Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Brendon Kay threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, as the Cincinnati Bearcats held on to beat SMU, 28-25, in American Athletic Conference play at Nippert Stadium.
Hosey Williams carried 14 times for a game-high 90 yards, and Anthony McClung caught eight passes for 97 yards to help Bearcats (7-2, 4-1 AAC) notch their fourth straight win.
Garrett Gilbert completed 38-of-47 passes for 403 yards and a pair of scores for the Mustangs (3-5, 2-2), who had their three-game winning streak come to a halt. Three different SMU receivers went over 100 yards on the day, led by Darius Joseph who caught 12 passes for 103 yards and two TDs. Jeremy Johnson had 11 catches for 102 yards, while Keenan Holman finished with a game-high 142 yards on seven grabs.
SMU opened the game with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that lasted nearly six minutes. Gilbert finished off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run to stake the Mustangs an early 7-0 lead.
A 24-yard field goal by Chase Hover at the 13:37 mark of the second quarter made it a 10-0 game.
Cincinnati's ensuing possession resulted in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Kay to Chris Moore.
The Bearcats defense then forced a three-and-out, and on the first play of the next drive, Kay found Mekale McKay for a 62-yard scoring strike to put Cincinnati on top, 14-10.
The Bearcats extended their lead in the third quarter thanks to a pair of touchdowns. They took the second-half kickoff and drove 75 yards in 11 plays, as Jordan Luallen crossed the goal line on a two-yard run.
Later in the same quarter, Cincinnati put together a 17-play, 96-yard drive that lasted more than eight minutes and resulted in a seven-yard touchdown run by Tion Green to make it a 28-10 game.
However, SMU made things interesting in the final frame. The Mustangs cut the deficit to 28-17 at the 14:48 mark of the fourth quarter, as Gilbert found Joseph for a five-yard touchdown pass.
And they were not done yet. Joseph scored again on a four-yard screen pass to highlight a 15-play, 90-yard drive and make it a 28-25 game with 3:27 to play after the two-point conversion. But Cincinnati recovered the subsequent on- side kick and then ran out the clock.
Both teams eclipsed 450 yards of total offense in the first-ever meeting between these two programs. The Bearcats managed to win despite committing three turnovers compared to none for the Mustangs.