BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -Ben Mauk and No. 20 Cincinnati spoiled Jeff Bower's farewell.
Mauk passed for 334 yards and four touchdowns and DeAngelo Smith intercepted three passes Saturday, leading the Bearcats to a 31-21 win over Southern Miss and its outgoing coach in the Papajohns.com Bowl.
The victory gave Cincinnati (10-3) its second 10-win season and first since 1951, while virtually assuring a spot in the final rankings for the first time.
Mauk completed 30 of 52 passes and overcame three interceptions to become only the third Bearcats player to have a 3,000-yard passing season. It was a nice finish for the former Wake Forest starter and for first-year Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly, but a difficult one for Southern Miss (7-6) and Bower.
This was the final game for Bower after 17 seasons at his alma mater, a stay that ranks behind only that of Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden and Frank Beamer among current coaches. He was forced to resign after a disappointing regular season, leading to the hiring of Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora.
His team couldn't convert several chances to at least make the ending interesting. Mostly, though, they couldn't stop Kelly's spread offense.

Recent NCAAF Discussions

NCAAF Headlines

More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Bettors backing Cal vs. Hawaii Despite the majority of public bettors backing California for Friday’s college football kickoff contest, the line has moved in favor of Hawaii.
Thumbnail Clemson Season Win Total Prediction   Few would argue that the best player in college football resides in Death Valley. After narrowly missing out on the ultimate prize this past January, will...
Thumbnail Western Kentucky Season Win Total Prediction In Conference USA country, one school’s offensive attack stands a cut above the rest. We’re talking about a crew so brilliant that even video-game...
Thumbnail Navy Season Win Total Prediction   Collectively, Houston towered over the American Athletic Conference competition in 2016. In terms of individual prowess, though, nobody rivaled Navy’s Keenan Reynolds.
Thumbnail San Diego State Season Win Total Prediction Through the years, San Diego State fans have been privileged to watch extraordinary individual talents like Marshall Faulk and La’Roi Glover. Last season,...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages