Quarterback Desmond Ridder posted a 91-yard scoring run as one of three rushing touchdowns and also passed for a score to lead No. 9 Cincinnati to a 42-13 victory over No. 16 SMU on Saturday night in an American Athletic Conference clash at Dallas.
Ridder rushed for a career-best 179 yards on just eight carries and completed 13 of 21 passes for 126 yards for the Bearcats (4-0, 2-0 AAC). Gerrid Doaks rushed for 105 yards and two scores, Josh Whyle caught a touchdown pass and Jarell White recorded 13 tackles and one sack for Cincinnati.
Shane Buechele was 23-of-44 passing for 216 yards, one touchdown and one interception for SMU (5-1, 2-1). Rashee Rice caught a touchdown pass but the Mustangs totaled just 290 yards after entering the contest ranked fourth nationally at 563.2 per game.
Cincinnati was playing for the first time in three weeks and it postponed last week's game against Tulsa due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program. The Bearcats gained 439 yards against SMU and overcame 12 penalties for 126 yards.
Cincinnati led 14-10 at halftime and took control with two touchdowns in the third quarter.
Doaks scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line to cap an 11-play, 70-yard drive to give the Bearcats a 21-10 lead with 6:13 remaining in the quarter. A short time later, Ridder broke loose on a 32-yard scoring run to boost the lead to 18 with 3:22 left in the period.
SMU put together a strong 11-play, 82-yard drive but it stalled and Chris Nagger was summoned to boot a 22-yard field to pull the Mustangs within 28-13 with 11:57 left in the contest.
But Ridder eliminated any chance of a comeback by breaking loose down the left sideline on the 91-yard scamper with 4:39 remaining. The school said the run matches the longest in program history.
Doaks tacked on a 35-yard scoring run with 2:03 left.
Earlier, the Bearcats scored touchdowns on their first two possessions to take an early 14-point lead.
Ridder capped a 12-play, 70-yard drive with a 7-yard scoring pass to Whyte with 6:05 left in the first quarter and he later scored on a 15-yard run around left end to culminate a four-play, 50-yard excursion with 2:20 left.
The Mustangs got back into the game in the second quarter as they held Cincinnati to 7 total yards in the stanza.
SMU got on the board when Buechele threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rice with 6:23 left to end a 17-play, 83-yard drive, and Naggar booted a 26-yard field goal on the final play of the half to make it a four-point margin.
--Field Level Media