Gino Guidugli's swollen right hand hurt every time he threw a pass. The broken bones and bitterly cold weather combined to make for a difficult night. It was worth every second...
FORT WORTH, Texas — Gino Guidugli’s swollen right hand hurt every time he threw a pass. The broken bones and bitterly cold weather combined to make for a difficult night.
It was worth every second of pain for the Cincinnati quarterback.
Guidugli, who missed the regular-season finale because of his injury, returned to throw for 231 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-14 win over Marshall in the Fort Worth Bowl last night.
“It was my last game, so I was going to try to grit it out and drive through the pain,” Guidugli said. “You only play your last game once.”
Wearing a padded glove on his throwing hand, which he injured in a fall outside his home Nov. 20, Guidugli completed 24 of 36 passes in the first bowl win for Cincinnati (7-5) since 1997.
“Gino was putting the ball on the money,” said Hannibal Thomas, who had nine catches for 102 yards. “I was excited to have him back there. He did a really good job.”
Marshall returned Guidugli’s only interception for a score, but he rebounded to complete 10 straight passes and 14 of 16 in the second quarter. He threw both TDs in that stretch to put the Bearcats ahead to stay.
“It was frustrating out there. It seemed like every time we got close to Guidugli, he either scrambled or got rid of the ball,” said Marshall defensive end Johnathan Goddard, unable to add to his NCAA-best total of 16 sacks.
Marshall (6-6) had its streak of 20 straight winning seasons ended. The Thundering Herd had won five straight bowl games, but had a season-low 134 yards. Stan Hill completed 14 of 30 passes for 137 yards and a TD to go with minus-3 yards rushing for his team.
Adjusting to the glove on his hand, Guidugli struggled early. He was 1 for 4 with his first interception in 145 passes, returned 32 yards by Willie Smith to give Marshall a 14-10 lead at the end of first quarter.
The Bearcats led 7-0 before Guidugli even stepped on the field. Tyjuan Hagler blocked the first punt just a minute into the game. Antwuan Giddens returned it 9 yards for the TD.