College football: No. 5 Cincinnati wins at South Florida, stays unbeaten

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) celebrates with teammates after scoring on a touchdown run Nov. 12, 2021.
Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) celebrates with teammates after he scored on a 13-yard touchdown run. The No. 5 Bearcats won 45-28 and moved to 10-0.
(Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)

Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes to break the Cincinnati career record and ran for a score to help the Bearcats, No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings, beat South Florida 45-28 on Friday night in Tampa, Fla.

Cincinnati (10-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference), one of four unbeaten Football Bowl Subdivision teams, has started the season with 10 consecutive wins for just the second time in school history. The Bearcats also did it in 2009, when they got off to a 12-0 start.

Ridder broke the school record with his 79th touchdown pass, a 21-yard strike to tight end Josh Whyle early in the third quarter that made it 31-7. Gino Guidugli, now Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, had 78 scoring passes from 2001 to 2004.


“Something special, man,” Guidugli said. “He’s earned that. It just makes it that much more special if your record is going to broken. I’m extremely happy for him. I love him like a son.”

UCLA under woeful coach Chip Kelly needs to beat a Colorado team coached by Karl Dorrell, a symbol of Bruin futility, to avoid further cratering.

Ridder completed 31 of 39 passes for 304 yards and rushed for 65 yards in 13 carries. He brought the record-breaking ball to his postgame media session.

“I told everyone in the locker room that this ball and this record wasn’t just me,” Ridder said.

The Bearcats played without running back Jerome Ford because of a leg injury that happened last week against Tulsa. Ford has 888 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder throws a pass against South Florida on Nov. 12, 2021.
Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder threw for two scores Friday night, giving him a school-record 79 touchdown passes for his career.
(Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)

Jaren Mangham rushed for two touchdowns for South Florida (2-8, 1-5), which has lost 19 consecutive games against teams ranked in the top 20 since upsetting Notre Dame on the road in October 2011. He has 15 touchdowns on the ground this season, tied for second most in USF history.

Bulls freshman quarterback Timmy McClain completed 16 of 29 passes for 245 yards. His 80-yard connection with Jimmy Horn Jr. got South Florida to within 31-21 late in the third quarter, and he added a two-yard touchdown run that the cut deficit to 38-28 with six minutes to play.

“We’re not a good enough team right now to kind of turn it and turn if off,” USF coach Jeff Scott said. “I’m proud of how this group continues to fight, continues to play, and eventually that’a going to pay off.”

During the second quarter, Ridder had a 13-yard touchdown run and connected on a one-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Tre Tucker. Alex Bales also made a 27-yard field goal as the Bearcats took a 24-7 lead.

Dave Aranda honed his defensive schemes and team-first philosophy at Redlands High, never losing focus on learning. His success could lead him to USC.

After turning the ball over on its first and fourth plays on offense, Cincinnati tied it at 7 when Ryan Montgomery scored on a 12-yard dash with 2:57 left in the first. He had a 55-yard touchdown run with just more than a minute remaining in the game and finished with 72 yards in six carries.

“We know we’re still climbing, and when you’re climbing a mound there’s going to be struggles, there’s going to be obstacles, and we had some tonight,” Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said. “I thought Desmond Ridder had a phenomenal night.”

USF took a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter when Mangham had a two-yard touchdown run.

Cincinnati limited South Florida to 39 first-half yards.

Up next, Cincinnati hosts Southern Methodist on Nov. 20 and South Florida is at Tulane that same day.

at Boise State 23, Wyoming 13

George Holani rushed for 102 yards, Hank Bachmeier passed for 225 yards, and the defense forced a late turnover as the Broncos (6-4, 4-2 Mountain West) held off the upset-minded Cowboys (5-5, 1-5).

Boise State continued its mastery of Wyoming, winning its fifth straight and 15th out of 16 games in the series.

The Cowboys lost their fifth game out of their last six after a 4-0 start. Quarterback Levi Williams finished with 156 yards passing and 36 yards rushing to lead Wyoming offensively.