Sunday, November 25, 2001
UC 36, Memphis 34
Last-second TD pass puts Bearcats in bowl
By Phil Stukenborg
Special to the Enquirer
MEMPHIS Cincinnati coach Rick Minter walked off the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Field Saturday with a game ball clutched in one hand, a victory cigar in the other and a smile after the Bearcats' last-second 36-34 victory over Memphis.
The Bearcats (6-4, 5-2 in C-USA) became bowl-eligible and probably are headed for the Motor City Bowl in Pontiac, Mich., for the second straight season, this time to face Toledo. Ken Hoffman, the bowl's executive director, said it's a strong possibility UC will be C-USA's representative.
Memphis QB Danny Wimprine fumbles under pressure from UC's Derrick Adams.
| ZOOM |
Cincinnati won on a 13-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Gino Guidugli to Jon Olinger, a fade route to the left corner of the end zone with four seconds left.
It was almost storybook, said Minter. But we've been the cardiac kids all year long.
Guidugli continued his Cinderella season, one that began for him with a last-second TD pass to beat Army in September.
That was one of the best feelings I've had in my sports career, Guidugli said. And we've been in situations like that so much this year that we believe we can accomplish anything. As long as we've got one play, we feel we've got a chance.
Guidugli, who led the Bearcats to five scores on six second-half possessions, completed 18 of 36 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns.
Cincinnati's game-winning drive, which began with a sack of Guidugli, included several key conversions.
Memphis receiver Darron White is taken down by Jason Hunt.
| ZOOM |
On third-and-16 from the Bearcats 19, Memphis defensive back Anthony Harden was called for pass interference.
Then on fourth-and-27 from the Bearcat 27, with 25 seconds left, Guidugli found Olinger open at the Memphis 37.
And in the closing seconds, Guidugli lofted a perfect pass to Olinger in the left corner of the end zone on a fade route, setting off a celebration on the UC sideline.
Olinger had all his receptions in the second half.
It was a great day for me, Olinger said. It was the highlight of my career.
Olinger caught six passes for 144 yards and the two TDs. Running backs DeMarco McCleskey and Ray Jackson each rushed for 100 or more yards for UC, with McCleskey gaining 120 and Jackson 110.
After the Bearcats had taken a 30-27 lead with 4:04 to go on a 26-yard field goal by Jonathan Ruffin, Memphis (5-6, 3-4 in C-USA) struck quickly.
Taking advantage of a pass interference call that negated UC safety Doug Monaghan's interception near midfield, Danny Wimprine fired his third touchdown pass of the day, this one to Antoine Harden streaking down the left sideline.
The TD gave Memphis a 34-30 lead, but the Tigers' defense wasn't up to the challenge.
It wasn't that touchdown play that beat us, it was that fourth-and-27, said Memphis safety Glenn Sumter. "That fourth-and-27 play is what I'm going to be thinking about for the rest of my life.
Trailing 17-10 at the half, UC drove 91 yards to tie the game on its opening possession to begin a back-and-forth battle.
The Bearcats converted twice on third down and once on fourth-and-3 from the Memphis 33 on the drive and McCleskey got the TD on a 2-yard run.
Memphis answered with a Ryan White field goal of 22 yards, and Ruffin followed with a 45-yard field goal that glanced off the left upright to re-tie the game at 20. Guidugli and Olinger hooked up on a 24-yard TD pass early in the fourth and Memphis tied it at 27-all on a 45-yard run by Dante Brown, who finished with 90 yards on 15 carries.
Then Ruffin's field goal with 4:04 to go began the frantic final four minutes.
|1st Quarter||Memphis Field Goal - 30-yarder by Ryan White. 11:32 remaining.|
Cincinnati Field Goal - 20-yarder by Jonathon Ruffin.
|2nd Quarter||Memphis Touchdown - 69-yard pass from Danny Wimprine to|
Darron White. (Ryan White kick). 8:39 remaining.
Cincinnati Touchdown - 7-yard run by Nathan Wize.
(Jonathon Ruffin kick). 2:30 remaining.
Memphis Touchdown - 15-yard pass from Danny Wimprine to
Darron White. (Ryan White kick). 0:21 remaining.
|3rd Quarter||Cincinnati Touchdown - 2-yard run by DeMarco McCleskey.|
(Jonathon Ruffin kick). 8:07 remaining.
Memphis Field Goal - 22-yarder by Ryan White. 4:07 remaining.
Cincinnati Field Goal - 45-yarder by Jonathon Ruffin.
|4th Quarter||Cincinnati Touchdown - 24-yard pass from Gino Guidugli to|
Jon Olinger. (Jonathon Ruffin kick). 13:12 remaining.
Memphis Touchdown - 45-yard run by Dante Brown.
(Ryan White kick). 12:12 remaining.
Cincinnati Field Goal - 26-yarder by Jonathon Ruffin.
Memphis Touchdown - 38-yard pass from Danny Wimprine to
Antoine Harden. (Ryan White kick). 2:16 remaining.
Cincinnati Touchdown - 13-yard pass from Gino Guidugli to
Jon Olinger. (Two-point conversion failed). 0:04 remaining.
|Final Team Statistics||Cincinnati ||Memphis |
| First downs || 33||23|
| Rushes-yards || 54-224||32-145|
| Passing yards || 348||295|
| Return yards || 11||31|
| Passing (Att-Comp-Int) || 36-18-0||33-16-0|
| Punts-Average || 5-41.8||5-48.6|
| Fumbles-Lost || 2-0||1-0|
| Penalties-Yards || 10-93||5-51|
| Time of Possession || 35:06||24:54|
| Cincinnati ||
- McCleskey 25-120, Jackson 21-110, Wize 2-17, team 1-(-1),
| Memphis ||
- Brown 15-90, Wimprine 17-55.
| Cincinnati ||
- Guidugli 18-36-0, 348 yards and 2 touchdowns.
| Memphis ||
- Wimprine 16-33-0, 295 yards and 3 touchdowns.
| Cincinnati ||
- Olinger 6-144, Vann 4-44, Deatherage 3-33, Keith 2-63, Jackson
2-47, Wize 1-17.
| Memphis ||
- White 7-123, Harden 3-97, Perkins 3-21, Anglin 1-37, Johnson
1-16, Brown 1-1.
Dillon key to Battle of Ohio
Browns favored for first time
Balanced offense worked the first time
Who's got the edge?
Players to watch
Bengals-Browns by the numbers
NFL power ratings
Today's NFL predictions
St. X rolls into state finals
DAUGHERTY: St. X keeps our hopes up
Dream lives on for St. X brothers
Ticket sales fall short
Sollmann brothers recall playoffs
Ohio football playoffs
Ohio playoffs roundup
CovCath ousted in state semifinal 17-14
Kentucky football playoffs
Indiana football playoffs
Missouri 72, Xavier 60
Missouri star shows he's the real deal
Xavier women lose again
Larkin recovery on track
Reds Q&A with John Fay
SULLIVAN: Michigan worth wait for Tressel
Ohio State 26, Michigan 20
Miami season ends on downer
Thomas More ousted from playoffs
Oregon spanks Pitino, Louisville
Kentucky 94, Morehead State 75
Late men's college basketball
Men's major college basketball scores
NKU 88, Lewis 73
NKU women 74, Lewis 43
High School Insider
La Salle runner advances to national meet
Girls basketball roundup
Ohio girls basketball scores
Best and worst of week in sports
Cyclones 3, Wheeling 2
Mighty Ducks 4, Grand Rapids 3
Fehr on roll at Hoinke Classic
Sports events this week