Live Score: 2021 AAC Championship Game
No. 21 Houston and No. 4 Cincinnati are set to battle it out in the 2021 American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Follow along with our live scoring updates throughout the game:
Final: Houston 20, Cincinnati 35
Cincinnati closed out the game to win the AAC Championship for its second consecutive season.
Ford was the highlight of the night for the Bearcats as he amassed 187 yards on 18 rushes and two touchdowns while Ridder finished the game with 11 completions for 190 yards and three touchdowns.
Tune finished the game with 17 completions for 250 yards and two touchdowns with one interception while Dell recorded nine receptions for 152 yards and one touchdown.
Fourth Quarter (6:06): Houston 20, Cincinnati 35
After going scoreless in the third quarter and the first half of the fourth quarter, the Cougars got back on the scoreboard with a 13-play, 90-yard drive capped off by a 7-yard touchdown pass by Tune to senior wide receiver Jake Herslow to cut the deficit to 35-20 with 6:06 left in the game.
Third Quarter (7:38): Houston 13, Cincinnati 35
After forcing the Cougars to punt, the Bearcats kept their foot on the pedal and scored on the third play of the drive as Ford broke to the outside on a 42-yard touchdown rush for Cincinnati’s third touchdown in the last five minutes to put the Bearcats up 35-13.
Ford’s second touchdown marked his fifth multi-score game of the season and the first since his four-touchdown performance against UCF.
Third Quarter (11:04): Houston 13, Cincinnati 28
After Tune was intercepted by graduate linebacker Joel Dublanko deep in UH territory, Cincinnati capitalized 58 seconds after its last score as Ridder hit senior wide receiver Alec Pierce for a 21-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 28-13.
Pierce has now caught a touchdown in each of his last three games and has eight on the season.
Third Quarter (12:02): Houston 13, Cincinnati 21
After no scores between both teams in the last 14:38 of game time, the Bearcats picked up the first score of the second half as Ridder found senior tight end Leonard Taylor on an 8-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 21-13.
The touchdown reception by Taylor is his fourth of the season and his second in back-to-back games.
Second Quarter (11:40): Houston 13, Cincinnati 14
After UH drove into enemy territory for the third time in as many possessions, the Cougars settled for a 46-yard field goal by Witherspoon to cut the deficit to 14-13.
First Quarter (4:06): Houston 10, Cincinnati 14
On the first play after the UH score, Cincinnati came right back 17 seconds later as junior running back Jerome Ford broke free on a 79-yard touchdown run for a Bearcats 14-10 lead.
The scoring play was the seventh occasion this season where Cincinnati has scored on the first play of a drive.
Ford’s score matched his longest run of the season and was his 18th touchdown this year for the Bearcats.
First Quarter (4:23): Houston 10, Cincinnati 7
After stalling on its first offensive possession, UH found the endzone on its next drive as junior quarterback Clayton Tune found sophomore wide receiver Nathaniel Dell down the middle on a 16-yard touchdown pass to regain the lead at 10-7.
Dell now has 12 receiving touchdowns on the season.
First Quarter (9:38): Houston 3, Cincinnati 7
Cincinnati’s response was immediate as it stormed 82 yards down the field in five plays and finished the drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Desmond Ridder to sophomore wide receiver Tyler Scott for the Bearcats’ first lead of the game.
The score was Scott’s fifth touchdown of the season.
First Quarter (11:55): Houston 3, Cincinnati 0
On UH’s first possession of the game, the Cougars capped off a seven-play, 50-yard drive with a 37-yard field goal by senior kicker Dalton Witherspoon to put the Cougars on the board first at a 3-0 lead.