CINCINNATI (AP) — Zac Dysert locked in on a receiver near the sideline. He didn't see cornerback Camerron Cheatham getting ready to break on the ball.
Cheatham picked it off and went 68 yards for a touchdown Saturday night, getting the first of three interceptions that helped Cincinnati pull away to a 52-14 victory over Miami (Ohio).
Cincinnati (4-0) has won the last seven in the oldest nonconference series in the nation. The Bearcats' defense starred last year in a 27-0 win, Cincinnati's first shutout in Oxford since 1898, and got them going again on Saturday.
Cheatham's interception put the Bearcats ahead to stay. The RedHawks (3-3) had four turnovers, including a season-high three interceptions thrown by Dysert.
"We had a lot of turnovers," said Dysert, who became the 78th player in FBS history to top 10,000 yards passing for his career. "They got that early lead. We stuck to the game plan, but they did a great job after half."
Miami got shut out in the second half by a defense that chased Dysert around and rattled his receivers into dropping passes.
"UC did a great job of seizing momentum when we closed the gap at the end of the first half," Miami (Ohio) coach Don Treadwell said. "We hoped to contain them on the kickoff. They got a long return and they took it from there."
Cincinnati's Munchie Legaux played three quarters and went 12 of 23 for 157 yards. He had touchdown passes of 11 and 19 yards, and ran 1 yard for a score. George Winn also ran for a pair of touchdowns against one of the nation's lowest-ranked defenses.
Miami has given up 56, 52, 49, 39 and points this season. Cincinnati's 52 points matched the most by either team in the series history — the Bearcats won 52-42 in 1999.
"Rushing yardage always concerns me, but we have to look at the tape," Treadwell said. "Knowing why it happened is more important than that it just happened."
Both quarterbacks were coming off their best games.
Legaux led the first game-winning drive of his career for a 27-24 win over Virginia Tech last Saturday, throwing for a career-high 376 yards. Dysert set school records with six touchdown passes and 624 yards of offense in a 56-49 win at Akron.
The biggest difference on Saturday, though, was that Legaux had a defense to back him up. Miami came into the game ranked 117th nationally, allowing 517 yards per game, including 237 on the ground. The Bearcats piled up 343 yards — 186 on the ground — while pulling away to a 45-14 lead after three quarters, then rested their starters.