LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - Munchie Legaux hit Damon
Julian for a 39-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds to play, and
Cincinnati beat Virginia Tech 27-24 Saturday.
by four after a Hokies touchdown, the Bearcats (3-0) took over at their
own 15 with 1:43 to play and moved downfield in nine plays for the
score, capping a seesaw fourth quarter that brought to life a sleepy
Cincinnati dominated in every way but
the scoreboard, piling on the yards all game, and managed to finally
escape with the win. Legaux completed 19 of 42 passes for a career-high
376 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Kenbrell Thompkins
also set career highs for Cincinnati with seven catches for 134 yards
and a score.
Logan Thomas was 17 for 30 for
242 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the Hokies (3-2),
who have lost two games to unranked Big East schools in one of the most
trying Septembers in recent history under coach Frank Beamer. A 35-17
loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago knocked Virginia Tech out of the Top
The game was played at the Washington
Redskins stadium, with Cincinnati giving up a home game for a chance to
play in the vicinity of the nation's capital. Still, the Bearcats fans
were an overwhelming minority compared to the Hokies' faithful, who had
to travel half the distance of their counterparts.
teams combined for 31 points in the fourth quarter after putting up
just 20 in the first three. Michael Holmes spun into the end zone from 3
yards out with 8:37 to play to put Virginia Tech ahead 17-13, but Ralph
David Abernathy IV's 76-yard catch-and-run score put the Bearcats back
in front less than a minute later.
The Hokies then responded with Corey Fuller's 56-yard touchdown catch with 1:49 remaining.
Bearcats run a spread offense, but they had more success with
conventional drop-back pass plays. They took a 13-7 lead midway through
the third quarter when Legaux, with plenty of time to throw, hit
Thompkins wide open over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown.
Tech was outgained 165 to 72 in the first half - yet the Hokies had a
just 7-6 lead to show for it. They didn't get a first down until
Fuller's 15-yard reception with 5:17 to go in the half, and the offense
struggled to capitalize even when linebacker Bruce Taylor shifted
momentum with a couple of big plays.
stripped the ball from Travis Kelce for a fumble near midfield, but the
Hokies ended up punting. On Cincinnati's next possession, Taylor tipped a
pass that was intercepted by Kris Harley, giving Virginia Tech the ball
at the Bearcats 13-yard line.
That set up
the Hokies' only first-half touchdown, but it took four plays to
accomplish, with Thomas scampering up the middle for a 5-yard scoring
run on fourth-and-2 with 2:41 left in the half.
day's blooper highlight was provided by Thompkins, who had an amusing
pratfall when he tripped over the chains when they were brought out for a
measurement after a fourth-and-1 run. Cincinnati got the first down,
and the drive led to one of two first-half field goals by Tony Miliano.
had an even more unusual play in the first half - a touchdown negated
by a holding call on the quarterback. Legaux was whistled for giving
Kyshoen Jarrett an extra shove while Abernathy was running 11 yards for a
score on a double reserve. The drive ended when the Bearcats faked a
field goal by throwing a pass to defensive tackle Silverberry Mouhon,
who made only 16 yards on the fourth-and-18.