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WATCH: No. 5 Cincinnati doesn’t have letdown, crushes Temple

Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Wilson Huber (2) sacks Temple Owls quarterback D'Wan Mathis (18) in the first half of the NCAA football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Temple Owls on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.

Temple Owls At Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Wilson Huber (2) sacks Temple Owls quarterback D’Wan Mathis (18) in the first half of the NCAA football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Temple Owls on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Temple Owls At Cincinnati Bearcats

Desmond Ridder threw for three touchdowns as No. 5 Cincinnati followed one of the most significant games in program history by defeating visiting Temple 52-3 on Friday night.

Cincinnati (5-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) posted a strong first half and dominated afterward, outscoring Temple 35-0 after halftime.

Jerome Ford, who had a pair of scoring runs, had a 75-yard touchdown run on the first snap of the second half for Cincinnati, which was coming off its upset of host Notre Dame on Oct. 2. Ford finished with 149 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Ridder was 22-for-30 for 259 yards without an interception against a Temple defense that allowed only 147.2 yards passing per game this season entering the week.

D’Wan Mathis threw for 120 yards on 16-for-27 passing with an interception for Temple (3-3, 1-1), which managed 226 yards of total offense and 14 first downs.

Cincinnati posted four third-quarter touchdowns after holding a 17-3 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Ridder threw for a 38-yard touchdown to Tyler Scott and an 11-yard score to Michael Young Jr. sandwiched around Charles McClelland’s 28-yard touchdown run.

The Bearcats, who picked up their 23rd consecutive home victory, broke out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The big play came when Cincinnati’s Ja’von Hicks recovered a fumble on a Temple punt return, giving the Bearcats the ball at the Temple 13.

Two plays later, Alec Pierce caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Ridder.

Cincinnati stretched the lead in the second quarter with an 11-play drive covering 65 yards, capped by Ford’s 8-yard run.

Temple got on the board with 5:27 left in the second quarter on Rory Bell’s 55-yard field goal. But the Owls ended up with just 81 yards of total offense in the first half.

Temple committed three turnovers for the game.

The teams didn’t meet last year because their scheduled meeting was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. Cincinnati won 15-13 on its home field in 2019.

–Field Level Media