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Kiel hurt again; UC frosh nearly pulls out win

Posted at 9:41 AM, Sep 25, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- For the second week in a row, University of Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel was knocked out of the game and redshirt freshman Hayden Moore came to the rescue. Only this time, Moore couldn't pull out another win.

Moore broke UC immortal Greg Cook's 47-year-old school record with 557 yards and threw four touchdown passes, but his last-minute interception let Memphis escape with a wild 53-46 victory.

SEE the game stats and play by play

UC had some scary moments after Kiel was injured 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.

But Kiel was released from the hospital after the game and accompanied the team back to Cincinnati,, a UC football spokesperson said.

Lanier was initially called for targeting on the play, but a video review showed it was shoulder-to-shoulder contact and Lanier remained in the game.

Sam Craft scored a 3-yard run with 53 seconds left to break a 46-46 tie. Moore drove the Bearcats (2-2, 0-2 American Athletic Conference) to the Memphis 24 with 10 seconds left, but he tried to throw a shovel pass to avoid a sack and it went off Tion Green's hands and was intercepted by Leonard Pegues.  

The teams traded touchdowns on the first four possessions of the fourth quarter 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.

The Bearcats gained 752 yards to break the school record of 711 set against Connecticut in 2009. They also set school marks with 38 first downs and 100 total plays. Max Morrison caught nine passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Moore added 153 yards and a score on five receptions, and Shaq Washington had nine catches for 120 yards and a touchdown

Kiel was 7 of 11 for 63 yards before his injury.

"Under evaluation at the hospital. Awake. Talking. Everything is coming back normal," Bearcats sports information director Ryan Koslen said in an email message to The Associated Press during the game.

Paxton Lynch threw for 412 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis (4-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference). Craft ran for two scores, and Jarvis Cooper and Mose Frazier added one apiece on the ground. Anthony Miller caught five passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Memphis is 4-0 for the first time since 1961 and is on an 11-game winning streak — tying TCU for the second-longest current run in the FBS.

It took everything the Tigers had in a game that saw 12 lead changes and 1,322 total yards.

Kiel started the game after sustaining what was initially diagnosed as a mild concussion Saturday when his head slammed into the ground in Cincinnati's victory at Miami University. Miami's Bryson Albright was called for roughing the passer on the play.

Coach Tommy Tuberville said Tuesday that the quarterback had some soreness in his neck, but had improved and was cleared to play.

Hayden Moore lost two fumbles and threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter last week — one of them into the end zone. But he regained his composure and led the Bearcats on a late drive to the winning touchdown in a 37-33 victory.