008, Tony Pike was a 6-for-7 passer with a touchdown to Dominick Goodman. Pike is back on the sideline at UC home games for the Bearcats Sports Network, which has 102.7 WEBN today.
Local Colonels: EKU has a handful of Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky on its roster. Among them is former Kentucky Mr. Football Cameron Hergott, a redshirt freshman quarterback at Beechwood High School. Also from the area are redshirt senior linebacker Kyle Kelly of Newport, junior linebacker Elijah Ford of Colerain, redshirt junior linebacker Cam Junior of Middletown (formerly UC Bearcat), junior offensive lineman Vincent Munlin Jr. of Princeton, Junior receiver Bryant Johnson Jr. of Winton Woods and freshman tight end Ashton Olberding of Little Miami.