The win improved the Bearcats to 8-3 overall and 4-2 in Big East play. Cincinnati was coming off a 10-3 loss to Rutgers, and after a 5-0 start, the team had lost three of its previous five games. South Florida dropped to 3-8 and 1-5 in Big East games. After starting the season 2-0, the Bulls have lost eight of their last nine.
Cincinnati opened the scoring when quarterback Brendon Kay scampered 18 yards for a touchdown with 7:24 left in the first quarter. Kay gave the Bearcats a 13-0 advantage when he hooked up with Travis Kelce for a three-yard score with 3:31 left until halftime. Tony Miliano missed the extra point.
South Florida got on the board with 8:45 remaining in the third quarter as Maikon Bonani connected on a 25-yard field goal attempt. But Cincinnati extended its lead to 20-3 with a George Winn 3-yard run at the 3:36 mark.
Winn added a 4-yard score just over two minutes into the fourth quarter. South Florida's Demetris Murray rushed for a 5-yard touchdown with 7:48 left in the game to provide the final margin.
Box Score Hero: Winn was one of the few bright spots in a pretty ugly game. He racked up 119 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Winn's rushing yards made up 32 percent of the Bearcats' total offense.
Rankings Ramifications: Cincinnati and South Florida entered Friday's game unranked, and it's unlikely the Bearcats will move into the top 25.
Next Week's Schedule: Cincinnati closes out the regular season Dec. 1 at Connecticut. South Florida wraps things up the same day at home against Pittsburgh.