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Cincinnati 15, Temple 13

CINCINNATI - Michael Warren II ran 13 yards for a touchdown, Coby Bryant went 98 yards with a blocked extra-point attempt and No. 17 Cincinnati (10-1, 7-0) held on for a 15-13 victory over Temple that clinched a spot in the American Athletic title game.

Temple (7-4, 4-3) had won four straight against Cincinnati with its dominant defense, but couldn't get enough out of its offense until too late on a windy, rainy night with temperatures in the 30s and snow falling in the closing minutes. Receivers from both teams had trouble catching the ball, leaving it to the running games and special teams to decide matters.

Cincinnati got the better of it both ways.

In addition to Warren's touchdown run, the Bearcats blocked the extra-point try Re'Mahn Davis' touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Bryant gathered the ball at the right sideline, ran across the field and made it untouched for two points and a 15-6 lead.

Anthony Russo's 16-yard touchdown pass cut it to 15-13 with 6:33 left, but his interception with 1:19 left closed it out.

Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder played despite a sore passing shoulder and was only 9 of 25 for 62 yards. Warren finished with 106 yards rushing.

The Bearcats led 6-0 at halftime on Sam Crosa's field goals of 36 and 37 yards, the latter set up by another weird special teams play. Temple punter Adam Barry put his right knee on the ground while fielding a low snap, turning the ball over at the 6. Ridder was sacked on first down, and the Bearcats settled for a field goal.

It was the second straight game that Cincinnati failed to get into the end zone in the opening half. They trailed 10-0 at South Florida before rallying for a 20-17 win on Crosa's field goal on the last play.

Associated Press


November 23, 2019

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