WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. -- Quarterback Adam Craig rushed for five TDs and threw for two others leading the University of the Cumberlands to a wild 49-41 win over Cumberland Saturday at James H. Taylor II Stadium.
The two teams combined for 972 total yards of offense and an incredible 53 first downs.
"We got in a track meet with 'em and there's not too many track meets we can win," said CU head coach Donnie Suber. "Our defense could never slow 'em down. Our offense certainly played well enough to win," Suber said, "but out defense didn't play very disciplined, I don't think I prepared us well enough to stop the option."
Bulldog tailback Brandon Byrd had a breakout game, rushing 23 times for 143 yards while QB Justin Snyder threw for 288 yards on a 15-of-27 night with five touchdown passes.
Wide receiver Michael Green caught five passes for 172 yards and three scores and also accounted for 105 kickoff return yards. Austin Chaplin gained 52 yards on 12 rushing attempts.
All told, the Bulldogs (1-2) posted 495 yards of offense, but the Patriots (2-1) scored 14 points off two CU interceptions, both tipped balls, and held the ball for 11:01 in the final period, with Craig sneaking in from a yard out with 1:50 to play for the final points.
"They hit it (the option) so quick, if you blink they're past you," Suber said. "It comes down to maintaining your gap and when we didn't -- they found a way to hit it. "
CU defensive backs Jeremy Williams and Tyler Stewart each intercepted passes while Daniel Wilson led the team with 10 tackles.
Linebackers Nathan Jernigan (nine) and Cody Carr (eight) just missed out on double-digit tackles while tackle Cayman Russell was in on seven stops, a tackle for loss and half a QB sack.
Cumberland travels to NCAA Division II power Valdosta State Saturday, Sept. 26 for a 3 p.m. Central Time start.