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Pike guides Cincinnati over No. 24 South Florida

October 31, 2008|associated press

Playing with a soft cast protecting his broken left forearm, junior Tony Pike had one of his finest games Thursday night, throwing a pair of touchdown passes and steadying Cincinnati's offense in a 24-10 victory over No. 24 South Florida at Cincinnati.

Pike was sharp in his second game back since he broke his non-passing arm. A black wrap covered the removable cast that hides a four-inch scar from the operation and softens the blows. He took several rattling hits and hung in there until the middle of the fourth quarter.

Cincinnati (6-2, 2-1 Big East) looked back to normal with an experienced quarterback running the no-huddle, spread offense again. Pike was 20 of 28 for 281 yards and two touchdown passes, including a one-yarder to Connor Barwin that put the Bearcats up, 24-10, early in the fourth quarter.

South Florida junior quarterback Matt Grothe was 13 of 31 for 174 yards but couldn't connect on his two most important throws. He misfired on a fourth-and-goal pass from the five-yard line with 7:56 left, then had a fourth-down pass batted down in the end zone on the next possession, essentially ending it.

South Florida (6-3, 1-3) was the last Big East team ranked in the top 25.


South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier says he is sticking with freshman Stephen Garcia at quarterback for Saturday's game against Tennessee. . . . Injured Clemson running back C.J. Spiller is expected to return against Boston College on Saturday. . . . Florida State junior receiver Corey Surrency will sit out Saturday's game at Georgia Tech for disciplinary reasons.

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