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)

READ MORE: Dallas Police Searching For 3 Juvenile Males Suspected Of Violently Abusing A Cat

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.

READ MORE: At Resentencing Hearing ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic Gets One Less Year, Now Must Serve 21 Years In Prison

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.\

MORE NEWS: Plano Police Arrest Adrien Javon Grant, 29, Accused Of Shooting Jesaias Hiram Nieves

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