CINCINNATI (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Jerome Ford rushed for 187 yards and two touchdowns and Desmond Ridder threw three touchdown passes as No. 3 Cincinnati broke open a close game in the third quarter and rolled past No. 16 Houston 35-20 in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

Houston quarterback Clayton Tune, center right, is sacked by Cincinnati’s Joel Dublanko. (Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

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Houston had the ball for nearly twice as long as Cincinnati, but was unable to take the lead at any point during the game.

The Bearcats, who are ranked No. 4 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, are in position to become the first non-Power 5 team to qualify.

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The final rankings will be announced Sunday.

Cincinnati (12-0), which extended the nation’s second-longest home winning streak to 27, scored three touchdowns in 7:22 to break open a one-point game.

Houston was only able to put seven more points on the board, putting them 15 points behind at the end of the game.\

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBSDFW.com Staff