As commitment to the Big East from the remaining institutions is in shambles, Cincinnati hosted NC State on Thursday night. The Wolfpack plays in the conference that started the collapse of the Big East: the ACC. The frustration of putting Cincinnati in a bind came out on the field in a blowout.
Through the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter, the Bearcats jumped out to a 21-0 lead on the strength of two Zach Collaros rushing touchdowns and an Isaiah Pead rushing score. Later in the quarter, NC State finally showed some life with an 87 yard touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to T.J. Graham. Cincinnati closed the first half with a 24-7 lead.
With a field goal and a Collaros screen pass for a touchdown to Pead, the lead blossomed to 34-7 midway through the third quarter. A blown coverage gave the Wolfpack another receiving touchdown by Graham. Collaros added his second touchdown pass of the night before the fourth quarter ended. A Tony Miliano field goal was the only score of the fourth quarter.
Isaiah Pead was the player of the game. He rushed for 167 yards and a TD on 27 attempts. Pead also caught 3 passes for 24 yards and a touchdown. Collaros threw his first interception of the season so at least he got that out of the way. He played really well besides the INT and another throw that should have been intercepted. NC State turned in an awful performance. They finished the game with negative yards rushing against the Bearcats. Mike Glennon threw for 334 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs, but was harassed all night and sacked six times. None of the NC State running backs eclipsed six rushing yards. Conversely, the injury-maligned Wolfpack defense had no answer for Pead.
The game was a good statement for the conference on national TV but this season is starting to feel more like a farewell tour.