WATCH: Desmond Ridder sets school TD mark as No. 5 Cincinnati moves to 10-0

Nov 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats running back Charles McClelland (0) runs with the ball in the second quarter against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Ridder set a program record for career touchdown passes as No. 5 Cincinnati held on for a 45-28 victory over South Florida in American Athletic Conference play Friday night in Tampa, Fla.

The Bearcats (10-0, 6-0 AAC) ran off 31 consecutive points starting late in the first quarter and continuing through the first series of the third quarter, and they rode that cushion to the end.

The Bulls (2-8, 1-5) got two rushing touchdowns from Jaren Mangham, and Jimmy Horn Jr. took a short pass from Timmy McClain 80 yards for a touchdown.

They got their final touchdown on McClain’s 2-yard scamper in the fourth quarter to close to within 38-28 before Cincinnati’s Ryan Montgomery closed out the scoring with a 55-yard touchdown run.

Even with leading rusher Jerome Ford out with a leg injury, the Bearcats amassed 506 total yards. Ridder had a season-high 31 completions — including one to himself off a deflection — in 39 attempts for a season-high 304 yards and two touchdowns to raise his career total to 79 touchdown tosses.

The Bulls managed to stay with the Bearcats through a first quarter that featured a weird sequence of turnovers on three consecutive series.

An exchange of fumbles was followed by a 61-yard interception return by Christian Williams that put the Bulls in business at Cincinnati’s 2-yard line. Mangham punched it in to put the hosts up 7-0.

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Cincinnati countered with Montgomery’s 12-yard touchdown run and added scores on Ridder’s 13-yard run and a 1-yard shovel pass to Tre Tucker before Alex Bales closed out the half with a 27-yard field goal to put the Bearcats up 24-7 at the halftime break.

After managing only 39 yards in total offense in the first half, the Bulls accumulated 307 yards after intermission. But it was not enough to upend Ridder and the Bearcats.

–Field Level Media

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