College Football: Luke Fickell wins debut with Cincinnati

Hayden Moore was told by first-year Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell that he won the quarterback job over Ross Trail last week.

Moore responded with touchdown passes to Thomas Geddis, Kahill Lewis and Tyler Cogswell in the Beacats’ 26-14 win Thursday night over the Austin Peay Governors in the season opener for both teams.

Fickell came to Cincinnati after 18 years at Ohio State, serving as defensive coordinator for the bulk of his career there.

The Bearcats’ other touchdown came on a 3-yard run by Mike Boone in the fourth quarter after the Governors had cut Cincinnati’s lead to six points.

Austin Peay’s JaVaughn Craig threw a 19-yard scoring pass to Kentell Williams in the first quarter but was intercepted by defensive tackle Bryan White in the last minute of the first half. Jeremiah Oatsvall took over the Governors offense in the second half and led a 13-play, 66-yard scoring drive capped by Josh Alexander’s 11-yard run to get the visitors within 20-14 with under 12 minutes left in the game.

The Governors turned the ball over on downs on the Bearcats 7 with 1:32 to play.

Austin Peay had 313 yards offense to the Bearcats’ 249.

The Bearcats won for the first time since Oct. 22, a 31-19 win over East Carolina. The Bearcats were 1-7 down the stretch of a 4-8 season under Tommy Tuberville.

Austin Peay fell to 0-6 all-time against Cincinnati, and dropped its 28th game in a row. The Governors last victory came against Murray State, 20-13, on Oct. 18, 2014.

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