Sunday, September 22, 2002

Maligned 'D' strong for UC


Holds OSU 125 yards below average

By Michael Perry mperry@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The University of Cincinnati defense was maligned after giving up 523 yards in a loss to West Virginia eight days ago. But the defense did its job in the Bearcats' 23-19 loss to sixth-ranked Ohio State on Saturday.

        The Buckeyes finished with just 292 yards of total offense - 125 fewer than they came in averaging.

        “We think we let the defense down,” senior receiver LaDaris Vann said. “They fought their hearts out. We just didn't make enough plays to get the victory.”

        OSU (4-0) finished with 163 yards rushing. It came in averaging 251.

        Its longest gain on the ground came on a 29-yard scramble by quarterback Craig Krenzel.

        Sophomore Lydell Ross, filling in for the injured Maurice Clarett, ran for a career-high 130 yards on 23 carries.

        Maurice Hall had just 7 yards on three carries.

        Clarett, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday, was on the sideline wearing his game jersey and shorts. Going into the game, he was the third leading rusher in the nation.

        “Everybody came out there and played as a team,” UC defensive end Antwan Peek said. “We worked all week on stopping the run. We did a great job.”

        Said defensive back Blue Adams: “Prior to this game, we said we were going to cut our teeth and be like some wild dogs and bite. And for the most part, my boys cut their teeth on everybody.”

       



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