Akron 24, Cincinnati 22
CINCINNATI (AP) _ Ted Draper’s 42-yard interception return set up Petu Ieli’s clinching 1- yard touchdown run Saturday as Akron beat Cincinnati 24-22 in coach Gerry Faust’s homecoming.
Akron finished 7-3-1, its best record in seven years under Faust, who hadn’t coached in the city since leaving Moeller High School for Notre Dame after the 1980 season.
Cincinnati (3-8) completed its 10th straight losing season. The Bearcats haven’t won their final game since 1980.
Ieli rushed for 119 yards and a pair of 1-yard touchdowns in the second half, when Akron overcame a 12-10 deficit. His first touchdown put Akron ahead 18-12 midway through the third quarter.
Brian Whitlow’s 24-yard field goal, his third of the game, cut it to 18-15. But Draper’s interception return to the Cincinnati 32 put Akron in position for Ieli’s score with 5:32 left.
The Bearcats got within two points on David Small’s 1-yard run with 3:10 left. Cincinnati got the ball back, but Lance Harp’s pass fell incomplete at midfield on fourth and two with 20 seconds left.
Harp completed 24 of 36 for 258 yards with one interception.
Akron won behind backup quarterback Matt Kaulig, who took over when Marcel Weems separated a shoulder early in the second quarter. Kaulig completed six of 12 for 91 yards with one interception and rushed 19 times for 59 yards.