The Bearcats (9-3, 7-1) finished in a three-way tie for the title. Memphis clinched part of the title last weekend, and Central Florida made it a split by beating East Carolina 32-30 on Thursday night with a late Hail Mary pass.
UC finished the regular season winning their last seven games to earn a share of the title for the sixth time in the last eight seasons.
Gunner Kiel and Munchie Legaux shared time at quarterback. Kiel finished 15-of-24 for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Legaux finished 10-of-15 for 158 yards.
"Gunner Kiel had cramping. Munchie was playing well enough that we didn't have to throw Gunner back in," head coach Tommy Tuberville said after the game.
Running back Mike Boone rushed for 85 yards and three touchdowns.
"He's the MVP today. Should've played him early in the season. Shows how good a coach I am," Tuberville said.
There was 1,094 yards of total offense between UC and Houston in the game. UC had 360 passing yards and Houston had 348 passing yards.
Houston's quarterback Greg Ward Jr. was 27-of-45 for 360 passing yard and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Ward led the Cougars to the Cincinnati 11-yard line in the final minute, but threw three incomplete passes as the fourth quarter came to a close.
UC is bowl eligible, but won't know which bowl they will be going to until Sunday.
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