There are plenty of memorable matchups between the Bearcats and East Carolina including a trio of game-winning field goals in recent years. Here’s a review of the all-time series history with the latest edition coming up tomorrow night.
In the first meeting with East Carolina, the Bearcats came away with a 32-19 win in 1986 before losing six straight games in the series. Cincinnati responded with a win in 1993 but couldn’t sustain that success after losing five in a row from 1997-2002.
After playing nearly every season from 1986-2004, Cincinnati and East Carolina didn’t meet for over a decade until reuniting as conference opponents. The game in 2014 was a thrilling finish as the Bearcats came back and escaped with a 54-46 win.
Cincinnati trailed 40-28 before scoring 26 points in the fourth quarter. With 19 seconds left, freshman kicker Andrew Gantz hit a 47-yard field goal to give the Bearcats a 48-46 lead at Paul Brown Stadium.
Cincinnati Football: Bearcats look to even all-time series against East Carolina
Even though the next matchup wasn’t nearly as high scoring, the result remained as Cincinnati outlasted East Carolina. Gantz converted a 42-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Bearcats to a 19-16 win.
A few years later, senior kicked Sam Crosa secured a 46-43 win with a last-second field goal to get past East Carolina. Luke Fickell’s team has won four in a row over the Pirates including a blowout in 2020.
In the most recent matchup at Nippert Stadium, the Bearcats earned a 55-17 win but it seemed like East Carolina head coach Mike Houston took exception to a late touchdown and that eventually led to an exchange with Fickell on the field afterwards.
During a press conference, Fickell previewed the highly-anticipated matchup via Cincinnati Athletics.
"“I think they’re very aggressive. We have a lot of cross over games and watch them a ton. We’ve actually tried to pull some of the things they do defensively. I think it’s really critical how aggressive they are. They don’t want to let you run the football and they will be ultra aggressive attacking downhill. I’m not saying they take chances but they will change it up on you. I’ve been very impressed over the last couple years with what they do defensively. You can see them continue to grow. They haven’t changed in the last 2-3 years in the big picture of what they do defensively and you see how that growth has really taken place. They apply a lot of pressure to everybody. They might be in some man to man situations but they’re not going to be free access. If you do that, they will be heating down your throat because they’ll be aggressive up front as well.”"