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11/09/2013 3:58 PM EST
Cincinnati holds on for 28-25 win over SMU
CINCINNATI 28, SMU 25

By JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Brendon Kay threw for a pair of touchdowns,
and Cincinnati deprived the American Athletic Conference's top
quarterback of another comeback on Saturday, holding on for a
28-25 victory over Southern Methodist.

Cincinnati (7-2, 4-1) got the lead behind Kay's accurate passing
and a 17-play, 96-yard touchdown drive that took up most of the
third quarter and made it 28-10.

SMU (3-5, 2-2) is known for comebacks behind quarterback Garrett
Gilbert, who leads the nation in total yards. He had a pair of
short touchdown passes to Darius Joseph, the last with 3:27 to
go as the Mustangs got within 28-25.

Anthony McClung recovered the onside kick despite a hit to the
head that drew a 15-yard penalty. Cincinnati ran out the clock
with the help of a delay-of-game penalty on SMU, getting its
fourth straight win.

Kay has been bothered by a sore passing shoulder since summer
camp. He had a few extra days off following the Bearcats' last
game and had a lot of zip on his sideline passes. He finished 27
of 32 for 299 yards with two touchdown and two interceptions.

Gilbert was 38 of 47 for 403 yards without an interception.
Joseph had 12 catches for 103 yards, but SMU's offense could
only stand on the sideline and watch as the final seconds ran
out.

Cincinnati came into the game ranked fourth nationally on
defense, allowing only 280 yards per game while holding down the
conference's worst offenses. The Bearcats hadn't faced anything
like SMU's fast-pace, spread offense and Gilbert, who was coming
off his best game.

The senior rallied the Mustangs from a 21-point deficit to a
59-49 win over Temple, setting school records for total yards
(635) and yards passing (538).

They got a good idea of what it was going to be like to stop
Gilbert on the opening drive. He completed all seven of his
passes for 51 yards and ran three yards for a touchdown on the
13th play. On one play, Cincinnati got called for 12 players on
the field while trying to substitute.

Gilbert completed his first 12 passes for 70 yards, but
Cincinnati toughened when the Mustangs got in scoring range.
Chase Hover missed a 48-yard field goal try and was good from 24
yards for a 10-0 lead. He also missed from 34 yards in the
closing seconds of the half.

Those misses would be costly.

Kay had a tough time at the outset, getting sacked twice and
throwing an interception. He got into a rhythm on Cincinnati's
first drive of the second quarter, completing all five of his
passes for 55 yards in a touchdown drive. His 17-yard throw to
Chris Moore cut it to 10-7.

Kay completed his next pass as well, a 62-yard touchdown to
Mekale McKay for a 14-10 lead. The Bearcats then took control in
the third quarter and held on.

Kay completed all seven of his passes for 81 yards in a
touchdown drive that opened the second half, culminating in
Jordan Luallen's 2-yard run. The Bearcats then went on their
96-yard touchdown drive that lasted 8 minutes, 12 seconds,
running the ball on 15 of the 17 plays in the drive, with Tion
Green carrying the final seven yards.

It turned out to be too much for Gilbert to overcome.

Freshman JaBryce Harper, the Mustangs' top kick returner, was
injured on a kickoff return in the second quarter. He remained
face-down on the field but moved his arms and legs. The medical
staff called for a back support, strapped him to a stretcher and
took him to an ambulance.

---

Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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