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WATCH: Desmond Ridder leads No. 2 Cincinnati over Tulane

Oct 30, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) runs against Tulane Green Wave linebacker Kevin Henry (33) during the first half at Yulman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) runs against Tulane Green Wave linebacker Kevin Henry (33) during the first half at Yulman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Ridder threw three touchdown passes and No. 2 Cincinnati held off host Tulane 31-12 in an American Athletic Conference game Saturday afternoon in New Orleans.

Ridder completed 17 of 27 passes for 227 yards with one interception as the Bearcats (8-0, 4-0 AAC) endured their second consecutive sluggish performance. Their 27-20 victory at Navy a week earlier was their closest outcome of the season.

Josh Whyle caught two of the touchdown passes and Jerome Ford caught the third and also rushed for a score.

Tyjae Spears rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown to lead the Green Wave (1-7, 0-4), who lost their sixth straight game and fell to 0-4 this season against ranked opponents.

Tulane played without quarterbacks Michael Pratt and Justin Ibieta, who are both injured, and freshman Kai Horton managed just 79 yards on 7-of-16 passing with two interceptions.

The Bearcats converted a fourth-and-one on their way to Ridder’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Whyle that increased their lead to 21-12 at the end of the third quarter.

Cincinnati recovered a fumble at the Tulane 10, leading to Christian Lowery’s 27-yard field goal and a 24-12 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Ridder added a 26-yard touchdown pass to Ford to complete the scoring.

Cincinnati drove 99 yards in 16 plays, the last of which was a 16-yard touchdown pass from Ridder to Whyle. That gave the Bearcats a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Marvin Moody sacked Ridder for a safety and Spears ran 47 yards for a touchdown that gave the Green Wave a 9-7 lead.

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Ridder and Whyle connected on a 28-yard pass and Ridder ran 37 yards, setting up Ford’s 3-yard touchdown run that put Cincinnati ahead 14-9.

The Bearcats had a chance to extend the lead in the final minute of the second quarter, but Ridder was intercepted by Macon Clark, who returned it 33 yards to midfield. Merek Glover kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 14-12 at halftime.

–Field Level Media