Cincinnati 27, South Florida 10

Brendon Kay threw for a touchdown and ran for another on Friday
night, getting Cincinnati’s offense moving again after its worst
showing of the season, and the Bearcats pulled away to a 27-10
victory over South Florida.

Cincinnati (8-3, 4-2 Big East) was coming off a 10-3 loss to
Rutgers that eliminated the Bearcats from the league title race. It
was the first time since 1987 that the Bearcats gave up only 10
points and lost.

Kay ended the drought with an 18-yard touchdown scramble in the
first quarter. He also threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end
Travis Kelce and set up another score with a 48-yard completion.
Kay was 17 of 27 for 178 yards, He also ran seven times for 48
yards.

George Winn ran for 119 yards and scored from 3 and 4 yards out
in the second half, when the Bearcats pulled ahead 27-3.

South Florida (3-8, 1-5) struggled behind redshirt freshman Matt
Floyd, making his first career start. Floyd was 21 of 39 for 176
yards.

Demetris Murray’s 5-yard run ended a streak of 10 quarters
without a touchdown by the Bulls and cut it to 27-10 with 7:19 left
in the game.

It was 38 degrees with gusty winds at the kickoff. The Bulls had
sideline heaters and warmed benches to take the chill off the
evening. One of them billowed smoke in the closing minutes.

The game ended with a nasty exchange in front of the Cincinnati
bench. Officials and coaches stepped between players to break it
up.

Both teams came in with questions about their quarterbacks.

Kay replaced the struggling Munchie Legaux and led the Bearcats
to a pair of wins and the loss at Rutgers, during which the senior
hurt his left (non-throwing) elbow.

It didn’t bother him as he scrambled to avoid the Bulls’ pass
rush on Friday. After South Florida fumbled, Kay eluded the rush
for his 18-yard scamper and a 7-0 lead.

The Bearcats surprised the Bulls with a quick-snap play in the
second quarter, and Kay threw a short pass that Anthony McClung
turned into a 26-yard gain. Kay’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Travis
Kelce made it 13-0 – the extra-point attempt hit the upright.

Kelce had a team-high seven catches for 58 yards and became the
first Cincinnati tight end to have 500 yards on receptions during
one season.

Kenbrell Thompkins got behind the coverage for a 48-yard pass
from Kay to the 3-yard line late in the third quarter. Winn ran the
rest of the way for a 20-3 lead.

South Florida was on its third quarterback of the month, and it
showed.

B.J. Daniels broke his left ankle on Nov. 3. Junior Bobby Eveld
replaced him and separated his left shoulder in the first quarter
of 40-9 loss to Miami last weekend. Floyd finished it out,
completing 20 of 35 for 175 yards with two interceptions.

Floyd couldn’t get the offense moving on Friday night until
Cincinnati was in control. The Bulls managed only 95 yards in the
first half. They ran 15 plays in the second quarter for a total of
14 yards – two long sacks set them back.

South Florida lost receiver Terrence Mitchell on its opening
drive of the third quarter. The junior was shaken up by a collision
with a defender and was helped off the field. Mitchell missed most
of last season after a concussion.