CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Luke Fickell opened his tenure at the University of Cincinnati on a high note, but it took a battle with the Bearcats holding off Austin Peay 26-14 on Thursday night.
"The most important thing is getting that win and it's been a while coming for these guys," Fickell said after the game. "We spent seven or eight months talking about the process and emphasizing the journey we've been on. It's not easy to win, I don't care who you're playing, it's not. To come away with a win, to have the adversity, to see what we're made of is what we will really grow from."
Mike Boone put the game away with a 3-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Boone carried it 19 times for 100 yards.
Hayden Moore completed 17 of his 28 passes for 151 yards and 3 touchdowns to Thomas Geddis, Kahlil Lewis and Tyler Cogswell.
UC didn't have a single turnover but was outgained in total yardage 313-248 by a team who had won just one time in their previous 45 games. The Governors ran it for 224 yards on the Bearcats defense.
"If you thought this was going to be easy, you're in the wrong place," Fickell said. "We did everything we could to show these guys it's going to be difficult."
Up next for UC, they travel to play No. 11 Michigan on Saturday, September 9, at noon.