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  Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell could tolerate his team's slow start, and he may have expected some issues defending Navy's triple-option offense. What was more grating was the fact No. 2 Cincinnati took a double-digit lead in the second half and then had to hold on late for the win. "We've got to find ways, especially on the road, when you're up, whatever it is, 13 points or something, to kind of close things out," Fickell said. "That's probably the only thing that I'm somewhat disappointed we couldn't and didn't do today, but we needed a challenge and we got one." The unbeaten Bearcats actually led by 17 at one point, but victory wasn't secure until Arquon Bush intercepted a pass with 25 seconds left to wrap up a 27-20 victory Saturday.

The Bearcats (7-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) weren't at their best, but they never looked like they were in danger until the final minute, when Tai Lavatai's 1-yard run made it a one-score game and Navy recovered an onside kick with 48 seconds left. The Midshipmen (1-6, 1-4) didn't do much with that final chance, though. Lavatai's third-down pass was picked off by Bush near the Cincinnati 45. The Bearcats were fortunate to lead by three after a mistake-filled first half, but they eventually snapped out of their offensive funk. Desmond Ridder threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns. - Cincinnati/AP College Football


(DS#10 CB) rJr/2023 CB Arquon BushCincinnati
News Source: Cincinnati/AP College Football


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