Cincinnati pulls away to beat Tulsa 49-38
CINCINNATI (AP) Cincinnati couldn't stop Tulsa but slowed its rapid-fire offense enough, even with a depleted defense, to become bowl eligible.
Gunner Kiel had 386 yards passing and Cincinnati reeled off three straight touchdowns in the second half to pull away from Tulsa 49-38 on Saturday night.
Tulsa's hurry-up offense prevents defensive substitutions.
''You have to have a lot of depth on defense to play them,'' Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said. ''We weren't going to shut this team down. We saw more deep balls on our secondary than we have all season. We made a few more plays than they did.''
First-year Tulsa coach Phillip Montgomery, meanwhile, lamented the many stops in action that hampered his team's offensive style.
''Whether it was some guys that go down and you got calls and want things reviewed,'' Montgomery said. ''We are a tempo team and we would like to keep that pace so anytime you have situations like that, it always affects you.''
Chris Moore gave the Bearcats (6-4, 3-3 American) the lead for good at 28-24 and tied Mardy Gillyard's program record for career touchdown receptions (25) when he hauled in Kiel's throw for the 43-yard score.
Tion Green added a 5-yard TD run less than two minutes later and Hosey Williams ran it from 20 yards with 10:42 left in the fourth to give Cincinnati a 42-24 lead.
Tulsa (5-5, 2-4) got no closer than within 11 points from there.
Cincinnati's Mike Boone had 137 yards and three TD runs. Tulsa's Ramadi Warren had 139 yards and two scores.
Warren ran 39 yards on a fourth-and-2 to tie it 21-all in the third quarter and Redford Jones' 33-yard field goal put the Hurricanes up 24-21.
Tulsa used its main target Keyarris Garrett to set up a score on the first possession ending in a six-yard touchdown pass from Dane Evans to Conner Floyd.
Cincinnati linebacker Bryce Jenkinson was disqualified for targeting on the drive. It was another player that Tuberville needed.
''We lost our middle linebacker that was going to play 60 snaps,'' said Tuberville of the play that was reviewed before the officials chased Jenkinson from competition. ''I still don't understand that call.''
Kiel, who won the start in the weekly quarterback competition with Hayden Moore, threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Max Morrison to give Cincinnati a 14-7 lead.
Warren caught the Cincinnati defense clustered at the line of scrimmage on a fourth and one for a 65-yard touchdown run off the right end.
Boone helped the Bearcats answer with a 12-yard run and 4-yard score for a 21-14 halftime lead.
Cincinnati and Tulsa met for the first time since 1997. The Hurricanes are now 16-14-2 over the Bearcats all-time. The two teams were rivals in the Missouri Valley Conference until 1985.
The offenses lived up to their reputations with Cincinnati gaining 654 yards to Tulsa's 588.
The Bearcats mascot waved the French flag in between quarters to show support of the victims of violence in Paris yesterday.