MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sam Craft scored a 3-yard run with 53 seconds left to lift Memphis past Cincinnati 53-46 on Thursday night in a game marred by an injury to Bearcats starting quarterback Gunner Kiel.
Kiel was injured on a hit in the first quarter when he turned up field and was hit from the side by Chauncey Lanier. Kiel’s neck and head were immobilized and he was helped off the field on a cart and taken to Methodist University Hospital.
The teams traded touchdowns on the first four possessions of the fourth until Memphis turned it over on downs with 3:11 left. Cincinnati was forced to punt with 2:27 remaining and Memphis marched down the field in six plays for the go-ahead score.
Leonard Pegues intercepted a tipped pass to seal it.
Paxton Lynch threw for 412 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis (4-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference). The Tigers are 4-0 for the first time since 1961.
Freshman Hayden Moore passed for a school-record 557 yards and threw four touchdown passes for Cincinnati (2-2, 0-2).