Gilyard gives Bearcats hope

PITTSBURGH -- Crazy finish to the first half.

Just when Cincinnati's season looked its bleakest, Mardy Gilyard came to the rescue.

The Bearcats star returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown after Pitt had taken a 31-10 lead with a little more than a minute remaining in the half.

It's the second straight week for a kickoff return score for Gilyard, who's also run a punt back for a touchdown this year. He now has four career kickoff returns for touchdowns, a school record.

And then Cincinnati got a stop, a punt and a personal foul penalty to take over at the Pitt 35 with more than 40 seconds left. But Tony Pike threw his second interception of the half, this time to Elijah Fields. Pitt's Bill Stull gave it right back by tossing a pick on the very next play.

The Bearcats tried a 55-yard field goal at the end of the half, but Jake Rogers' attempt came up way short.

All in all, Cincinnati is lucky to be down only 14 points, given how many mistakes it has made. An extra score there at the end of the half would have been very helpful, though.