By Bailey Curtiss
The Cincinnati Bearcats survived a dominant rushing offense by the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and came out on top 28-20. Tulsa stayed competitive with the Bearcats the entire game, only trailing by two points at halftime, and out-ran UC by almost 200 yards.
Cincinnati’s rushing offense started out strong in the first quarter, as Desmond Ridder and Jerome Ford each ran for a touchdown in the first quarter. Despite early production, miscues in the offense began after Ridder threw an interception in the first quarter and a missed Christian Lowery 43-yard field goal two drives later.
After the missed field goal, Tulsa drove down the field and scored a rushing touchdown with running back Shamari Brooks. Despite missing the extra point, the Golden Hurricane would then make a 50-yard field goal before halftime to narrow the gap 14-12.
The Bearcats began the second half with two touchdown passes by Ridder on the first two drives. Tulsa came back in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to make the score 28-20.
Cincinnati failed to get the offense going at the end of the fourth quarter, with a punt and a lost fumble occurring on their next two drives. This set up a goal-to-go situation for Tulsa with a minute remaining in the game. On fourth and goal at the one-yard line, the Bearcats defense made their biggest stop of the day, forcing a Tulsa fumble to end the game.
Despite the Bearcats victory, Tulsa had 457 yards of offense to Cincinnati’s 380, as well two turnovers to Cincinnati’s two. Cincinnati’s defense prevailed in this game, forcing Tulsa to go 4-14 on third downs and 1-4 on fourth down. The Bearcats move to 9-0 on the year, winning their fifth American Athletic Conference game of the season. Ranked 6th in the College Football Playoff rankings, the Bearcats look to rise into the top four within the next two weeks as they prepare to take on South Florida on Friday.