October 12, 2019 / 11:19 PM / 9 days ago

No. 25 Cincinnati forces five Houston turnovers, wins 38-23

EditorsNote: fixes time of FG in penultimate graf; minor edits for clarity

Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver Jeremy Singleton (13) receives a touchdown throw from wide receiver Bryson Smith (1) (not pictured) who received the snap during the second quarter of the game between Houston Cougars and Cincinnati Bearcats at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Ridder threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another, and 25th-ranked Cincinnati scored 21 points off five turnovers to record a 38-23 victory over host Houston on Saturday.

Ridder completed 14 of 24 passes for 263 yards, and safety Ja’von Hicks had two interceptions and a fumble recovery as the Bearcats (5-1, 2-0 AAC) won their fourth straight game.

Clayton Tune went just 9 of 27 for 184 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions for the Cougars (2-4, 0-2). Houston also received a scoring strike when Bryson Smith connected with fellow wideout Jeremy Singleton on a 50-yard pass in the second quarter.

Ridder wasted little time making his presence felt as he kept the ball on a quarterback option and scampered 13 yards off tackle for a touchdown on Cincinnati’s first possession.

The Bearcats answered Houston’s 31-yard field goal by scoring on their next play from scrimmage, with Rashad Medaris reeling in Ridder’s pass and bolting up the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown.

Singleton hauled in Smith’s touchdown pass to trim the Cougars’ deficit to 14-10 early in the second quarter, but Hicks’ second interception of the game set up tight end Josiah Deguara’s 15-yard touchdown reception.

Houston struck early in the third quarter as Marquez Stevenson ran under a long pass from Tune for a 69-yard touchdown, but Hicks derailed any momentum on Houston’s next drive by recovering Terrell Brown’s fumble at the Cougars’ 34.

Cincinnati then converted a third-and-18 thanks to an unnecessary roughness penalty on Houston’s Amaud Willis-Dalton to set up Michael Warren bulling his way in from 11 yards out to give Cincinnati a 28-17 lead.

Tune found tight end Christian Trahan in the corner of the end zone on a 6-yard score to once again trim the deficit, but Ridder had a pair of long runs to convert back-to-back third downs to set up Sam Crosa’s 32-yard field goal with 4:27 remaining.

Houston’s attempt to answer was thwarted as Tune’s pass was batted in the air at the line and hauled in by linebacker Perry Young for a 2-yard touchdown with 3:28 left.

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