CINCINNATI -- Zach Collaros threw three touchdown passes -- two of them long strikes to Armon Binns -- and Isaiah Pead had a pair of long runs during Cincinnati's big first half Saturday night, sending the Bearcats to a 45-3 victory over local rival Miami of Ohio.
The Bearcats (2-3) were determined to build on their momentum from a close loss to No. 6 Oklahoma. A quick-strike offense sent the two-time defending Big East champions into conference play with plenty of momentum.
Collaros threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Binns down the left sideline on the game's second play, setting the tone. He also threw a 32-yarder to Binns down the other sideline as Cincinnati pulled ahead 45-3 in the first half. Collaros finished 14 of 17 for 216 yards, leaving midway through the third quarter.
Pead broke a career-best 80-yard touchdown run and a 69-yard run that set up another score, carrying 10 times for 197 yards. Pead, who missed most of two games because of a knee injury, returned against Oklahoma and ran for 169 yards.
Miami (3-3) lost to its southwest Ohio rival for the fifth year in a row.
The RedHawks won only one game last season with a young roster in coach Michael Haywood's first season. They stayed with Florida for most of the game in their season opener, and quickly eclipsed their win total from last season by beating Eastern Michigan, Colorado State and Kent State.
Against the Bearcats, though, they never had a chance.
Cincinnati was still stung by its 31-29 loss to then-No. 8 Oklahoma at Paul Brown Stadium, a game lost on turnovers. Collaros threw an interception in the end zone, and receiver D.J. Woods fumbled near the goal line and again on a punt return in the closing minutes.
Woods was so bothered by his performance that he carried a football in his right arm to classes the following week, drawing double-takes from classmates. He didn't drop it once on Saturday, and scored Cincinnati's second touchdown on an 18-yard reverse.
Pead had two scintillating runs. On his 80-yard score, he found a hole and made two full-speed cuts before outrunning Miami's defensive backfield. On his 69-yard run, he made two cutbacks and pushed one defender out of his way to keep going.
Miami's self-destruction helped turned it into a quick blowout. Left tackle Cory Brown drew a personal foul for making a throat-slash gesture after one of Miami's incomplete passes, undercutting a drive. The RedHawks also had an interception at the goal line wiped out by a hand-to-the-face penalty on a pass rusher.
Zac Dysert, the RedHawks' dual-threat quarterback, was under constant pressure. He finished 22 of 35 for 165 yards, getting only six yards on eight carries.
Cincinnati struggled in its transition from coach Brian Kelly to Butch Jones, losing at Fresno State and at North Carolina State before finally finding its form against Oklahoma. The Bearcats backed it up with another all-around solid game heading into Big East play. They open at Louisville on Friday night.