Cincinnati survives upset bid after Tulsa fumbles at goal line
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cincinnati Bearcats survived a huge upset bid Saturday in wild fashion with a series of blunders on both sides in the final minute-and-a-half of play.

Cincinnati looked like it had held on defense with just over a minute remaining when the defense stopped Tulsa on 4th-and-goal at the Bearcats’ 2-yard line, doing so by a matter of inches. That left the Bearcats too close to the end zone to simply kneel out the clock, and on the ensuing quarterback sneak, Desmond Ritter fumbled the ball back to Tulsa.

That gave the Golden Hurricane another set of downs with goal to go, needing a touchdown and a two-point conversion to tie the game. It looked like they were poised to get it on third down, but Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin slid short of the end zone despite having a clear path in.

That set up 4th-and-goal with the game on the line. Tulsa running back Steven Anderson was stood up short of the goal line and tried to reach out to get the ball across the plane of the goal line. He fumbled as he did so, however, and Cincinnati recovered in the end zone. Replays showed fairly clearly that Anderson was losing control of the ball well short of the goal line.

The win moved Cincinnati to 9-0 and sets up another week of potential controversy in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Bearcats will point to their unbeaten record as proof that they belong in the top four, especially on the heels of Michigan State’s loss at Purdue. Skeptics will point out that they shouldn’t need to hang on like that against Tulsa, and the quality of the win is unlikely to do much to convince the selection committee.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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