The Bearcats (1-0) were far from dominant. Cincinnati was outplayed statistically by the Governors. Austin Peay outgained UC, 313 yards to 248 and rushed for 224 yards. The Governors (0-1) also had a decided edge in time of possession, 37:41 to 22:19.
The Bearcats scored first on a 16-yard pass from Moore to Thomas Geddis early in the second quarter. After Austin Peay tied the score on a 19-yard touchdown pass from JaVaughn Craig to Williams, UC scored again on Moore's 6-yard touchdown pass to Kahlil Lewis to take a 14-7 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter UC drove to the Austin Peay 8-yard line, but Andrew Gantz, who missed most of last season with an injury, missed a 24-yard field goal attempt. Gantz also missed an extra point after Moore's touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Cogswell with 3:29 left in the third.
Austin Peay pulled within six points early in the fourth quarter, then Bearcats put together a five-play, 42-yard drive that ended with Mike Boone's 3-yard touchdown run with 5:13 left to play. Hayden Moore's pass attempt at a 2-point conversion was no good.
The Governors used up all but 1:32 of the rest of the game by driving to the UC 3-yard line, where on fourth-and-one Joel Dublanko stopped Kente Williams for a 4-yard loss, sealing the win for the Bearcats.
Boone gained 100 yards on 19 carries in the first 100-yard rushing game for a UC player since Boone gained 137 against Tulsa on Nov. 14, 2015. After spending most of the last two years getting rotated in and out of the game with one or two other backs, Boone enjoyed being the featured back for a change. And Moore, who bested Ross Trail for the starting quarterback job, turned in an efficient, if unspectacular performance, completing 17 of 28 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The Bearcats did not commit a turnover.