University of Houston falls to Cincinnati in AAC Championship in final score of 35-20

A tight game at halftime turned into a blowout in a matter of minutes as the University of Houston fell to Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference title game Saturday evening.

Trailing the unbeaten Bearcats just 14-13 at the half, Houston was ambushed to start the third quarter. Playing on its home field, where it has won 27 straight games, Cincinnati scored 21 unanswered points in a four and a half minute span to stretch the lead to 35-13.

"It was a huge momentum swing that we were not able to overcome," said Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen. "Great teams have to overcome that. Championship teams have to overcome that. We did not."

"It was hectic," admitted Cougars junior Derek Parish, a Pearland High School product. "It kind of happened fast. The rug got out from under us for a little bit."

With students and fans rushing the field as Cincinnati celebrated a perfect season and likely a bid to the College Football Playoff, the Coogs exited the playing surface at Nippert Stadium after their 11-game win streak came to an end. Holgorsen hopes this is also the beginning of his team's ascent toward college football's elite.

"What I look at out there is what I want our team to look like and our stadium to look like next year," Holgorsen said. "And I think we can get that done. I think we can accomplish that. They've been working at it a couple years longer than we have."

The Coogs know progress like that will take time, even if their upset bid was gone in very little time.

Houston ends the season 11-2 and will learn its bowl game destination Sunday.
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