GREENVILLE, NC (FOX19) - Trailing by double digits entering the fourth quarter, 17th ranked Cincinnati pulled off a masterful comeback to beat East Carolina 46-43 on Saturday night.
Sam Crosa drilled a 32-yard field goal as time expired to lift UC to victory on the road.
“This is not the best we have played,” said head coach Luke Fickell. “We really struggled emotionally in the first half, but you know what? We showed a lot of heart. This team’s got something more than I ever thought.”
After trailing 40-28 entering the fourth quarter, UC took the lead when Ahmad Gardner picked off ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers and returned it 62 yards to give the Bearcats a 43-40 lead with 4:38 left in the game - their first lead since the first quarter.
ECU would tie the game with a 27-yard field goal with 1:10 left before the Bearcats drove down the field to kick the game winner.
The Pirates compiled 638 yards total yards, 535 yards in the air, to the Bearcats 487 total yards in a wild game.
Desmond Ridder completed 12 of 24 passes for 161 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He ran it 12 times for 162 yards. Michael Warren II had 18 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bearcats (7-1, 4-0) have won six straight games since losing to No. 3 Ohio State and remain unbeaten in the American Athletic Conference. UC returns home to host UConn on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.