Toledo hands Cincinnati first loss

Cincinnati's slow starts finally caught up to the Bearcats, and now their perfect season is over.

A 29-23 loss Saturday night at Toledo left the Big East with just two undefeated teams and set off a party inside the Glass Bowl, whose fans rushed the field following the Mid-American Conference's third win over the Big East this season.

Make no mistake: at 7-1, the Rockets are a very good team. But Cincinnati simply has to get it going earlier, something it failed to do yet again in falling behind 13-0 in the first half.

Jermaine Robinson returned a first-quarter interception 75 yards to make it 10-0 early, and the Bearcats were playing from behind throughout the night.

The pick was one of two thrown by Munchie Legaux, whose second interception came on the final drive of the game. Legaux had a rough night, completing just 15 of 36 passes for 227 yards.

Cincinnati's ground game had a strong night, with Ralph David Abernathy IV and George Winn combining for 184 yards on 25 carries, but it wasn't enough.

David Fluellen rushed for 161 yards on 25 carries, and Jeremiah Detmer connected on all five of his field goal attempts for the Rockets.

The Bearcats' loss takes some serious luster off their upcoming Friday night game at unbeaten and preseason conference favorite Louisville. And after a nonconference season that lacked much punch outside of Virginia Tech, it will be important for Cincinnati to regroup fast with nothing but Big East games remaining.