No. 4 Bearcats pull away from ECU, await Houston at Nippert

The Bearcats will host Houston in the AAC Championship Game.
Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Coby Bryant (7) plays during the second half of an NCAA college...
Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Coby Bryant (7) plays during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tulsa Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)(Jeff Dean | AP)
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 7:19 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - It’s another perfect regular season for UC.

The Bearcats started sluggishly and never quite found their groove on offense, but Luke Fickell’s squad beat East Carolina Friday night in a game whose outcome was never really in doubt.

Cincinnati, no. 4 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, won 35-13 and improved to 12-0 on the season.

Quarterback Desmond Ridder went 9-9 for 200 yards across three touchdown drives in the second quarter following a scoreless first.

Cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner added a touchdown, his first of the season, off a missed field goal on ECU’s first drive of the second half.

The Bearcats’ defense played bend-but-don’t-break throughout, giving up 228 yards through the air and a slew of field goals but not surrendering a touchdown until the middle of the fourth quarter.

It’s the Bearcats’ second consecutive perfect regular season. Their lone loss in the last two years came by a field goal in the Peach Bowl to current no. 1 Georgia.

The Bearcats will host No. 24 Houston (10-1) at Nippert Stadium in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Dec. 4.

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