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Late TDs pace UC against Miami
OXFORD, Ohio (AP)-- Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville walked into the interview room and saw a dozen or so reporters ready to ask questions about a mostly futile afternoon.
"Everybody stayed," Tuberville said, acting surprised. "I might have left early."
If he had, he would have missed a Bearcats offense that finally showed up at the end.
Hosey Williams' 1-yard touchdown run broke a scoreless tie with 4:55 to go, and self-destructive Cincinnati beat Miami of Ohio 14-0 on Saturday for an unprecedented eighth-straight win in the rivalry.
Except for Bearcats players ringing the "Victory Bell" trophy in their locker room, this one was about as quiet as it gets for a rivalry game.
Cincinnati (3-1) put together a 16-play drive its only notable one all day that culminated in Williams' score. Quarterback Brendon Kay ran through a tackle to convert a third-down play and set up the touchdown.
After an interception, Kay went 1 yard on a keeper to put it away with 2:05 left.
"Some people will say it isn't pretty, but it is to me," Tuberville said. "Running the ball, playing defense and winning the game is always pretty to me."
The Bearcats kept it scoreless until the end by missing a field goal attempt, having another blocked and turning the ball over three times on a pair of interceptions and a fumble.
Miami (0-3) had another dismal game with its run-based offense, managing only 1 net yard in the second half. The RedHawks' best play of the game was Zac Murphy's school-record 84-yard punt in the second quarter that helped keep Cincinnati at bay.
Kay had an inconsistent game against a defense that dropped eight players into pass coverage, going 23 of 37 for 171 yards with two interceptions. He hurt the thumb on his passing hand in the first half, came to the sideline to get it cleaned up and returned without missing a play even though the thumb was bothering him.
"Our defense bailed us out," said Kay, who had a cut on the top of the thumb. "We've got to get a lot better."
The Bearcats extended the longest winning streak in the 118-game rivalry. Lately, Cincinnati had dominated the second-oldest rivalry among FBS schools, winning by scores of 24-10, 47-10, 45-20, 37-13, 45-3, 27-0 and 52-14. That 27-0 shutout two years ago was Cincinnati's first in Oxford since 1898.
"A win is a win, even if it's 3-0," linebacker Greg Blair said. "I'd be cool with that. Anytime you shut the opponent out, it's a pretty win for us."
Neither offense did much.
Kay, a sixth-year senior, made his second straight start in place of Munchie Legaux, who tore ligaments in his left knee during a 45-17 loss at Illinois. Kay was the incumbent starter until a sore shoulder sidelined him during camp, giving Legaux the job.
Kay's shoulder hasn't fully recovered. The Bearcats have a bye next week, giving him a chance to rest and get treatment.
He was on-target in his first start, tying his career high with four touchdown passes in less than three quarters of a 66-9 win over Northwestern State last Saturday at Nippert Stadium. He was off on Saturday, repeatedly sailing throws.
He missed on a chance with the game scoreless in the fourth quarter, holding the ball too long before throwing an incompletion to Mekale McKay, who got behind the coverage.
With 10,000-yard passer Zac Dysert gone, the RedHawks switched to a run-based offense that hasn't gone anywhere. Miami lost at Marshall 52-14 and at Kentucky 41-7. After Williams' run for the game's first touchdown, Austin Boucher's next pass was intercepted by Deven Drane, sealing the win for Cincinnati.
The RedHawks wound up with seven net yards rushing and 87 total yards. Boucher was sacked five times and threw two interceptions.
"We had too many things like that going on," said Boucher, who was 7 of 16 for 80 yards. "For every positive, there was a negative."
Both teams flubbed scoring chances in the third quarter.
Miami drove to the 20-yard line, then lost 26 yards before turning the ball over on downs. Cincinnati got in range for Tony Miliano's 38-yard field goal try, but he pushed it wide right. His 36-yard attempt early in the fourth quarter was blocked by Austin Brown.
PHOTO: Cincinnati quarterback Brendon Kay (11) throws a pass as he is pressured by Miami (Ohio) defensive lineman Wes Williams (9) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Tribble)